Posted by: ritagone | November 26, 2014

I’m So Jealous!


There are not a lot of things in life that I am extremely jealous about, but I’ll share with you a few of them that do cause the green-eyed monster to percolate within me (and I have green eyes to boot!):

One is someone who can open their mouths and pour out musical notes that move you to tears. In other words, a brilliant vocalist. The irony here is that I happen to have a daughter, flesh of my flesh, who has just such a voice. So I can pretty easily coerce her to sing, close my eyes, listen, and pretend that it’s me making those lovely sounds. Or at least part of my gene pool that enables her to make those lovely sounds. Not bad. I can live with that.

The other thing I’m extremely jealous of is someone who can put together words into sentences that are either profoundly moving or hysterically funny. Anne Lamott often can do both at the same time, and for that, I will never tire of reading whatever comes out of her publishing house year by year. The other day I was reading her latest: “Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace,” and when I got to the chapter titled “Forgiven,” I honestly couldn’t stop laughing because she touched such a nerve within me. I’d like to share a bit of that chapter with you:


“I went around saying for a long time that I am not one of those Christians who are heavily into forgiveness – that I am one of the other kind. But even though it was funny, and actually true, it started to be too painful to stay this way…By the time I decided to become one of the ones who are heavily into forgiveness, it was like trying to become a marathon runner in middle age…

“As C.S. Lewis says in Mere Christianity, ‘If we really want to learn how to forgive, perhaps we had better start with something easier than the Gestapo.’

“So I decided to put everyone I’d ever lived with, slept with, or been reviewed by on hold, and to start with someone I barely knew whom I had hated only for a while.

“I’d had an enemy – an Enemy Lite – for some time, the parent of a child in Sam’s first-grade class, although she was so warm and friendly that it might have astounded her to learn that we were enemies. But I, the self-appointed ethical consultant for the school, can tell you that it’s true. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew she was divorced and maybe lonely, but she also had mean eyes.

“She showed up two days later all bundled up in a down jacket, because it was cold and she was one of the parents who was driving the kids on a field trip. Now, this was not a crime against nature or me in and of itself. The crime was that below the down jacket she was wearing spandex bicycle shorts. She wears bicycle shorts nearly every day, and I will tell you why: because she can. She weighs about eighty pounds. She has gone to the gym almost every day since her divorce, and she does not have an ounce of fat on her body. I completely hate that in a person. I consider it an act of aggression against the rest of us mothers, who forgot to start working out after we had our kids.”

She goes on to tell of how she learned to forgive this lady and love on her, and I won’t spoil it by giving away the great insights and moral of the story she shares with her readers. You need to buy the book and read it yourself.

I laughed; I cried. As my husband would say, “It was better than ‘Cats.’”

And that’s what I’m jealous of: the ability to move people to tears and laughter on a continuous and deep, gut-level basis. The ability to write something that people nod their heads at and say, “Oh yes, oh yes, that’s me too. You are talking right to my heart. You are peeling away the layers and exposing who I am and what I am. You are perceptive and observant and great with words.”

I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I would pay good money to come back as a great singer or a talented writer. However, I’m pretty sure reincarnation wouldn’t work like this even if it were real, and I’d probably come back as a carhop or a cement spreader, so I’ll just go on being jealous of those who have the talents I don’t possess.

I can sort of live with that.





  1. Cute blog! Have ever thought that people are jealous of your ability to write and teach, I being one of them.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Nice piece.

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