By J.P. BowieJealousy: This is sort of a difficult subject for me—not that I want to give myself a pat on the back—but I’m really not the jealous type, at least not in a “frothing at the mouth, have to get even with you if it’s the last thing I do” kind of way.
The dictionary describes jealousy as a negative emotion stemming from insecurity, fear, or anxiety of losing something of value, especially if that something is a someone. What’s interesting is that envy is often lumped in with jealousy, meaning the same thing. But to be envious is different from being jealous. Apparently,there is such a thing as benign envy, for instance, people living under a dictatorship might envy other people’s freedom, but there doesn’t seem to be such a thing as benign jealousy.
The very word has a strong, visceral connotation and stirs up visions of the ‘green-eyed monster’ as Shakespeare called it. Someone standing in the shadows, fists clenched, anger simmering below the surface, ready to explode, ready to do anything to hurt or destroy whomever she/he considers responsible for their emotional distress.
The greatest dramas in literature are generally full of this stuff. Othello was filled with murderous rage when he thought poor Desdemona was bed hopping—she wasn’t. Cain murdered Abel because he thought Adam and Eve liked Abel more—they didn’t. Jezebel’s husband had her put to death because he was told she was screwing anything on two legs—she was. Menelaus had to prove he was better and bigger than Paris by launching a thousand ships to get Helen back. Now that’s some kind of jealousy!
It might be a negative emotion, but it’s a powerful one. An emotion that can scorch the pages of a book, create fantastic, scathing dialogue and gripping, spellbinding plots of murder and intrigue. So when I say I’m not the jealous type, I’m actually jealous that I’m not. What’s the point of being controlled and indifferent emotionally? No one’s going to write an epic about someone like that. Let’s face it, even Darcy and Rochester, the masters of haughty reserve, succumbed to it in the end.
I guess they finally realized that in order to get laid, they had to show some kind of emotion—that stiff upper lip of indifference didn’t quite work with the feisty young ladies they’d set their sights on. They say there’s nothing like a hint of jealousy to stir interest in the hardest of men.
Hopefully, it’ll make them even harder.