Saturday, August 16, 2014

Perfection Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Dear Tazi:

I have a friend, "Martha", who is perfect in every way possible. Her house is always immaculately clean, her children perfectly poised, and her figure like that of a movie star. Martha's husband is equally good-looking, holds a very impressive job where he makes six-figures, and is as devoted a husband as I have ever seen. Meanwhile, I am 40 pounds overweight, my kids are forever getting dirty, my house looks like a tornado hit it, and my husband is just an Average Joe. I feel like Fred and Wilma Flintstone to Martha's Barney and Betty Rubble. The worst part is, Martha has never, ever given me a reason to dislike her. In fact, she is one of the sweetest people you would ever want to meet; always the first to lend a hand, or to compliment the work of others.

Sometimes, I feel like a horrible person for wishing SOMETHING bad will befall Martha - after all, into everyone's life a little rain must fall, right? Other times, I feel terrible about wishing ill on someone as nice as Martha. What is wrong with me, Tazi? I love my husband and my children, and I think I have a pretty good life...until I see all that Martha has, and find myself wanting more.

Green-Eyed Monster

Dear Green-Eyed Monster:

From your signature, I believe you already know what is wrong: You are jealous of all that Martha has, and are thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Try to remember that the reason for that may be because that is where the cesspool is hidden.

Rather than concentrate on what you do not have that Martha does, why not try to concentrate on all that you do have? Your husband may be an "Average Joe", but is he dependable and loving and a good provider? What is so "average" about that? Your children may be "forever getting dirty", but that means that they are outside playing and having a good time, instead of sitting in front of the TV playing video games. As for your figure, are you unhappy with how you look? Or only how you look in comparison to Martha? You are correct in thinking that Barney and Betty Rubble were the more glamorous couple when compared to Fred and Wilma Flintstone; but Fred and Wilma were a great couple in their own right! (Remember, Betty and Barney were not without their own issues, having suffered infertility! Bam-Bam, you may recall, was adopted).

The next time you find yourself wishing something bad will befall Martha, try to remember all of the blessings in your life; and recall the story of Richard Cory, a poem by the New England writer (he was from Maine) Edwin Arlington Robinson. You will never know the full story of someone's life until you are able to walk a mile in their shoes. A little rain must fall into everyone's life, but there is a chance Martha received her share at an early age. Try to be happy for your friend's blessings, and I am certain she will count you among them. Good friends are hard to find, and even harder to keep.


P.S. For those who are interested, below is the poem I mention...

Richard Cory
by Edgar Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean-favoured and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good Morning!" and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine -- we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread,
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet in his head.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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