What Is Meaner Than The Green Eyed Monster?

I could feel their resentment as clearly as if they had all crawled inside my stomach and knotted it up with a rubber band

I could feel their resentment as clearly as if they had all crawled inside my stomach and knotted it up with a rubber band

What is meaner than the Green Eyed Monster? I’ll tell you …

A Clique of Green Eyed Monsters.

As I mentioned in my last post, The Green Eyed Monster is really quite clever. You won’t even know the monster is there until it’s already snatched up a soul or two.

Both Mom and Mrs. Smith were unaware that it was in the classroom. Come to think of it, I don’t think anyone sensed its presence but me, and by then it was too late.

Mom had just walked to the table beside Mrs. Smith’s desk to set the cupcake tray down when I sensed a disturbing change in the atmosphere.

The boys were unusually silent as they waited for their cupcakes. But three girls–Darla and Becca and Patty–who sat on the front rows opposite me, leaned in to each other and began to whisper. They turned their heads towards the table where Mom and Mrs. Smith were. And one by one, their heads moved back to the front, like mechanical robots, and the three of them glared … at me.

The air around me felt repulsive and heavy — like lumpy, clotted gravy — so thick that it could smother the life out of my Grandmother’s luscious morning biscuits. Afraid to breathe, I shifted in my seat and attempted a slight smile at the three of them. Becca looked at Darla and rolled her eyes. No one smiled back.

Bewildered, I bent down towards the floor, pretending to pull up my socks while risking a quick glance up at Darla. She’d been nice to me on the playground that morning … we had even climbed the monkey bars together. Her eyes met mine for a brief second and then moved back to Becca, who scowled at me and nudged Patty.

I felt sick. Sick and guilty and afraid to swallow for fear of choking on the sour air. Try as I might I simply couldn’t think of anything I had done wrong. The only thing different about today was that it was my mom’s turn to act as Grade Mother and …

Then it hit me.

I looked at the three girls again as their eyes locked on mine and then back to Mom. Then back to me. I could feel their resentment as clearly as if they had all crawled inside my stomach and knotted it up with a rubber band.

The Green-Eyed Monster had claimed them.

Daddy once told me that you could always tell what people were thinking if you studied their eyes. There was no doubt in my mind what Becca, Darla, and Patty were thinking.

They didn’t like me. And the reason they didn’t like me had something to do with mom. In the weeks, months, and even years that followed, I continued to worry over what it was about mom that bothered them so much.

Today, of course, I know the answer … she was beautiful. Mom had unknowingly set me apart from everyone else. She’d made me special … and that was something Becca, Darla, and Patty could not tolerate … especially after the Green-Eyed-Monster had clouded their judgment and hardened their hearts.

When I returned home from school that day and looked straight into mom’s deep brown eyes, I could still feel The Green-Eyed Monster sneering at me.

Years later — just after I entered the 6th grade as a too tall adolescent– I forgot how beautiful my mother was. All that seemed to matter from then on were those same three girls, and the fact that I would never be one of them.

I knew the Green Eyed Monster’s name now … Jealousy.


Raised On Love – My Blue Ridge Memoir

“Raised On Love. Dreaming of Lightning Bugs.”

(Photo of girls provided by  Fotolia.)

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