Fear and (self)loathing in Logan:
OK, I'm jealous
November 17, 2008 | I've never been a huge fan of Natalie
Merchant. But her song, Jealousy, well. . . .
I can relate. In fact, I think I might have written
it. Just kidding. But it certainly feels like I could
"Is she fine/So well bred/The perfect girl/A social
deb," the song starts out. Similar-sounding jealousy
floods into my mind when I observe various members of
my same sex. Oh, no, I am never jealous of men. It's
solely a "girl problem." But why?
It's pretty obvious, I think. For starters, a lot
of girls constantly compare themselves to each other.
I am ashamed to say I am one of those girls. It's ridiculous,
I know. I try to avoid it at all costs because it spares
me a lot of grief and obsession with my imperfections,
like my horrible nose, for instance. But unfortunately,
it's something that looms above my large head like a
With her flaming hair flapping in the wind, she zooms
past me on her stupid skinny vintage-looking bike. Is
it truly vintage? Probably. She just might be that cool,
and that scares me. Hide her away, I hate her and I
just might smack her if I have to look at her again.
I can't help but remember when I saw those photos he
took of her and how I sat there on his ragged couch,
disguising my disgust. She was "hot," he said, which
made me want to flare up like a bad case of acne. Incredible
-- I had already been jealous of her for some time,
but now I full-on hated her! But I sat still, burrowing
into my own self-loathing like a curled-up potato bug.
He could never know.
He found out -- it was inevitable -- and for some
reason, it turned out he wanted to be with me in a "significant
other" sort of way. It is good. But I've found that
if I let it, it will unearth my jealousy of other women
even more. He's committed. He's complementary and all
that mushy stuff. But I think sometimes I close my ears
and turn off my brain and refuse to believe the things
he says, and my thoughts become crazy and I think, why
the hell would he want to be with me when he could be
with her, the redhead, who is so skinny and spontaneous
and smart -- the "triple s" threat -- or some other
girl who is captivating and radiant and can make men
do whatever she wants them to. Does she have an interesting
piercing? Great. Does she travel and paint and devour
literature like how I consume chocolate while sitting
on my ass? Even better.
And then there was the pure, sweet youngling who left
for Europe for religion. She bent Frank's heart like
a pipe-cleaner sculpture crafted by a 5-year-old. She
was so sweet, demure, with long, thick hair and a musical
laugh. Her long lashes, sultry eyeliner, and a talent
for earrings and fashion-quirkiness instantly built
a fire of fury inside of me. Not because I wanted Frank
-- Frank was a friend. I wanted to be her -- I wanted
to mesmerize someone the way she captured Frank. Even
worse, I liked her as a person, and thus I had to fight
the fire to be her friend.
As these thoughts spill over, it seems more and more
like my jealousy simply stems from my deep-rooted self
doubt or some other cheesy-sounding therapy session
term. At the risk of sounding "Emo," I remember experiencing
these feelings since high school. A glance in the mirror
is satisfactory until other prettier, smarter, more
talented girls come into the picture and I dispose of
myself like an old shoe. It doesn't have to be that
way. But it just is.
Since I can't get rid of all the females I am jealous
of (since some of them are my friends who I love quite
a lot), it looks like I have to find a different remedy
to my situation. I don't know, maybe give up entirely
on talent and charm and beauty? Live underground like
the potato bug I was talking about?
No, let's be rational here. I have to stop being murderously
jealous of girls all the time. I have to look "deep
inside" and find my "self worth" and stuff like that.
OK, I'll try not to sound sarcastic -- it's all very
true. It's up to me if I want to feel good about myself,
and it's not the redhead girl's fault that she's sickeningly
amazing. It's simply a matter of keeping my ears open
and believing something positive about myself once in
a while, for hell's sake. I am not an old shoe, or at
least not an old, ugly shoe. Maybe I am simply a vintage
shoe -- yeah, I'm that cool.