Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sweet sweet jealousy

I'm having one of those weeks (months, years, lifetimes) where everybody else's life seems better, more fun, more interesting, more worthwhile, easier, more important...etc etc.

I guess I'm a grass is always greener type of person. Even though I know full well that so-and-so's life is a total mess I still can't help but think that mine is much worse (though it may not be at all).

What got me started this time on this path of emotional self-destruction is Christmas cards.
I get Christmas cards from friends and their families are gorgeous, their kids aren't smeared with frosting and marker. Their houses are big, clean and well lit (trust me, it's an issue). They are all fun and fit. They go on fun trips, see the sights, enjoy the world around them. They LEAVE THE HOUSE!!!
I don't think I've left the house in over a week.
Comparatively, my life freaking sucks.

Our house is nice, but small and definitely not sparkling clean. My kids are great, funny and smart, but they don't get to go to preschool or the zoo or the kid gym or anything like that. We don't have any of that.
I didn't go to graduate school. Most of my friends did. I didn't get a great career after college, or even a particularly great job. My marriage isn't perfect, happiness and sunshine. It's hard work, arguing and disagreeing. More work than fun. Having trouble, breaking up, getting back together. Not what I imagined.
We don't go on family trips or even go on family outings. Bob works almost seven days a week. When he's not working, he doesn't want to go out and do family things, he wants to sleep and relax. It sucks.
My vacuum is broken. My front door is broken. My back door is held together by screws. Our dining room window is held together by duct tape. Three of the four drawers in my kitchen are broken. The other one has fallen completely apart. My guest bathroom is now a room with junk for a remodel piled into it. My kids' rooms are tornado aftermath areas. My cats kill squirrels for fun.
I don't have the patience or good temperment to clean up all the clutter that accumulates because I know in 6 hours it will be right back where it was.
I hardly have any Christmas presents for my kids.
In short, my life sucks and yours looks pretty good to me.


Anonymous said...

How odd, I've been thinking of posting something similar. I am so envious of everybody's life right now, everybody else's is better. Except for my husband, him I wouldn't trade, or our marriage. But everything else, ugh.

If it makes you feel any better, yesterday we got our first round of holiday photo cards. One was a studio photo of the two kids. Both were barefoot, and the boy's jeans were ripped at the knee. At first I thought it was cute. Then I got annoyed, because they are trying to look "chic" (hubby's word) by making their kids look like kids, i.e., ripped jeans and barefoot, but still doing it at a photo studio, where the kids are sitting on an antique lounging bench in front of a black background. I'd MUCH rather have a photo of the kids rolling around in the dirt. And those were my exact words to David. So I'd LOVE your Elizabeth and Dylan smeared with food photos.

Meredith said...

The grass is always greener Jess, and I think no one's life is really what it seems. But these feelings just seem to go with the territory of the holidays, and you aren't the only one who feels this way! Plus I hear you on never leaving the house - winter really sucks. I get tired just thinking of bundling up and getting in the car to go somewhere, and I only have one kid and am not preggers. It will get better - look forward a few months till spring!

Jessica said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one wanting to be someone else right now.

Maribeth said...

I am with Meredith on this one. I hate to say it but I think when we look at other people's lives we're looking at a facade! There are many times I want to trade in my stay-at-home / part-time single mom status for a 'normal' life. BUT what the heck is normal? I think everyone has their issues and problems. I think I make my life look good from the outside but it isn't heaven. I spend a TON of time by myself or with my parents. I would love my husband to be home every night or at the very least home on weekends. So I am jealous of 99% of my friends... that's my biggest complaint in my little world. Good post… I think we all feel that at times (jealous of one another).

Andrea said...

While I agree that everyone has these feelings from time to time and that most the time people are not listing their issues and problems in their Christmas cards (and therefore not giving an accurate representation of their lives), I feel obligated to bring a little perspective. The very things you are complaining about are blessings that not everyone has. You have a husband who is working, two beautiful kids that love you, and a house that you’ve made a home. You have your health! You are smart and funny and beautiful (yes, even pregnant). Raising your family is important work and it’s not easy AND not everyone who wants to be home with their kids is able to. I hope I don’t sound too preachy. If it makes you feel better I can send you a list of my problems…it would be long! Love you!

Jessica said...

Yes, Andrea...that would help! :)
No, but seriously. I know, my burdens are blessings and I'm just feeling sorry for myself.
Being pregnant (and FINALLY starting to show after almost 18 weeks!) is just adding to that emotion. Last night I cried because my kids are growing up. I actually suggested stunting their growth by not feeding them healthy food anymore.
I'm a bit loco while PG.
Ask Bob. He'll tell you. Then I'll hurt him.

Anonymous said...

Huh, I always imagined that when my kids turned your kids age I'd want to get rid of them b/c they'd outgrown the cute phase and were now just pests.

Jessica said...

You know shabby chic? They're like Pesty Cute.
Still cute, but oh, so pesty.

debdills said...

you've been in the UCD magazine's alumni section TWICE! I'm jealous of you. I have done nothing spectacular enough to warrant mention in the alumni page. =P

Jessica said...

Only just for making babies! You can submit whatever you want to the alumni page, I doubt they fact check it!
You should submit that you've recently had sextuplets, just to test my non-fact-checking theory.

debdills said...

not sure that my parents want to read that i have admitted to my classmates that i'm popping out multiples, when I can't even commit to them that i'll ever have children. I may have to spare them the pain.

regardless, you made it in the alumni page, i did not. and really, what point is it making it there if it's a) untrue, or b) something silly and or lame that is not really some 'appointed' type thing, graduation type thing, or miracle type thing (i.e. kid-popping-outing).

(side comment: what's with the people announcing a promotion? oooo so and so was promoted to the next level of working for the man? whatevs!)

I do have aspirations of announcing my as-of-yet-no-reason-to-plan wedding to the boy there.... cos i'm thinking it could be the longest 'item' ever....

seriously. debbie d, 01 and james t, 99, wed at an undisclosed location. members of the bridal party/guests included: mm, ht, gm, rm, ek, sp, bc, rm, tp, cl, bc, etc. which are the friends who would definitely be there (cos they or their SOs would be in the wedding or are family) anyway, that doesn't include the additional # of invitees from our college or grown up years who would grace us with their presence.

debdills said...

after that, i may just have to submit your story.....

cos i'm really green with envy that i've had nothing to say.

Jessica said...

Oh Debbie!
I KNOW that you must have done something extraordinary and noteworthy in eight years.
I will now fully dedicate 25 percent of my brain power to crafting an excellent alumni page entry for you to submit.

debdills said...

i seriously wanna have the longest wedding announcement, so, when it finally happens (i'm saying, like, 1-2 years?) come! then I'll mention you AGAIN! wooot!

p.s. i did do something important for a short while... then i returned to the bay area for love... ayiyiyi

pstvnrgy said...

Don't you sometimes want to write the Christmas Letter that says it how it really is? LOL ... you must read Erma Bombeck

Jessica said...

Or Sedaris!