Friday, February 17, 2012

That Grass is Brown

Someone reminded me last week that I needed to “let go of everything that I thought I knew.” I am not smart enough to know what this means, but I think it has something to do with not being so hell bent on living in some ideal universe that doesn’t even exist.

Have you ever realized that we spend most of our time judging? Not necessarily judging others, but judging whether our relationships, our jobs, our running, our eating, our houses, our flabby asses are good enough or what they are “supposed to be”?

I don’t even know what “supposed to be” is. Except that it is some far off ideal that probably doesn’t exist, so why torture ourselves?

I remember being in the ninth grade. I had a best friend, let’s call her Labia (her name began with an “L”, but in the spirit of confidentiality, we’ll go with Labia).  We lived overseas at the time. Labia’s parents were divorced, but I still thought she had it all.

Labia’s dad was a famous dude living in Beverly Hills. Labia lived in Europe with her mother, and her step father. Over Christmas and Spring breaks Labia would occupy a first class seat on United to see her dad and, from there, they would take lavish trips on yachts and to exotic spots like the Cayman Islands. All the while I stayed home and doused myself in Love’s Baby Soft while listening to the Police on my cassette player and writing in my diary.

P1110989

This is my actual journal from ninth grade.
You would shit a brick of I read some of this stuff to you.
And, yes I do read on the steps.

Labia would come back from these trips with new hairstyles, gorgeous clothes and a tan. She lived in the penthouse of a 25 story apartment building overlooking the city. Her stepfather was a huge executive, and her family bled money. Labia was fluent in three languages. She was skinny, funny and athletic.

Bottom line: I thought Labia’s was the life I wanted. That is, until I lived it for a few days.

Once I had the chance to spend a long weekend with Labia’s family. Major letdown. Labia had to constantly watch her younger brother. There was no privacy. The home felt chaotic. People argued. I felt out of place. Their toothpaste was weird. Everyone talked while I was trying to watch “Dynasty” (major pet peeve – if we ever hang out, do not talk while I’m trying to watch one of my shows). I wanted to go home. Clearly, this lifestyle worked for Labia and her family and they were happy. It just didn’t jive with me.

Even at the ripe age of fifteen I realized that the grass was not greener. In fact, the lawn next door might be full of dog crap. All of the trips, money, and glamour really amounted to nothing when it came down to it. I liked my family – how we related to one another, the fact that a trip anywhere on an airplane was a big deal, the fact that we ate a home-cooked dinner together every night on the back porch. Things were simpler at my home than at Labia’s. I had once thought that was a disadvantage and not good enough. I quickly learned it was exactly what I needed.

001

Me and my dad hanging out. Me = 14 years old. Dad = bald.

Was there ever a time you found out the grass was NOT greener?

SUAR

32 comments:

  1. I think this is a life long lesson. Each time we realize that grass isn't so great we find another lawn to envy.

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  2. Sometimes its so hard to "like" your life. But when you stop and compare to other people whether they be friends/co-workers/strangers you realize that you don't have it so damn bad after all.
    My family has been going through some very rough times since last October and each month seems to be bring new "challenges", worries, and angst, but when I hear what some of my other friends are going through I'm SO glad not to be in their shoes.

    Love the life you have, love the one you're with, own it and make it better if you can.

    JessicaH

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  3. Labia sounds like she would be from another country. Perfect name and if I ever get divorced (AGAIN) and re-married to a wealthy European woman (who shaves her arm-pits and legs) then I am going to have a kid with her and name that child Labia (boy or girl....kinda like Pat.)

    Life is never greener on the other side. All grass turns brown and dies unless you fertilize it and take care of it. Hopping the fence and then not doing anything about that grass will lead you down a sour path.

    Where are those f'n blonde oreos? Oh I don't have any but I have a fistful of taco doritos instead.....yes Nabisco the grass is not always greener so stop making these shitty flavors and stick to what got you here and don't worry America will still eat the crap.

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  4. I love my life...and have never wanted anything but my own family with all our quirks and cracks.

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  5. Wait wait wait... the grass ISN'T greener over there?

    Crap.

