Tuesday, May 22, 2007

An unattractive emotion

I love the colour green but I detest the emotion of envy. Whoever decided to link the two must have been thinking of a bilious, pea soup sort of green; that is the unpleasant imagery that concurs with the evil feeling in my stomach when I am overcome with envy.

It grabbed me yesterday, a steely hand sharply twisting and knotting my intestines, as I looked at the BBC news website. The Baftas report included a picture of someone I used to know, someone I had trained with, someone I used to share a lift to shorthand classes with, someone who had just won a Bafta for their journalistic endeavours.

It doesn’t have to be an awards ceremony: switch on the local TV news, and there is another one I trained with. See the reporter on the celluloid version of Calendar Girls? Her too. That TV continuity announcer? I worked with her; the Radio 1 newsreader? Ditto.

Then there is the woman I went to university with, the one that was on the edge of my circle and is now a big noise in regional BBC programming. The one that was invited to our house Christmas dinner out of pity, then sat prodding her nut-cutlet while treating us to a graphic description of how turkeys were slaughtered. Once, she visited a newsroom where I worked; I kept my head down, but noticed the elfin crop and pale blue eye makeup hadn’t changed since 1988.

I no longer beat myself up with thoughts of “that could’ve been me”. Now, I know why it isn’t: I am not terribly good at pushing myself forward in a professional capacity and I like to have a life outside of work.

But, like the Murphy’s, I’m not bitter. The boil is lanced ... for now.



25 comments:

muddyboots said...

i really don't do green or envy either. one of my friends from school is now an international business woman, travelling the world, am l jealous? no. hubby's brother is big time self made business man heavily into polo, am l jealous? no l just enjoy my life thank you very much, ln my opinion l have so much more!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Same here! Jealousy gets you nowhere. And anyway, M&M, you sound like you have much more on offer, perhaps you'll find they actually envy you.

Anonymous said...

crystal jigsaw - you are bang on the money ! giving up 'having a life o/s of work' is easy to fall into when one is young and thrusting.. but one soon realises that success is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and you never quite get there...And I bet they are often looking out the window at six o'clock wishing they could escape, but are swamped with work, driven crazy by deadlines and sucking up to an @r$eh*le of a boss

You only have to look at the tw@ts on programmes like the Apprentice to see what an awful world it would be if all of us were like that. Thank goodness you're not eminem.

We love you just the way you are..

Stay at home dad said...

Yes, that happens, but then again there are all the old friends with sad stories if you were to hear them...

Omega Mum said...

You are obviously nicer, kinder and undoubtedly have a better sense of humour than the lot of them. But it's also worth remembering that Woody Allen (or Gore Vidal) said, "every time a friend succeeds, a little part of me dies". I've always loved that..

lady macleod said...

I think you are right and it all falls out in the end. You are smart to write it down and get it out of your head. the more you wish them well, the better you do - along with a wonderful feeling of being rightous.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Muddyboots, you are lucky you have contentment in your life. I do, quite often, but no always ...

Crystal Jigsaw, thankyou, kind words...

And thank you too, Anon.

SAHD, you are probably right!

Omega Mum, I love that quote!

Lady M, I wondered how goo dan idea it was to write it down... it makes me sound somewhat petty, and I'm not petty, actually ...

Drunk Mummy said...

Go M&M - grab that hairbush, (or empty bottle of wine) and give it your very best Gladys Knight: 'Whoa hoah, it should have been me!'
See, you feel better already!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Yeah but have these go-getters that you used to know got bloody brilliant blog sites called "Mutterings and Meanderings"? And in any case I swear there will be people from the other side of the coin who look at you and your life and think - lucky bugger!

@themill said...

And don't forget that old chestnut about the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence. Anyway, where would the grey mare be if you were jetting around the globe? It's all about balance and I'd say you've pretty much got it.

ziggi said...

I 'spect your nicer and more well balanced for being who and what you are - just (probably) poorer!

rilly super said...

darling M&M, in view of your disapproval of the green eyed monster I will not share my envy at your getting paid to write stuff without your agent having you jump through hoops with no evident sign of the promised advance, your lack of allergies to all known farm animals, your talent for watching TV award ceromonies without lapsing into a coma, and a plethora of other lovely things about you which would only make you embarassed should I recount them all. Remember dear, there are always people less well off than yourself so you should save your sympathies for me, I mean them, sigh

Mopsa said...

