And a Pinch of Jealousy

Right now, I can’t think of a worse feeling. It’s that cocktail of one part anger, one part hurt, a splash of resentment, and a pinch of jealousy to taste. It’s that cocktail you down with your woes when someone who has been terribly mean to you in the past is rewarded and praised by the community you share. Because you see life through your personal perspective, the cruel remarks you remember this person saying to you and others is their only face. And because it’s their only face, you’re aghast that no one else publicly agrees.

But no one else spurns this person, making your feelings a close second in awfulness to grieving for a loved one. At least with grief, you know it’s okay to feel the salt sting on your cheeks. You can cry as much as you want. You can say what you want. No one will fault you because it’s your dead mother, not theirs.

Don’t forget to add the overlaying feeling of guilt to this Molotov cocktail exploding in your stomach. After all, an entire community is praising this person. And you’re not. Something must be wrong with you. No, something is definitely wrong with you.

If you speak, you will feel better. But maybe you should keep your mouth shut. You’re the only one who doesn’t agree with everyone else’s praise. You’re the only one who feels so strongly about the cruelness of the praised. Nonetheless, you decide to say something. It will make you feel better. It will warn the person to be kinder than they were in the past, especially now that they hold so much more responsibility. Of course, you agonize over the most tactful way to express your disappointment. By disagreeing with the entire community, you’re already losing public face. If you aren’t careful about what you say, you’ll lose even more.

Painstakingly, you place each and every word in the most tactful manner possible. This sentence over here moves to there, while you delete that entire paragraph at the bottom. You’re bracing for a backlash. In order to tame it as much as possible, what you say in the end is a beige version of what you really wanted to say. Strangely enough, by the time you finish that cocktail is but a mere hangover.