I have always looked at the world with a weighted eye – seeing the things that are, then imagining what I think ought to be instead. As a child, it is an endearing habit. Children see trees and think of an enchanted forest – they see playgrounds and imagine them into palaces.
As an adult, the mind changes and grows, so my castles have been razed and instead I see glimmering hair, perfect smiles, and big houses. I see the things that people have and wish they were mine. I see the things that other women are and wish I was that instead. Have known most of my life that if I had any of the Seven Deadly Sins, it would absolutely be Envy.
The phrase “green with envy” originates with Shakespeare’s Othello, wherein the line arises: “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on“. Green, the color of sickness, when all color leaves the face and the skin is pallid with a greenish hue. It is easy enough to imagine being so jealous of another person it makes one physically ill. I have a blessed enough life. I have a home, a husband, plenty of food, enough money to get by on, and a sweet cat. It’s nonetheless very easy to be envious of others.
My apartment complex stands beside a neighborhood of two story condos with wide living room windows, spacious backyards, and decks with huge grills. This neighborhood is restricted to me – that is to say, I make too much money to live there as it’s reserved as low income housing. I personally live on the second floor in a 700 sq. ft. two bedroom apartment. We have no backyards, no grills. The noise isn’t bad, except for the highway we can see through the trees, and it only takes my entire monthly paycheck to pay rent. It’s okay, though, because as a married person I have a join income and my husband makes a little more than me – he’s able to cover the car loan, student loan, utilities, groceries, gas, and other minor necessities. It’s a joy to come home every day, look out my living room window, and watch the set of condos they’re building to the right because they’ve run out of low income housing. It’s awesome, really.
Yes, I’m a little jealous. Nonetheless, I know I should be grateful because I do have a good job. Much better than a lot of people have the opportunity for. I have to drive 90mi to work everyday, since my job is in another city, in another state, but at lease I like my job, my bosses are good to me, and I can make ends meet.
This cycle goes ’round and ’round you see, and I wouldn’t be so cynical if I didn’t know the lives that some of my neighbors lead. I see new (as in 2017 year model) cars some of them park in their driveways and I see the armfuls of gifts they give to our mutual friends (we only manage a little… our budget is tight) and of course I am envious of the ease they seem to be able to navigate their adult lives when I feel like I am always racing to keep up.
I firmly believe it is alright to be jealous, alright to be green with envy. Not to the point where it cripples us, but there are a few injustices in the world that it would be alright to be mad about.
“Defend your vice.” – Plinky Prompt, Nov. 23, 2008