Wednesday, December 21, 2011

yes, envy's my middle name

my friend dennis palumbo just published an article on the subject in psychology today. and what an embarrassing topic it is. believe me, i can envy just about anybody, depending on my mood, say the young, just because they've got so much to look forward to. us crusty old guys figure whatever they seek to do, we've done it better. once staying with a friend's daughter in seattle, i denigrated her work and that of her friends. she jumped all over me. and i realized what i was doing: ENVY. 

since then, i've tried to catch myself, even enjoy the successes of others. one trick, i say to myself, now i don't have to do that, it's done. usually it stops me from trying to save the world or re-invent the wheel. i could, of course, build a better mouse-trap, and that's an option, depending on how interested i am. i used to covet the warmth and security of home and family. at night i'd walk the streets, look into kitchen windows, and see everybody having a great time. PROJECTION. my jealousy based on an assumption of the unreal, viewing whatever they have as lacking flies in the ointment. 

today, i consider how much time and money all that is costing them. and i know the tensions in families all too well, my own had enough for four broods (nice word, that). take christmas, coming up this weekend. when we were little, we've be full of excitement, my mother's xmas eve ceremonies comforting, we'd listen to a recording of dicken's christmas carol and stuff ourselves with the candy my father had made. later, as we grew older, we became disenchanted,  uneasy with the whole affair. ah, if only i still believed in santa claus!

and then there's sex. when i see a gorgeous woman with another man, i turn green, completely forgetting i'm looking at her as a goddess and not a real person. i forget how she had to color and tease that hair, how long it took for her nails to dry as the guy stewed, late for the theater. i totally ignore her bad moods, her demands for attention, and so on. some nights i do go to bed wishing i'd a lovely beside me. and in the morning i wipe my brow and thank god i'm alone. so much for coveting my neighbor's wife. 

here is the article mentioned above. tough going in an insanely competitive environment. again, i say, wish for the victory of your buddies. they may carry you to the top: