May 28, 2008

Envious, Disjointed Rambling

Photo: Red vs. Blue, our household robot wars.

The worst part about fighting with someone who is smarter than you is knowing that half the battle has already been lost; you're not even a worthy opponent. The Esq and I don't argue very often, but when we do, it's definitely lopsided; he's a calm, rational, active listener. I, however, am a screaming hot mess who fights to the death, and when I'm done with you, I'll burn your house down with your family in it (and possibly your neighbors, and definitely your dog). I'm like a blind Tasmanian Devil trying to stab people in the dark. It's funny and tragic, and completely ineffective. This is why he wins. This is why I hate him.

I don't really hate him (I do), I'm probably just envious (but don't tell him I said so). I envy his emotional control, his good intentions, and the way he forgives almost instantly. Around the time he's happily over it, I'm still plotting my Bobbitt-like revenge. My favorite idea so far has been to break into the Woodland Park Zoo, lure an elephant out of its' cage, and ride it home where it would trample the Esq to death (as though stealing a two-ton beast was easy-peasy). In my fantasy, there was circus music playing in the background, and a can-do midget who came with the elephant, but the main point was to *crush* and then *crush some more*. I'd say the worst real thing I've ever done, in the name of jealousy, was cut off one sleeve of every t-shirt, dress shirt, and suit my ex-husband owned. I would definitely say that was the best worst. That was jealousy dipped in rage, by the way, and was like eight a hundred years ago. I was 1,000 different kinds of insanity way back when; I've scaled it back since then to just three kinds of crazy: Stab-a-Uterus Crazy (PMS), Grown-Up Crazy (overwhelmed by life, bills, kids, relationships, dirty dishes, et al), and Batshit Assclown Crazy (also known as You-Lying-Cheating-Whore Crazy). I haven't had to get batshit on anyone in a while, so that's nice; everyone in my world still has their sleeves. But I've certainly been the jealous type. Jealousy does so little for us as humans, but it's a catalyst for so many things: domestic violence, tantrums, theft, murder, dishonesty, self-doubt, isolation, and badly-written poetry (although I like to think that self-doubt and isolation lead to badly-written poetry). Manthony and I were talking about jealousy on our walk around Green Lake, and our conclusions were this: he found jealousy fascinating (as did I), I found it to be pointless (as did he); but both of us agreed it was thrilling.

There are a million reasons to envy the lives of others or the people themselves, from their talents and notoriety to the houses they live in. There will always someone who has *more* than you, at least in a monetary sense, but that doesn't attest to the quality of their lives. The perfect (most unfortunate) example of this is a guy I volunteer with named Scott. In the name of 'background', Scott is 24, short, Jewish, and eye-rollingly sardonic; he's wry, which I enjoy, and the exact definition of a 'smart aleck' (although with maturity he may have morphed into a wisenheimer). Don't misunderstand me here--I'm a mere acquaintance of Scott's through 826Seattle, not some cheerleading BFF; this was just the first, second, and third impression I had of him. He also seems agreeable, if somewhat guarded, and intelligent in a nerdy/listens-to-indie-rock kind of way. I don't know much more about him; I guess he's a big Red Sox fan and owns a sweet condo on Capitol Hill. Beyond that, I can't tell what kind of substance he's made of, or if he's still working that part out--just because he has money doesn't mean he's not 24. But I digress.

The reason I'm using him as an example is this: in 1988, when he was five years old, Scott's father tragically perished, on Pan Am Flight 103, after a bomb went off in the airplane's forward cargo hold over Lockerbie, Scotland. As such, and from the resulting lawsuits, Scott doesn't really work; I mean, I don't think he has to. And the 23-year old in me, the one who went without electricity for two months and ate Top Ramen without water, wanted to punch him in his privileged face. When he offered this information to me with a shrug, friendly-like, I was caught off guard--I didn't expect him to be affable about it, just condescending. I had heard him tell someone else this information, but only heard half of the story, and at the time I had thought, that is the very definition of 'new money': telling everyone about it! Then he said he was working on a book in his spare time, which made me even greener. The 32-year old in me that should be working on a book every day wanted to kick him in the knee and run like a woman. That's how I knew he was there to teach me something and not just to annoy me; I started out being jealous of him and ended with a little self-awareness. Sometimes people are in my life to keep me in check and semi-grounded in reality, whether we're friends or not.

I'll bet Scott's condo rocks and I'll bet he has a nicer car. His clothes are pretty standard for his age group and of course he went to Sasquatch--he probably goes to all the concerts. He probably has an IPhone and a sweet computer and enough money for nine vacations. But I know nothing about his quality of life, I've only assumed it was better than mine because of a larger bank account. I hope his life is filled with good things and cool people and high-caliber music, because mine is; I would never wish him ill will (unless he deserved it, which I doubt). But while I struggle to make ends meet, and break out the Top Ramen (with water this time, don't worry), I can still call my dad, and tell him I love him, and hang out with him when I want to. That really puts jealousy, and things of that nature, into perspective; it keeps me in check, and allows me to learn more about my challenges (a neverending supply, I assure you). So now I can just be happy for Scott, and grateful for my dad; it's a good combination.

I resembled a psychotic, blind Tasmanian Devil today, actually; I'm a terrible fighter. I'm the type that seethes with rage until bursting into tears. I'm the girl who screams talks for a long time without making a point and then suddenly gives up, a victim to the entire charade--even I get tired of hearing myself. We figured out today that I am an open yet totally ineffective communicator, and the Esq is the complete opposite; he speaks well and doesn't waste words, but does so very rarely. I ineffectively fought my way to the bottom today, yet again, and ended up blinded by my own frustrated tears. The Esq was supportive and understanding, as always. But, as the saying goes, 'in the land of the blind, the nearsighted man is king'. I'm nearsighted and saw myself very clearly today, and I'm certainly not fit to be King; 'Queen' has a nice ring to it, though. It sounds very nice, indeed.


Manthony said...

"Batshit Assclown Crazy." Nice... PS: They are FINALLY tearing down the old QFC across the street.

Marko said...

Wow that was a great post...we all struggle and the thing is, I had money once and it really is just paper it doesnt make things better. There are so many things in life worth more than money, sure we will always worry about it but there is more to life than money.