I looked up the words “jealousy” and “envy” in the dictionary. They aren’t the same. If you are jealous, you are worried about losing something that you already have. If you are envious, you want something that someone else has that you don’t. Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. I think it comes in at around six or seven. At least it isn’t number one. I am relieved, because I am riddled with envy.
I envy those women who say things like, “I just cannot eat more than a half of a sandwich, or I feel sick.” These women are the same ones who say, “I am just not into desserts.” These women usually wear a size six, have loads of energy, and are the sexual fantasies of their sons’ college aged roommates. I would like to spend one day walking around in their Cole Haan loafers.
I envy the bloggers who make the big bucks. These are often young women who somehow manage to have six children under the age of thirteen, husbands who are corporate lawyers or architects, and companies who want to pay them thousands of dollars for blogging about their products. I know quite a few of these young dynamos. They say scornful things like, “Can you believe it? Someone actually asked me to write them a guest post for FREE.” I am not sure why I envy these women, because they are often stressed out, exhausted, and overworked. But they all seem to be so glamorous—taking meetings with advertisers, getting on planes for important conferences, and speaking at worldwide blog events. I hate getting dressed to go to the grocery, so go figure.
I envy people who have housekeepers. I used to have a woman who cleaned my house once weekly, and it was heaven. The toilets were never dirty. All the table tops shone. Heel marks on linoleum were other women’s problems. Now that I am retired and the children are grown, I nag my husband about his wayward urinations, my dust balls are the size of watermelons, and there are dollops of unknown greenish things on the inside of my refrigerator.
I am envious of every writer who has ever published a book. With the advent of self publishing, this is almost everybody in the world except me. Envying these people has become somewhat of a lonely exercise, since all I have to do now is write one myself and put it out there. I am working on it, but it is so much easier to just envy everybody else.
I envy women whose husbands are quiet and shy. Going to a social event with these men must be such a delight. These women don’t have to shush their mates at a party when they exclaim things like “OH LOOK! IT’S THE SMITHS! ISN’T HE THE ONE WITH THE COLOSTOMY?”
It is such a long list. I envy good cooks, women who don’t have bad hair days, people who don’t sweat, grandparents, anyone who has run a marathon, people who own homes on Nantucket, women who have huge diamonds, couples who have “date nights,” those who know how to use a Neti Pot without drowning, anyone who has ever been to Greece, people who can sit in the full Lotus position, women with long eyelashes, and New York Times columnists.
I am jealous of all the women in the neighborhood, waitresses, the UPS driver, our pharmacist, the cable guy, and all the people in the Dayton Rotary Club. My husband thinks they are all fascinating.