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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Fear and (self)loathing in Logan: OK, I'm jealous

By Kelly Greenwood

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 have.

"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 blind hummingbird.

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.



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