One of DC1′s classmates is a doctor married to another doctor. (Her youngest is best friends with my oldest– they skipped first grade together.) Dr. Bestfriendsmom is also gifted with organizational and artistic abilities. Her kids seem similarly endowed and often win the school-wide art contests.
Dr. Bestfriendsmom also throws amazing parties. She knows interesting people, both with kids and without, even though they’ve only been living here a couple of years. She and her husband are both total extroverts. Their parties are honestly the only ones we’ve really enjoyed (including the ones we throw) since our odd assortment of non-work friends graduated, getting their PhDs, and moved to other states.
The children’s parties that Dr. Bestfriendsmom throws are generally themed. She does the decorations. (She makes pinatas in her hotel room on conference trips.) She does the baking. (The baking can include 30+ gingerbread houses made from scratch.) She’s totally amazing. A non-anal Martha Stewart.
At the last party, other mothers tried to engage me and did engage each other with catty comments about Dr. Bestfriendsmom and her over-the-top baking. I responded with earnest, “It’s totally amazing,” and “DC1 is loving this” kinds of comments. Mentally narrowing the eyes in my mind while doing so (the eyes on my face got wider and more innocent looking).
I don’t get the vitriol. The jealousy. Why are people so hostile when presented with someone who is awesome? Why do they feel like they have to tear someone down who is just trying to do things well?
I don’t particularly want to be her… crafts are not my thing even if I had artistic ability. (Also: it is my understanding that MDs have to deal with blood. Urp!) So much extroversion would tire me out. But I appreciate that there’s someone in our life who puts in that kind of effort to throw a big party and to make sure her guests are having a great time.
It could be that I don’t feel jealous precisely because I don’t particularly want to be a crafty person who throws awesome parties (though I appreciate being invited to them!). But I also look up to the awesome women in my field who are at better schools and more published than I am, even though I do want to be them! I strive for their accomplishments and I appreciate the way they’re opening doors for all women. (Come to think of it, the ex-friend whose therapist told her to stop talking to me often took instant dislikes to some of these shooting stars, and also accused me of being jealous of her own success.)
Maybe it’s a fixed mind-set vs. growth mind-set thing. I assume that with enough concentrated effort I could do things, or at least do more things, so there’s no need to tear anybody down to my level. But really I have no idea.
Sylvia: The woman who does everything so much better than you do.
Also Historiann’s recent series on Hillary Clinton. (Another awesome woman.)
Why do you think some people hate perfection? Do you?