Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Seven Deadly Sins -- Envy

Today? It's ENVY.

Not that expateek thought it was a problem....but....after wearing the socks of ENVY yesterday, she's afraid there are some issues to be discussed.

From Wikipedia:
Like greed, envy may be characterized by an insatiable desire; greed and envy differ, however, for two main reasons. First, greed is largely associated with material goods, whereas envy may apply more generally. Second, those who commit the sin of envy resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, and wish the other person to be deprived of it. Dante defined this as "love of one's own good perverted to a desire to deprive other men of theirs." In Dante's Purgatory, the punishment for the envious is to have their eyes sewn shut with wire, because they have gained sinful pleasure from seeing others brought low. Aquinas described envy as "sorrow for another's good".

expateek is just going to put it right out there. She's envious of the people (probably this would be mostly guys?) who've moved to Poland from wherever to hook up with their beautiful, young, strong Polish wives to make amazing, stable lives in this healthy and growing post-Communist country. Is that a long-enough sentence? Are these expat boyos happy? Are they? She certainly hopes so, cuz somebody damn well better be. expateek is in a bitter and crabby mood. Some might call her.... envious.

To all you guys with your wonderful wives or girlfriends, all good wishes to you. Bravo to you all for picking a place, making a home, choosing Poland. Your choice is enviable.

And expateek completely envies you, but not in a bad way.

She just wishes her own life were simpler.

She wishes she were a guy. She could move hither and yon, at the express request of her employer, and she'd only have to sort out the sighs from the wife and the tears of their school-age children. She'd just have to get said sobbing wife to call the removals company to book the container. Again. And then the wife could cancel the old phone and set up the new phone and cancel the old internet and set up the new internet. And after that, the wife could change the addresses for banks, university bills, tax preparers and collectors. Maybe give away the dog and the house plants. And the fish. Oh God! Not the fish!

And expateek the guy would just have to put up with the next new manager in the next new place, and try to make the numbers, and would hope the kids and wife would adjust and not hate her for trying her best to support them.

The hell with that. expateek doesn't want to be a guy, a corporate guy, after all. It's too hard. Too hard if you care about the quality of your life. If you care about your own performance. If you care about the people who work for you. If you care about your wife, your kids. Moving again? Twelfth time? Mmmm. Corporate life doesn't go down so well if you care.

And we're not saying that Mr D doesn't care, either. Frankly, he's cut from different cloth than most. He is discipline with a capital D, honour with a capital H, and selflessness with a capital S.

He's just a capital guy, no two ways about it.

expateek, on the other hand, is mostly a petulant wimp, who naps on the couch in the afternoon and dreams of blogs, stop-action digital photography, and George Clooney.

But listen, for one more moment, to a last fit of fiery green pique, wherein expateek also envies the clown de France, who can move people, nay whole families, about. Move this pawn to here, move that rook to there. It's all a game, mon ami, simplement un jeu. The pieces don't have a say in things, and they shouldn't because... after all, they are just pieces on the board. Oui?

On the other hand, expateek really doesn't envy our French friend, because after all, she likes to be liked. And she doesn't like to work very hard. Her business, her work, is to make people happy and to make people laugh. Monsieur le Clown? Not so much. He is not good at these two things at all. He is very unlucky in this way. Also he is unlucky because he has to live with himself, and he cannot move away from himself. Whereas expateek gets to move all the way across the Atlantic Ocean and never has to see or think about le boss of the bad news ever again!

When we look at the matter in this light, expateek looks like the luckiest girl on the planet!

And really, expateek does not want to live her life like this:

And next to him malicious Enuie rode,
Vpon a rauenous wolfe, and still did chaw
Betweene his cankred teeth a venemous tode,
That all the poison ran about his chaw;
But inwardly he chawed his owne maw
At neighbours wealth, that made him euer sad;
For death it was, when any good he saw,
And wept, that cause of weeping none he had,
But when he heard of harme, he wexed wondrous glad.

Book 1, Canto 4, somewhere in stanzas 1-37, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

Chewing venomous toads? Hideous yellowed teeth? Dripping poison whilst eating oneself from the inside out? Mixing up one's u's with v's? Ugh.

expateek thinks NOT.

Eating oneself up from the inside out might be useful if one wanted to drop a stone, and will be further explored in Gluttony: The expateek Files.

But for now...

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
Proverbs 14:30

Here endeth the lesson

Now expateek's going to go forth from the computer room and sin no more, thinking only kind thoughts about all, whilst productively packing up significant portions of the house.


1 comment:

Christine said...

I have never heard Dante's definition before. It is pretty good. Makes a person think. I am thinking maybe I should not make fun of envy but fear it in my life instead. This is one to work hard at weeding out.