about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Envy? Jealousy? I wonder which one I've got

In today's First Friday Mass the priest had a very interesting homily. He brought up the seven capital sins, and of all of them, it was the lethal combination of pride and envy that drove the Pharisees to plot against Jesus Christ and kill him.

Pride we basically all know about, he mused, but there is some misunderstanding about what envy really is. Often we confuse it for jealousy, when in fact they are two very different things. "For all we know, jealousy can be a good thing," the priest said. "Jealousy can save marriages. If a man has a wife whom he sees meeting with other men, jealousy is the natural reaction. She should belong to him by virtue of their marriage, not to someone else."

The crucial difference between envy and jealousy is where it is directed. Jealousy is directed to the self, as in "what do they see in him/her that's not in me?" while envy is essentially a fancy way of saying "why is God unfair?"

In sum, the priest said, if pride's opposite is humility, envy's antithesis is contentment. If envy is wanting what you do not have, contentment is wanting what you already have.

Why am I talking about some pastor's homily? It's because it hit pretty close to home today.

Despite my previous agreement to buy Gustav's TEIN coilovers, I got signals that perhaps they were not for me. Not right now, at least. Gustav himself sent me an SMS and said he found my post on HCP about softening the Jazz's ride a little. He said his coilovers might not be what I was looking for, as they get very stiff when lowered past two inches. Besides, blowing a significant chunk of my savings for what is essentially "a little better than stock" ride quality (according to Gustav) probably isn't the smartest thing to do. I have to say he was right; I have yet to try out my JACU friends' TEIN-equipped rides to see for myself how much better they ride.

The itch to dress up my little Honda hamster is still there, but I have to be realistic about my capabilities. I'll also have to bite the bullet and save half my monthly salary for a while if I want anything done to the car.

It also hit home because after all these years I have to learn my lesson once and for all. My jealousy is unfounded because Denise does not belong to me, not in any capacity.

For a while now I've been mulling over the wisdom of dating her once a month. I fear if this keeps up, I will just end up wanting more than what she can give. Also I've gotten pretty sick of feeling jealous whenever I see her with some other guy. She's just that way, and I have to be willing to accept that.

She is my girl best friend, but perhaps it is about time I found someone else to take that mantle.

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