Pea Green With Envy

Let’s face it: today being green is hot. We can thank global warming for that.

Thanks global warming, for making it fashionable to wear hemp socks and recycled shoes from consignment stores (just spritz ‘em in baking soda for a natural deodorizer, right?). Oh, and thanks for making it cool to make us “bag people” at grocery stores, as we juggle a bag full of bags. Paper or plastic? Nah, I’ve got my own bags!
You know you’re hip when you have more recyclables than garbage. Or for women: minerals in place of makeup, crystals for pits or sea sponges for tampons? Or for men: shaving cream or electric razor? Grow a beard! Guys checking out another man’s new car, lifting up the hood to check out the new engine are a thing of the past; it’s all about the gears, the pedals, the lightweight carbon frames, which is why a Bianchi Infinito Ultegra is the new Ferrari.

We not only buy local when it comes to food, but we grow it in our backyard. And speaking of the backyard, the backyard doghouse has been replaced by the chicken coop. We drink our organic tea in locally made pottery mugs and admire our “Go Natural!” lives. And then we see our neighbor pull up in her Prius, the newest “green” craze. She invites a local Environmental Councilman for dinner. The jealousy strikes. The desire for a greener life, greener friends and people in “green power” hits like a wall of biodegradable plastics.

You get pea green with envy.

One would think as grown, mature and responsible adults, we would know how to conquer the envy demons. After all, with all the self-help books, tapes, seminars and classes offered one would think we would be mentally sound, clear and balanced individuals in a constant state of utopian satisfaction. This isn’t the case, however, for many of us. We get jealous, we get angry, we get moody and we become emotionally challenged. You can see it in yourself when you envy your neighbor’s vegetable garden. You think to yourself, “How did they get so many peas this year?” You look at yours and see your pathetic “bunch” (the one, just moments ago, you were so proud of). Or you see your friends’ children participating in every local event and think, “I want my child to have that!” At an evening concert in the park, you see a couple, hand in hand laughing and telling witty environmental political jokes over wine and cheese with their other go-go-organic friends and want that (whether you already have it or not). It’s so easy to fall into the proverbial sickening landfill of “organic desire.”

In contrast to other jealousies, wanting and striving to be greener than your friends and your friends’ friends isn’t such a bad thing. Every decade has their envies and hypes. The 1980s had the frizzed hair, padded shoulders and pursuit to climb the corporate ladder, even if it killed you. The 1990s with overly-introspective people pondering the existence of life and reality over a cup of coffee. The 2000s had the computer madness ‘simplifying’ life through a virtual reality and simplifying everything with a thousand different chords and outlets to make it easier (finding a new outlet seemed to be difficult for many, pun intended). And now we have it all combined: the career, the life-pondering, the computers and the “green life” all rolled into one. If you think about it (over a cup of organic joe of course) maybe being green with jealousy isn’t such a bad thing. After all, the grass is always greener — on the other side.

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