Social Question

Bellatrix's avatar

Did you ever envy someone else's life only to discover it was not what you thought and definitely not what you wanted for yourself?

Asked by Bellatrix (21121 points ) October 6th, 2011

Inspired by the response of another jelly to another question. Have you ever admired someone else’s life and wished yours was like theirs only to find out more and realise things were not all they seemed on the surface?

I remember a work colleague whose husband would bring her flowers all the time and was so demonstrative in his love towards her. We were all so impressed. Until she came to work and told us they were separated because he was totally controlling and had threatened to kill her with a shotgun.

When has your admiration been misplaced? Tell us the story.

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46 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

For a long time, I envied the lives of my closest friends because I thought they led ideal lives. That was until an outside source pointed out to me that my life is actually a lot more stable than most of theirs.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Yes. There was a time I envied mean people who were able to inflict hurt upon others with intent do so, *As opposed to as a defensive, impulsive or ignorant stance… less a conscience, and without forethought to all of the information necessary to make a sound decision. I once envied the popular, the cliques, the followers and those who existed within them.

Then I realized they are shallow, bullies, ignorant, selfish, incendary, control freak idiots and I prefer being me. Even if it means being picked on for the rest of my natural born life. Rather than to be like any one of them, I would still rather be exactly who and what I am and learn to love myself regardless of what anyone else thinks or feels about that.

The Past Recedes words and music By: John Frusciante.

“And then the past recedes
and I won’t be involved
The effort to be free
Seems pointless from above
You’re looking down at me
I’d rather stay below
Than have you staring up at me
It is nowhere I want to go”

Dutchess_III's avatar

You’re just full of it tonight @Bellatrix! Good questions I mean! Following until I cogitate on this….

Blackberry's avatar

Growing up in a single parent home. Sometimes I would envy the nuclear families, but of course they have their share of problems.

fluthernutter's avatar

Growing up, I remember my aunt would make me stuff like French onion soup for breakfast.

I didn’t want French onion soup with a freaking baguette. I wanted cereal or a doughnut like all my white friends.

Looking back as an adult, homemade French onion soup or cereal from a box? That’s a no-brainer.

Also, doughnuts are not exotic.

lillycoyote's avatar

This may not be exactly what you’re looking for but it’s all I’ve got. :-) After I graduated from college, I worked for a small business for 3 and ½ years, it was just the two people who owned the business and three employees, including myself. I worked with this guy for two of those years and had a huge crush on him, probably the worst case of unrequited love I’ve ever had; I was very young, what can I say? I so wanted things to work out between this guy and me. He had a girlfriend at the time, so I guess I was jealous of her life. Anyway, we became pretty close working every day together, but things just never happened between us.

Just this past year, after all this time, I ran into a mutual friend of ours and asked after this guy, what he was doing, how he was doing, all that stuff, only to have this mutual friend reluctantly tell me he really didn’t know, they didn’t hang out together anymore because it turned out that this guy was a batterer. He had a bad habit of beating up his girlfriends, then his wife, then his girlfriends. Needless to say, I was pretty glad things hadn’t worked out between us. Be careful what you wish for! I was really kind of shocked. I like to think I have a pretty good radar for people, and I never, ever would have suspected that this guy was that kind of guy. Maybe it just reveals my own prejudices and biases though; this guy was arty, and intellectual and not “macho” at all. How could he be capable of that? But apparently he was.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think that’s exactly what…we were looking for @lillycoyote.

You just never know what goes on behind closed doors….

Hibernate's avatar

Maybe at a first look but eventually I know my life is much better than others people even with all the things it lacks.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Seems like the “nicest” guys to society are the worst in their private homes.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Dutchess_III And this guy was a nice guy, as nice as they come. Polite, kind, courteous to our customers, even the most trying and difficult ones, and he loved kids. I have been trying to picture him in my mind being full of rage and beating up a woman that he supposedly loves and I just can’t do it.

Blackberry's avatar

@Dutchess_III Hey! I may leave clothes on the floor for days and forget to wash dishes, but I don’t beat people lol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Pick UP your clothes @Blackberry. And put the dishes that YOU use in the dishwasher ‘cause I ain’t gonna do it for you ‘cause I AIN’T your mother and I work FULL TIME, same as YOU and I’m tired of you bitching about what a mess the house is when 99% of the MESS is *YOUR MESS that you expect ME to clean up because I’m the WOMAN and that’s MY job???!!!!!

The gauntlet has been frown! What’cha’gonna do NOW!

lillycoyote's avatar

@Dutchess_III Are you throwing your gauntlets around again? Don’t you forget to pick them up off the floor when you’re done!

Blackberry's avatar

@Dutchess_III….......Yes honey…....I’m on it. Lol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

KMA! They’re MY gauntlets, I paid for them, I’ll leave them where ever the hell I want to! Clean up those gauntlets!

Are we on the right track of an insane argument yet? Or am I the only one who’s experienced this? : (

Blackberry's avatar

(Backs away slowly)

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@Blackberry There you have it… I think you have found LOVE! LOL

lillycoyote's avatar

@Blackberry Yes, back a way, slowly, very wise. You don’t want to make any sudden moves around @Dutchess_III.

KidCurtis's avatar

I learned fairly early on that the reason why most people seemed happy was because I didn’t know them so I couldn’t say that I envied the lives of a person around me as a whole or I’d like the majority of their life. There has been certain aspects of others lives that I wished I had though. The only person I could say that I honestly envied is George Clooney, though as it turns out his life really is as good as it seems.

smilingheart1's avatar

I think l envy all socially confortable people. I hold my own well most times but dont enjoy big group events at all. There is one this weekend: Thanksgiving.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! @Blackberry‘s skeered of me!!

