Monday, January 16, 2006

Jealousy

“Hello?”

“Hey, L!”

“Hey hun, what’s up?”

“Nothing much, just wanted to give you a call to say ‘hi’.”

“Whatcha up to?”

“Nothing much, studying. Trying to catch up on the stuff I missed when I went on my trip. I’m going to Vegas and L.A. this weekend too.”

“Oh, cool, with who?”

“N.”

“Oh, she’s in New York?”

“Yeah, she’s been in New York.”

“So did she ever go on that date with Edward Norton?”

“No, we’re going to have dinner with him this Wednesday though.”

"..."

In a little under a year, I’ve watched one of my closest friends undergo an incredibly rapid transition from extremely studious, harmless social butterfly to extremely studious, complete social whore. In high school, she was the one who became friends with guys who were older, who drove flashy cars, who paid for her dinner. Her social circle has elevated rapidly to celebrities, models, N (who has never worked a day in her life thanks to her ridiculously wealthy parents, who I know is fully funding their West coast adventure). It didn’t bother me until I heard she had been blatantly complaining about us (my circle of female friends). Saying that she preferred to be with the friends she had met abroad because they were rich, because they paid for her drinks, got her access to the hottest clubs, drove her around in Ferraris and Porches. Not one to keep my mouth shut, I called her out on it. I asked her what was more important, parties and free rides or eight years of friendship. She had her say, we worked it out.

In little under a month, my resentment towards her has morphed into full-blown, mind-numbing, jealousy. And it’s all thanks to a celebrity named Edward Norton.

For the majority of my four years in high school, I convinced myself and my peers that I would someday marry Edward Norton. I don’t know where this bizarre obsession came from. While most people saw Fight Club to ogle Brad Pitt, I was watching it over and over to swoon over the scrawny likes of Edward Norton. The one and only issue of GQ I ever bought in my life was one that featured him on the front cover. I bought every single one of his films (not even on DVD because I didn’t even own a DVD player at this point, but on VHS). A stupid schoolgirl crush that subsequently died down when the stars in my eyes started to fade.

And then there was the email a few weeks before I came back from London. Social Butterfly had spent a semester abroad where she met the crème-de-la-crème of Asian society, armed with a new friend in N, who divided her time between homes scattered across the U.S., Asia, and Europe. N had met Edward Norton in a Hong Kong club while he was filming in China, spent the rest of the evening chatting him up, and had gone home with his New York City cell number. Attached to the email was a blurry camera-phone picture of the two of them together, proof of the encounter. The email said, “She’s going to call him when she’s in NYC. You can come too, L!” I was already labeled the parasite, the barnacle, the social hanger-on.

I pushed it out of my mind. It was forgotten. And then there was the phone call last night. N is in New York. Dinner with Edward on Wednesday, Vegas on Thursday, L.A. on Saturday, mentioned awkwardly because it's clear that I’m not even worthy of being a social parasite anymore. The host has scraped me off and kicked me to the curb.

I'm sucked back into high school, fantasizing about premiere parties, limousine rides, designer dresses, famous boyfriends, lavish gifts. I’m angry that she constantly reminds me of the glamorous life I dreamed of. The one I pushed out of my mind. The one I still hope for, but accept that I probably will never have. Does it make me a bad person that I want it all? I don’t want to settle for the white picket fence, the 9-5, the dog. I’m jealous of the people who can be happy with that life. I’m jealous that Social Butterfly will get the life I dreamed of without having to work for it the way I will. I am the worst kind of person. The one who passes judgment on someone who openly pursues a goal that society deems shallow. The goal that I silently chase as well, but have too much pride to admit to.

-L

4 Comments:

Anonymous -b said...

don't worry, all that shit will happen in time. i know it because even though we're prideful, we're also too stubborn to let our dreams slip away. so i have no doubt we'll have all that. let's start making moves.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous km said...

I dont think it makes u a bad person. Jealousy, if that's what u wanna call it, is natural... but doesnt always have a negative undertone. I think that even though these people are ur friends, you, in a way, have the right to feel somewhat angry... because the way it looked, it seemed like your friends were flaunting shit in ur face. I mean, dont get me wrong, if I was having dinner with some celebrity, I'd tell mah friends too... but in a non-snobbish way... or even get an autograph from them to you... u kno, just something to let you know I was thinkin bout u... instead of jus flaunting the whole experience/anticipation.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous spaniardagent said...

That's pretty assy, but the people that get everything they want with little effort miss out on a big chunk of the experience. N or whatserface only feels normal when she's surrounded by hotshit, whereas you'll feel all shades of ebullient when you squeeze Ed's gonads in your fist like a dog toy because you've earned it.

And yeah, I was referring to long island, the biggest piece of shit this side of bigfoot's diaper.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous susie said...

one thing i've learned about most celebrities is that they're really not that extraordinary. but, like you, i'd say edward norton is on another plane because of his talent. that alone would ensure that he has a good head on his shoulders. now, someone like tom cruise is guaranteed to annoy me on a date.

it sounds like your friend is on a fast track to becoming a victim of lights and glimmer, chasing something that has no end. it would be a different story if it just fell in her lap but it seems like she's chasing it. on that kind of chase, i'm sure she has to sacrifice a lot. it may just not be worth it.

8:42 PM  

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