My long time Idol and D2 Boyfriend Sir Nicholas of Rhodes said in an interview many moons ago that jealousy is a negative emotion that eats you up inside.
I’m obviously paraphrasing because:
- I was about 9 and knew nothing of the concept of true jealousy beyond the fact that my friend’s dad worked on the Wild Boys video and got to be in the same room as Nick, which sent me into grandiose pre-pubescent spasms of jel that I couldn’t articulate and instead seethed quietly as she passed around a photo of her posing with John Taylor. Over thirty years on, this still stings.
- My decades of love for Glorious, Wise, Tasteful and Fragrant Nick cannot excuse his oft-pretentious soundbites. I prefer to gloss over them and concentrate on his hot hair, perfect smoky eye and most excellent choice of shoulder pads.
So, jealousy… learnt early, experienced forever. We all want what other people have and believe the lives of others to be so much better than our own. Hell, there’s a whole load of shit about it across religion – that whole ‘coveting’ thing that the Christians bash on about is entirely about the nature of being well jel. In this respect, it’s as human an invention as Pop Tarts, Mel & Kim and dogging.
To me, what we do with our jealousy is far more interesting. On the one hand, it’s easy enough to kick back with a gin and growl because someone has good shit that we don’t have, but another to then examine the chinks in their armour and tell yourself and others what Grade A undeserving tossers they are. I too am nosy as fuck and have a horrible habit of looking into the minutiae of other people’s lives. I would do well to leave it the fuck alone because the more I know, the more boring and inadequate I feel.
In this respect, I think it might be almost impossible to live an envy-free life. I understand what drives people to curate versions of themselves online, dangle off cliff tops, spray bottles of Crystale they can ill-afford at poolsides (a flagrant violation of any number of health and safety regulations, to my mind) or buy über-wank proto-penis supercars in an attempt to live a life less ordinary. Everyone has a smug twat on Facebook who checks into a different country every week. While I’m sat on the couch posting photos of Serge Gainsbourg (phew) and my new favourite lipstick (real life: waiting for the spin cycle to finish and padlocking the fridge), I like to think that they get to their mid-range hotel, eat soup, check emails and wank themselves sideways until it’s time to have a dead-eyed meeting with similarly exhausted and unfulfilled people before getting on the next plane. Because my green-eyed monster is saying “fuck that guy”.
In the whole scale of things, my personal level of curation is moderate. But all that really means is that I don’t have the sort of life that requires cunting about with filters or feeling #blessed all the fucking time. I fill up my social media with the absurd, the ludicrous and the downright daft. No one will ever post ‘U OK, hun?’ after any of my updates and for that I am endlessly grateful.
But let’s not get our drawers in a bunch over t’Internet. Philosophers, artists, singers, writers, mums and dads and platitudinous religo-twatbags have been arsing on about the “grass being greener” since the dawn of time. I’m fairly certain Neanderthal men came to blows because one hairy bugger had a bigger cave than the other (fnar, fnar). Destructive it may be, but it also has the ability to kick us up the jacksy. Wanting what other people have tells us about what we want. How heavily fucked off we are about it dictates what we’ll do next.
You could use it to get a little introspective and realistic on your own arse. Y’know, tell yourself the truths that you don’t want to hear and sift through the shit. Understand the reality of the situation that you find yourself in and don’t let that little wanker ‘doubt’ (or the even bigger wanker ‘bravado’) cloud your reality. Is this real? Will this make you happy? Can you risk your neck?
But the wonderful thing about this weird little marble we live on is that it’s filled with hopes, dreams, happy accidents and boggle-eyed loons who change the world simply because it might give the finger to someone. As a species we have a staggering lack of self-awareness that means even the most fuckwitted can be propelled into love, joy, boundless wealth and glory via the same feeling that can conversely send any of us into a heinous spiral of obliteration. We take the risks and largely have not a single fucking clue that we’re taking them until our hearts break or the world shines with unexpected brilliance.
And I’m pretty certain that when Hot Nick changed his name, backcombed his hair and chucked on a Breton tee, he gave zero fucks about anything but the shit-tonne of fun ahead of him. The emotional post-mortems and marvellously insightful, yet eminently quotable interviews came later.
And by that time he was a multi-millionaire.