Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jealousy

Today I had lunch with my dear friend Lucy. Lucy is doing something amazing this week: She is on vacation, a vacation she scheduled abruptly just a few days ago, because a story came to her so suddenly and so insistently that she had to stop everything else and begin writing. She has never written a novel before, nor wanted to. And now she can't stop! She told me a good deal about the plot and the characters and her writing method, and it all sounds fantastic. It sounds like a book I would enjoy reading not because my friend wrote it, but because somebody wrote it. Does that make sense? It sounds like my kind o' story, the type of book I'd pick up, read the back cover of, and decide to buy no matter what author's name appeared on the front cover. (Except Anne Rice. Anne Rice, your bad books have betrayed me one too many times and you will never get any of my money or time again.)

I am insanely jealous.

Don't get me wrong. It's not like I think I'm the writer and Lucy should just go excel in some other field. But I am seriously envious of this creative demon that has possessed her. I have never felt that intense urge to bring my own inspiration to fruition. I believe I have creative ability, but I completely lack the drive to focus so intensely on an original idea. I wish I knew what that felt like, and I am jealous. It's not fair to Lucy and I should be nothing but delighted for her, but I am jealous.

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I don't get the whole Facebook thing. I like fiddling around with my account and sending my friends virtual salads and guinea pigs and the like, but I don't really know what I am doing. My friend Norman feels the same way: not only do we have trouble navigating Facebook's gigantic virtual space and making things work the way we want to (sorry, Laura, I only meant to send you one taco salad, not two), but the whole "why are we even here?" question keeps nagging at us.

Today when I logged on, I looked at my profile and then at Norman's. I was interested to see that he'd added a couple of new friends, people he appears to have gone to school with. Cool deal. EXCEPT. Except one of them is his best friend from high school.

I am insanely jealous.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't want Norman to reconnect with old friends, and this particular person seems like an excellent person with which to do so. A number of times Norman has told me how incredibly influential this girl was in his life. (She's a woman now, I guess, but when they were best friends she was a girl.) She introduced him to movies and music and ideas that shaped him into the person he is today, and he has spoken of her with the greatest fondness and admiration. They went off to different colleges and grew apart -- I don't think they had a falling-out, but when I once suggested he should try to get in touch with her again he made it clear he didn't think that would be a good idea. Now they are back in touch with one another and I am jealous. He's my best friend now and where has she been all these years, anyway, and what if he ends up deciding he'd rather hang out with his old best friend rather than his newer one? I feel ridiculous and small and petty, but I can't help it: I feel jealous.

3 comments:

~ Lucy said...

Well, because I'm a dim bulb, I'll take your post as a complement. Believe me, I don't understand this thing either. I wish I could bottle it up and give it to good friends like you and keep a bunch for myself as back up. The down side to it all is that I live in fear of it slipping away. Now that I've felt this way, I don't ever want to live without it again. Although it's already interfering with other aspects of my life and I'm not sure how healthy that is. My niece and nephew are visiting tomorrow and as much as I adore them I'm sort of bummed out that they will take me away from my writing.

I'd like to thank you for being bitten by the green eyed monster though. I don't know of anyone ever being jealous of me before, so thanks.

kb said...

I enjoyed your entire post, but I will focus on the Facebook part because I feel the same as you do. I don't really know what I'm doing either. Salads, cupcakes, throwing sheep, challenging quizzes, etc. What is that all about? I'll throw anything back at anyone who throws something at me, but it's all a bit odd. Oh, and by the way, you've got way too much going for you and a wonderfully lippy attitude to boot for anyone to select hanging out with old friend over you. Not a chance!

Feral Mom said...

This is a great post. I've struggled with envy most of my life, and if I could eliminate this emotion from my personal register, I would do so happily. One thing that helps (at least, for me) is to imagine what is enviable about my own circumstances. I am usually able to come up with something.