A humorous, optimistic blog about Food, Family, Friends and Faith

Has there ever been a person in your life who you can’t stand visiting? A person who makes you roll your eyes into the back of your head when you find out you’ve been invited to their house (and you really can’t say ‘no’)? Did you ever invent excuses for not visiting someone like, “Gee I’m sorry, the garden needs weeding this weekend and I volunteered to make 25 crocheted baby hats by Monday.” Sound familiar?

There’s a person like that in my life, actually a family like that. I found out today that we are supposed to go to their house for a weekend this summer. A whole weekend! Ugh. Last year I had a valid reason for not coming – I had to go pick Louise up at Harvard. At least, I think that was the reason; I’m pretty sure I didn’t go. There’s no way out of it this year, though, so I decided to try to figure out why I can’t stand going.

When I laid down to take a nap this afternoon I was stewing about the visit, and it occurred to me what was really going on. It’s not that the people aren’t nice; they’re very nice and more than generous. It’s not that we’re not made to feel welcome – we are. The food is always lovely and the wine flows freely. Anything you ask for appears. I would try to do this for my guests, as well. It’s that I am, well, in a word – jealous. Me! The green monster lives in my heart. {sigh} The task then became figuring out why. Why am I jealous of these wonderful, giving people who are such good hosts?

I am not a well-off woman by any stretch of the imagination. I make $14,000 a year at my school job and my husband puts some of his earnings into the joint household account every month as well. I scrimp and try to stretch our dollars the best I can, understanding full well the difference between need and want. I have EVERYTHING I need. Absolutely everything. But when I go to their lavish house with its massive kitchen and monstrous flat-screen TV, in-ground pool and Mercedes Benz in the driveway, I can’t help but feeling a little poor. Not a little poor, a lot poor. I stand in their massive family room (with cathedral ceilings, full wet bar, pool table and a view out the wall of glass of the pool and hot tub), wearing my single pair of shoes and my six-year old (still serviceable) dress and feel very, very small.

It’s silly, I know, to be envious of “stuff” when there are so many more important things in life. My family, my health, my friends, my faith are all more important. The ability to sit here quietly on a cool, sun-kissed summer morning, listening to the birds sing is more important. The skill to make a meal that feeds people emotionally as well as physically is more important. Working in a place where I help children learn and grow and stretch to reach for goals they thought were unattainable is more important.

Plato said, “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.” He was absolutely right, and I suppose I am content. Most days I think Life is so very sweet and I feel privileged to be part of it. Most days I don’t want tons of stuff, I want adventure – I want to go out and live Life to the fullest – damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead. But when I come home on a hot summer afternoon, it sure would be nice to have central air…

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Comments on: "The Green-Eyed Monster" (2)

  1. Found your blog as I was searching for an image. So glad I did! This is a great post, so honest and raw, and I really related to what you wrote. Bless xx

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