Othello has always been my favorite play by Shakespeare. There are many reasons for that, but I think a big reason is because it deals with jealousy (the green eyed monster) and I can really relate to that.
I will admit to being a jealous person. I get jealous when I see women (especially moms) who seem to “have it all together.” They are in great shape, they have great clothes, they accessorize (something I couldn’t do even if I had all the time and money in the world), their mani/pedis are flawless, they clearly don’t get their hair cut at Great Clips, their kids are polite and kind and they never have to yell (and even if their kiddo DOES do something bad, they handle it seamlessly without getting the least bit flustered), they have giant diamond engagement rings (sorry, honey!) — side note: my husband was a grad student when he proposed — they love their job and rock at it, or they love staying at home (more than I do) and rock at that, they have free time during which they volunteer, and sometimes they take their kids along with them to volunteer too! You get the picture. They seem to have the perfect life.
It’s really, really hard for me to remember that I don’t know everything about anyone, and I certainly don’t know everything about perfect strangers that I interact with on the playground or in the supermarket. I know that the grass is always greener. In fact, I did an Odyssey of the Mind skit about it when I was in 3rd grade and I still remember the lyrics we made up…”the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”
However, my jealousy factor has been ramped up recently because we just bought our first home and it was at the top of our price range. And it needs a lot of work. And I know what the homes of all of our friends look like and I’m jealous. If we had an extra $50K we could have either gotten a house that didn’t need anything done to it, or we could have bought our house and used the $50K toward the renovations that it needs before we move in.
Well, we don’t have that much extra cash and so we have to move into a house that I’m kind of embarrassed of. Every time someone sees it I feel the need to tell them all the things we plan on doing to it over time. I have to go through and point to everything that’s wrong with it so they know that I know it’s in need of work. And now, whenever I’m at someone else’s house all I can think about is how much nicer it is than our house.
We certainly could have made different choices in life – my husband and myself, as individuals and as a couple – that would have put us in a better financial situation than we’re in right now. We went to really expensive schools and have a crap ton of student loans. We both got master’s degrees and he got a PhD and did a post-doc. Years and years of NOT earning a decent salary right there. But, I wouldn’t go back and change any of it. Everything we’ve done and everywhere we’ve lived and everyone we’ve met has happened for a reason. It all had a purpose. I’m not one to believe in much, but I believe in that.
And we were finally able to afford a house in the neighborhood that we wanted and it will be a great house when we get done with it. Until then, I just have to tame my green eyed monster.