Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hey Jealousy!

It’s the sweetest word on ones lips.

Or maybe it’s just me.

Jealousy has always been my favorite emotion, (followed by the contentment one gets after a really good bowel movement). I see it as a mixture of anger and sadness, with just a dash of hate thrown in for good measure. Truly, a recipe for deliciousness that often delivers the satisfaction of a belly-full of drama.

I’ve been a pawn of jealousy, as my friends and some ex-girlfriends can account to. It’s not my fault. I just happen to suffer from a distinct need to care. After all, those who know me know that I’m Johnny McCare-a-lot, (put that on my tombstone!)

But in all honesty, jealousy is a wholesome, if not essential, emotion. Jealousy drives us, it is the catalyst (as much as an emotion can be a catalyst) of everyday life.

Don’t believe me?

Remember that one time? You know the one. It was the time you did something, but it wasn’t based on jealousy for you…it was vengeance. Or, if you don’t like that word, it was justice. Jealousy is healthy, isn’t it? You want the one you’re in a relationship with to be jealous, to some degree, n’est pas? After all, it’s a sign of power.

Jealousy is the driving force in American culture. It’s the foundation of how our wacky country works. The “American Dream”, going “from rags to riches”, “keeping up with the Jones’”, basic ambition, all are driven, in part, by jealousy. We see other people having good jobs and we want that for ourselves. It’s capitalism! If, as Gordon Gecko said, “Greed is good,” then surely jealousy is the bees’ knees as well.

Hell, just about all of Greek Mythology is based on jealousy. That’s why everybody was getting killed, dying or being tortured. Those gods were some green-eyed bitches!

Alright, let’s break it down between the two camps, within the confines of a functioning (or semi-functioning) relationship. Either you are the jealous one, or you are the one creating the jealousy. You’re bound to play at least one of these parts at least once. Let’s go with the latter first.

Jealouser: It’s all part of your plan, you sly devil. Think about it: this makes you the bad guy. Is that what you want? You are purposely creating strife in your relationship*. And why, for attention? Maybe it’s for the action. I can understand that. Relationships are, by nature, boring as shit (and I don’t have to be in one to know that). We, as normal, everyday, average people, feed on drama. It’s intrinsically more interesting than a safe, boring relationship. Whether it be real life, or fiction. Nobody wants to watch Ozzie and Harriet on tv anymore, we’re all fascinated by Heidi and Spencer.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve rarely been on that end of a relationship, (as far as I know). Why do people create jealousy? Is it even done on purpose? I’m curious to know others’ opinions on this.

Jealousee: Ahhhh. Now it’s your pain I understand. Let us join together. I plan on hosting a retreat next winter. We’ll get together, roast marshmallows, engage in trust exercises and sing campfire songs.

It’s always easy to be the victim, isn’t it? It’s so easy to take the attacks, the shit, the rebukes, of the person you’re with. Leaves you in the clear, blame-wise. There’s nothing cleaner than that. But it isn’t fun to be jealous, (unless that’s how you get your jollies). It becomes a slippery slope.

First you start of as a kid, being jealous of a sibling or playmate for having something that you don’t, perhaps a toy or a room with a western-facing window. Then, when you get older the jealousy spreads, you can’t control it. You start being jealous of what your friends are eating for lunch, their Hello Kitty! erasers, the fact that they have cars before you do so you end up having to walk to and from school everyday, regardless of the weather and nobody ever offers you a ride, (jerks!).

Then you become jealous when you enter a relationship. You’re jealous of your partner’s friends, be they same, or opposite sex. That’s just one step away from being an obsessive and controlling nutjob. Which is no fun for anybody.
Tell me, is it your partner’s fault for making you jealous, or your fault for having no trust?

Don’t ask me. I’ve played both parts. And I hate them. But I can’t help it, I’m a prisoner of my own character traits and values.

For me, my jealousy will keep me apart from people that were/are my friends, (unless they’ve got free pizza and beer, in which case I might be willing to compromise my values). My commitment to self-reliance and independence only adds to my earlier declaration of being a loner. I have strong feelings about people who betray** me.

I have a strong feelings about myself, for betraying people.
Oh, what a crazy world we live in.

*no matter how tenuous that relationship may seem

**what a great word, it reminds me of Darth Vader pulling a Dr. Phil while talking to Luke about his feelings in Return of the Jedi

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