Tuesday, February 21, 2012

{her, and what we should do about her}


i'm not even going to try to sugarcoat it. some of you might think i'm being mean, but i need to get this out there.

she's rude, and smelly, and terrible to look at.

she's got pimply, cratery skin that she tries to hide under gloopy inches of foundation and blush; her mouth is the size of a dump truck, her ears stick out from her face like giant kites that could whip her off into the sky at any moment, and her face is just slightly green. she's a copycat and a phoney. she's loud and belligerent. actually and frankly, to put it delicately: i can't stand her.

so i really don't get why she's often featured on so many of the fantastic blogs i follow. i don't understand why she has so many facebook friends or why she's got everyone twisted around her knobby little finger. 

now, before you cringe and balk at the blatant name-calling; before you put trembling fingers to your faces to check your skin and ears and mouth for fear that i am talking about you; before you start formulating comments in defence of the aforementioned "she", hear me out because i grew up with her. i know her in real life. i met her in elementary school and i've known her ever since. 

her name is Jealous, and she has been stinking up the internet lately.

{i'm going to take a sharp left here, but we will arrive back at the point momentarily.}

there have been, in the last few months, a surplus of blog posts complaining about pinterest, about facebook, and especially, mostly, about "perfect blogs" and the "perfect lives" these blogs portray. complaints about bloggers painting a pretty picture of their lives and not being "real", by hiding away things that they struggle with or any dark secrets they might have. you know, things like dust bunnies and depression and crying babies. 

these irritated/angry posts never sit right with me. at the surface, probably, it's because i don't like feeling like we are automatically obligated to share every detail of our lives just because we're involved in social networking. i didn't start this blog to share my inmost thoughts and ideas with everyone and anyone who happens to stumble on it. i started it because i like to write, i like to doodle, i like to see what other people are coming up with and enjoy their creativity. why is it wrong for me to clean my kitchen before taking a picture of it for my blog or only post pictures of myself that i think are somewhat flattering or not write about the parts of my week that had me in tears? 
i clean the whole house before we have company. i put on make-up before i go out in public. i don't walk around in the grocery store wailing and crying and taking random strangers by the arm to share with them each sordid detail of my last few weeks--and i don't feel like that's an act, i don't feel like i'm putting on a show or pretending i'm perfect... i just kind of feel like i sort of have maybe a right to my privacy {i know, right? how dare i}. it's my choice how much i want to share, and if i feel like sharing a cookie recipe and picture of my spotless living room, i suppose that's what you're getting. 

if i DO feel like sharing something sad, or revealing a part of my heart to you {because yeah that happens sometimes}, i guess you could call that your privilege. not your right. say thank you, take from it what you will, but don't expect this to become an online diary. 

but the point is not that. 

the point is that after reading five or ten blog posts about the evil perfect model/couple/family/mommy blogs that are infiltrating the blogosphere and making us all feel like pond scum, i got to thinking about why they would bother us so much. i mean, i'm not exempt. i have this same relationship with a few blogs, the whole love/hate thing where i don't want to stop reading because they have such neat ideas and recipes and patterns, but i cringe every time there's a new post because the blog author is so much more creative, beautiful, put-together, etcetera etcetera, than...


we've come full-circle. 

it's me.

i am Jealous. 
i want there to be something wrong with these people. i want there to be dust bunnies, or depression, or crying babies. as though somehow that would make all the rest of the perfection sting me a little less. 

and that is what is so ugly about her: Jealous is not just a feeling. 

she's someone who gets right inside your rib cage and smokes a cigarette, and the smoke climbs up your throat and into your head and it clouds your vision and makes you angry at other people for having nice things, for being who they are, for living out their full potential. what could be inspiring and beautiful is twisted into something that injures you and makes you bitter. the smoke rots your insides and wrecks your heart. 

i know that there are those who go overboard. the every-other-minute in-your-facebook statuses GUSHING about the perfect husbands and the beautiful beautiful beauty of pregnancy and amazing lives and houses and vacations... but those are not going to go away. 

and the only thing you can really do about them is deal with yourself. 
learn to rejoice with those who rejoice, even if they have something you don't. learn to be inspired by someone who can do something you can't. learn to love others enough to be happy for them and wish more good things on them. 

and, if all that is too hard for you right now, shut down your computer and go for a walk.