As a newbie blogger, it occurs to me that I am putting myself out there, coming out of the shadows, as it were. Not that my opinion can ever be construed as truth; just the musings of a person who has inhabited on the planet for a spell, a blip in time. With a loop of many thousands of the same thoughts each day, gyrating like a hoolahoop, I can express what feels real to me or I can share what others have expressed. I can analyze, process, lament, celebrate, joke, muse.
One subject that angers me, a bugaboo of sorts, is jealousy. I have it, you have it, we all at some point have to process the feelings of someone having while you don't. I suppose it's natural to assess where you are and what you have in relation to someone else, especially comparing oneself to someone within similar parameters (same gender, same demographic, same career, same family, same community, etc.). Compare and despair.
Jealousy and envy, here goes:
1.jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself.
1.a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.
In my years as a jeweler, I used to be wary when a customer would walk in with a "friend," to supposedly help them choose a bauble. I never studied the percentages, nor do I want to make a blanket statement about female envy. Suffice it to say, I have always wondered the motivation of a friend whose "puss" can ruin the purchase of something special that makes another woman look and feel fabulous. I have seen this type of sabotage over and over. And while I wanted to make a sale, no doubt about that, I never wanted to sell anything that didn't completely enhance a woman's appearance or make them feel special. A jeweler knows the importance placed on a luxury item. It is an identifier, a symbol of how they value themselves. It is highly psychological. Plus, now that women buy their own jewelry, no longer relying on men to determine their worth and taste, jewelry can be a symbol of self image and worldly position. So, the question is why do other women, friends want to influence that? Are they offering their opinion in your best interest?
Sometimes they are, but other times, I am skeptical. Jealousy, envy all in the guise of caring for what they say are protecting you and your dollars. Hmmmm. Maybe. A few months ago, I was asked to go with a friend to Vera Wang to look at dresses for her destination wedding (which, shameless plug, I will be officiating). I sat on the plush sofas while the salesperson brought out the dresses my friend chose and a couple of others that were similar that the salesperson thought she might like. My friend is beautiful and her body is flawless. "A Vera Wang bride" the saleperson called her. It was a happy occasion and I brought my discerning eye to the event. Luckily. My friend looked lovely in most, but looked exceptional in two of them. Two different looks which brought out different sides to her personality; one was sexy and womanly, the other demure and feminine. Both parts are an integral part of her and she had to figure out who was getting married that day in a pronouncement while the other hovered in the sidelines, no less important.
At one point, the salesperson thanked me for being such a good friend as it was a positive experience all around. I had no agenda. I laughed imagining what a relief it was for her to have someone so acutely aware of what the salesperson goes through. I explained that I was a former jeweler and experienced more judgement from women towards other women, I am sensitive to how to be productive and supportive in these situations. The salesperson lamented that some appointments border on cruel, the future bride is vulnerable, smiling in her dress, only to look at a field of frowns. With friends like these......
That said, I would be remiss if I didn't say that friends think they are being helpful and sometimes they are. I love a discerning eye, but it's the spirit in which the opinion is given. I have had friends who rescued me from questionable purchases, the grounding voices of reason and I can't possibly forget that it was actually two girlfriends with their toddlers in tow in conjunction with my mother who knew immediately (before I did) when I put on what was to become "my wedding dress." That, and a strange guy who spontaneously knocked against the store window on Madison Avenue to shoot me a thumbs up while I looked stunned.
It is constructive criticism which fosters dialogue. It can be fun and joyous. We can laugh at the things that look ridiculous and gape when they take our breath away. Or, we can be assholes. And the difference is: jealousy.