Sod 'em. You can write and have time for your gorgeous grey, and live in a luscious part of the world. Would you really prefer London and high heels - all concrete and metal spikes and the only horses with police on their backs? Naah.

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. but isn't what you are talking about, strictly speaking, jealousy rather than envy ?? Or perhaps it is Gucci that have got it wrong since it is jealousy which is the 'green-eyed monster' ? Perhaps you could kick off your own 'celebrity fragrance' called Jealousy, inspired by the flowers of the north-east ??

mutterings and meanderings said...

DM, sadly, I do sing into hairbrushes ..

YP, @themill and Ziggi, you are all very kind …

Rilly, of course you are right. I could indeed be poor you!

Mopsa, I would shudder at living in London …

Anon, unfortunately I am not a celebrity. I would define these spasms as 'career envy' - see definition of 'envy in my first link: 'Envy is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation'.

Anonymous said...

Ah, eminem, one can see why you are a writer and I am not.. I thought envy was to do with wanting to 'be' like another person, jealousy was wanting what they had, but it is clearly more complicated than that.

Anonymous said...

apologies, but being a man i don't wander down the side roads of your links, otherwise I might wander off and not be seen or heard of again..

Your link to the Seven Deadly Sins was useful. Age has wearied my Pride and my Greed, possibly to be replaced by Anger and Envy. Although I suspect when I am a pensioner I won't have the energy for those either. And Lust ain't what it used to be either. My Gluttony still works, but is now punished in a way it wasn't in my youth..

Wasn't there an attempt to come up with the 'New 7 Deadly Sins'. Bit like 'New Labour'. In that is spun to be 'Inappropriate Behaviour' not actually a 'deadly sin'.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3387169.stm

andy said...

I always thought jealousy was a strong feeling of envy or something like that.. Anyway, the worst thing for anyone is to be envious or jealous of someone else. As my friend, the Crazy Angel would say - "just send them love and be grateful for who you are"

If it were me I'd call them all twats and move on..!

Gill said...

I used to get twisted up by jealousy a bit when people I knew 'did better than me', got published or written about in The Times etc etc. But now I think 'Good for them.' My mindset changed when I realised that art isn't really a competition any way, and there are infinite chances for doing well. The fact that they have been published, etc etc and I know them means it can be done by anyone, so why not me? Instead of wasting time moaning and being jealous I should just GET ON WITH MY OWN WORK!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry M&M.

If you never felt that little knife turn inside, we would either have to think that you were lying or ... we would have to be jealous of you for being superhuman!!!

There's nothing worse than those goddamn serene people is there? I mean, how do they do it?

welshcake said...

Hello, just stumbled in on this one. I'm doing the journalism thing in London but spend half my time wishing I lived in the countryside with a horse. I know I'd miss the London life (ok, not the tube) if I did leave so have just decided to enjoy it as much as I can while I'm here. At least you have a nice view of green fields to soothe the green-eyed monster.

Lizzie said...

Maybe the secret, m&m, is not to put yourself forward in the race to begin with. I have learned about myself that I am SO competetive by nature that I do not even do the crossword anymore. (For fox sake!) And I really hate myself for being upset if I don't win - [whatever it might be]. I cannot even loose against myself. Hmm.

Actually, I'm sure I wouldn't say any of that crap to my daughters. Only to myself. You're doing fine.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Anon, have you any idea how I slave over these educational links???

Andy, Crazy Angel sounds as if she has the serenity we would all love to attain ...

Welcome back Gill. You are, as ever, spot on ... but it's easier said than done ...

Anon #2, indeed this serenity lark is hard to fathom. I mean, I try, but I end up stamping my feet ...

Welcome Welshcake, ought I be jealous of you too?

Lizzie, we should be on a quiz team together!

Liz said...

You do know lots of 'people'! I have no-one to be jealous of but that doesn't stop me!

Orhan Kahn said...

Whoever decided to link the two must have been thinking of a bilious, pea soup sort of green..

Says it all.