Saturday, December 03, 2005
Envy vs. Jealousy
I know several jealous people. It's evident in the way they speak about matters, it's evident in the way they present a topic, and it's often evident in their look. My husband and I refer to these people as "farbissiner" -- Yiddish for "bitten up" or "bitter". We might know it better as having a chip on one's shoulder. Usually bitterness is tied in with jealousy.
Personally, I differentiate between envy and jealousy. I am not a jealous person by nature, but sometimes I deem myself envious. Jealousy is a harsher term, with some sense of malice underlying your attitude. "Why does she get to have ______________? She doesn't deserve it. What did she and her husband do to deserve ___________?" A jealous person is almost casting a silent evil eye on another person, wishing that the other person's good fortune would wear thin.
Sometimes I'm envious. In my case it's more of being in a state of wistfulness or wishful thinking with hints of admiration. "It's so nice that so-and so and her husband are able to travel at the drop of a hat. Wouldn't that be nice if we could do that?" I don't mean anything bad towards someone else; I admire what they have or can do and think it would be nice if I could find myself in the same state.
So...with that explanation behind me, I want to make it very clear to Doctor Bean and Psycho Toddler: "I am not jealous that Psycho Toddler and his wife are going to L.A. and will get to meet Doctor Bean and family. I am very happy for them, but I would like to be going to L.A. at this time, thus I am envious of Psycho Toddler. Yes, I've already met Doctor Bean, but yes, I'd like to be back in California and socializing once again with his clan, this time with my husband in tow. So, I repeat: I am not jealous...I am merely envious! I am envious that you are going out for Chinese food together, along with other bloggers. I am envious that you will be meeting the Beans as a couple, and I only got to meet them as a single. I am envious that you, Psycho Toddler and Doctor Bean, are both doctors, while I am merely a doctor's patient. And while we're at the confessional booth, I'm envious that I don't get as many comments on my posts as you two get on yours. But please remember that I am happy for you that you will be finally having a tete-a-tete!
"BTW, Doctors, my skin is just beginning to have a green tinge -- what's up with that? Is it something serious? Do I need to be quarantined so that nobody else catches whatever it is that I have, or is it something that will pass with time? Basically, I guess I want to know if there's a cure. "
Envy vs. Jealousy: Up for Grabs!