Mariah's avatar

I’m having trouble coming up with a specific instance, but I know that I envy good coping skills when I see them. But good coping skills develop from having to cope with difficult situations, of course, so it’s usually a mistake to envy those people.

In the reverse, people have told me they envy me because I did well in school and had cool goals for the future, but that makes me laugh. If they knew a little more they wouldn’t envy me.

Coloma's avatar

No, I’ve never had issues with envy and I’ve learned that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

Everyone has something they are dealing with in their lives and sometimes it is not apparent.

If someone drives an older car we might assume they are not very financially well off, not always true. By the same token the Mercedes driver might be on the verge of bankruptcy all because of their need for a status symbol.

Someone that smokes wears their addiction on the outside, a sex addict or control freak keeps their compulsions secret.

I remember years ago thinking my ex sister-in-law was so perfect.

She had no bad habits, was extremely healthy, in shape, attractive, but…once we arrived early for a party situation and heard her husband screaming at her from upstairs after he discovered about 5k in jewelry hidden in their dresser that she charged without his knowledge.

Oops…little miss perfect was an out of control shopaholic! lol

Bellatrix's avatar

Thank you everyone for the great answers. Really enjoyed reading them.

Hibernate's avatar

You are welcome ^^

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wish I was Bellatrix!!

Bellatrix's avatar

Awww @Dutchess_III. Then you wouldn’t have a house to build. I am so, so envious of you starting to build a new home and all that entails. I love mine but it is just so exciting to be creating a new home again.

Hugs .. you sweetie you!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

It is….right now it’s just a dream….if it started becoming a reality…which it just might!....I’ll…be…I don’t know how I’ll feel! I do I’ll be posting a TON of questions!
I’ll take pictures every step of the way for ya’ll. :)

Bellatrix's avatar

That would be wonderful! It will happen and it will be wonderful. We will help you decide on things. You can post links to curtains and floor coverings and kitchens and we can vote. It will be the Fluther House!

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! If I put everything to a vote here on Fluther, my house will look like a carnival!! A gypsy caravan!!!!

Bellatrix's avatar

It will be beautiful @Dutchess_III!!! And we want photos to let us know you took our advice :D

Dutchess_III's avatar

: ). OK! Well, no. Well, maybe. “I was born in the wagon of a travelin’ show, Momma used to dance for the money they’d throw…”

lillycoyote's avatar

@Dutchess_III

This is one fine “Gypsy” wagon, I think.

I wouldn’t mind living in it.

Bellatrix's avatar

Goodness, that is a beauty @lillycoyote. That reminds me of Toad of Toad Hall. When I read Wind in the Willows, I wanted a caravan like that.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Bellatrix, I absolutely love the caravans too! I was looking at these:

http://chindeep.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/gypsy-caravan.jpg

http://www.agathoune.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/gypsy-wagon.jpg

http://reesh.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8346e7ab553ef011570ad8004970b-800wi

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2530/3893047928_e9dd4eb163.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3179/2816415621_42ce6f478e_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3075/2815282694_2a245d92e6_z.jpg

http://pics.adoos.com/7f8cd0901766081cd3fac0ad583bc613-1-3-gypsy-caravan.jpg

and settled on that one because it was kind of understated, particularly the interior. That one is a beauty, isn’t it?

And my friend, if you like caravans and you like books, and I know you do, you might enjoy this one: Parnassus on Wheels. That’s the Project Gutenburg link. They have the book online, for free, but without the illustrations, but give it a try.

Bellatrix's avatar

Oh wow. Wow. I love those. My husband is laughing at me and says “have you told Lilly the caravan will need a full ensuite”. He has no imagination.

lillycoyote's avatar

LOL. I am trying to translate that from Aussie English into American English but I am getting the impression a “full ensuite” means something like a complete, real bathroom? Have I got that right? I thought it was supposed to be women that got all worked up about that sort of thing, not men.

lillycoyote's avatar

I would just find a way to make do if I had something that wonderful to travel around in.

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes… he means me. I only camp in 5 star hotels. Well not 5 star but you get the picture. He is laughing at the idea of me travelling the country in a caravan. Surely they come with bathrooms? He couldn’t care less. He would go off in the bush and spend weeks out there and be totally happy.

lillycoyote's avatar

LOL. That sound more like it. We can put little bathrooms in them. I have a small travel trailer that has a toilet/shower in it. It’s not exactly 5 star and it’s a little cramped, but it works. Anyway, it wouldn’t be a deal breaker. I would be fun to have one in the back yard and “camp” in it occasionally. It would just be so cool to have one, even if you never took it anywhere. And it’s fun to dream, anyway.

Bellatrix's avatar

Or use it as a writing retreat! Roald Dahl used to write in a garden shed. Imagine, trudging down to the bottom of the garden to your colourful, caravan. What joy! I would love it. I would also like an old fashioned train carriage all remodelled so it had a kitchen, bathroom, sitting room and bedroom. You know the old ones with little cubicles?

I hijacked my own thread :D

lillycoyote's avatar

ROTFLMAO! You did hijack your own thread, didn’t you? I definitely helped, but I am blaming @Dutchess_III, she first brought up the idea of caravans on this thread. I like to blame her for things anyway. A writing retreat would be a wonderful use for a possibly bathroomless caravan!

Bellatrix's avatar

:D Oh well, it isn’t general. Already been modded today!! And it is about envy. I envy anyone who owns one of those fabulous caravans.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I want a caravan! String about 10 together and I gots a really cool house! And you can unhook one and take it camping!

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Absolutely. I would rather not go into details about it on this thread, but I’ve definitely learned from it. I am me and I should live my own life without envying the lives of others. My happiness is my responsibility and it’s true what they say – the grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but that does not necessarily mean that it is.

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