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  6. Love's Baby Soft! That stuff was the bomb and totally made you cool... And a woman. Lol. There are so many variations of this but: the grass may be greener on the other side but at least you don't have to mow it!

    I personally work to be present in my now and happy with what I have. Just because someone got a bigger piece of cake than I did, they didn't take MY cake. BUT it seems like I always have to check that, it's so easy to stare at someone else's grass and forget to water your own.

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  7. Love's Baby Soft! That stuff was the bomb and totally made you cool... And a woman. Lol. There are so many variations of this but: the grass may be greener on the other side but at least you don't have to mow it!

    I personally work to be present in my now and happy with what I have. Just because someone got a bigger piece of cake than I did, they didn't take MY cake. BUT it seems like I always have to check that, it's so easy to stare at someone else's grass and forget to water your own.

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  8. So you tried the Labia and didn't like it? Too bad, I've noticed that sometimes it can be greener, but I'll still enjoy my brown better!

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  9. I see you had to wear the four-stripe knock-off Adidas shoes like I did. The first pair of name-brand shoes I got were ugly Nikes from JC Penney. I think the grass was greener for the girls who always got the name-brand shoes.

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  10. I love this! That's why I sometimes watch "Real Housewives" because I like to remind myself that money is definitely not the route to happiness. I am blessed with my life, happy marriage, healthy kids and a body that can run. What could be better?

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  11. At my friend's wedding the minister said, "The grass is not greener on the other side, it is greener where it is watered." I thought that was great and I remember that when something seems better to me.

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  12. This is *SOOOO* coming at the perfect time!!!

    I just met a friend for lunch this week. About 6 years ago, this beautiful young lady used to work for me at a previous job. A newlt wed at the time. She is nearly 10 years younger than me and she is a serious runner.

    Cut to now: She is a mom now and she has decided to make motherhood her career and she lives in the same town as me... In a neighborhood I can't afford to live in... Driving a car I cant' afford.... And she still runs 8-10 miles a day!

    How the heck did she lap me like that?! I used to be HER BOSS and how she is living this superstar life!

    What did she do right and what the HECK did I do wrong?! LOL! Ah, well, I still love her and I truly hope her life is as wonferful as it seems. I have *no* idea how I inpsire her, but she swears I do, so....

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  13. I am like Nora (mamarunsbarefoot) . . . for me I have to constantly re-learn that lesson for different areas of my life.

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  14. I am a huge fat failure at being able to let go of what I believe to be "the perfect life". I always see everyone else's grass as greener and I never stop to water my own.
    Sadly I am not 15 where it might be excusable..but 42...(ugg I only turned 42 a few days ago and this is the first time I had to own it)...I guess it isn't too late to learn...

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  15. And you can still buy Baby Love Soft on eBay! Ah! The good life!

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  16. Baby Soft- I remember one year I received a gift box of the stuff. Thought it was the best present, ever.

    The grass is never greener, we all have problems/issues/conflicts/shit we gotta workout. And anyone who thinks the grass is greener probably hasn't hopped the fence to find out.

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  17. Oh man.....why is that I always want to lead with a joke? Is this my intelligence or my avoidance?

    I'll simply say - you rock

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  18. It's amazing how easy it is to compare ourselves to others, and fall into a pattern of judgment or jealousy... I have to remind myself often to just worry about ME and making the most of what I am/have/do.

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  20. i used to wonder why none of my classmates had to get up a 6am to milk the cows, on their days off from school - help there Dad work his carpentry job and do mechanic work on the family vehicles. The grass was ALWAYS greener at all the other houses... But on the bright side I'm not afraid of hard work or getting my hands dirty, I'm fairly handy and independent...so it all worked out. Nowadays - I pretty much live a fantasy life...awesome kid, great job, wonderful bf & friends & live in paradise. maybe I paid my dues...

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  21. I had a lot of wealthy classmates going to catholic school in Vegas, and felt like a loser that my parents didn't own a casino and weren't in the mafia! When we got older, I realized that even the rich kids had insecurities and family problems, such as their fathers being indicted, etc....

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  22. In a perfect Facebook world not only is the grass greener but it smells fresher too. I've reminded a few bummed out friends that "Fakebook" is only going to show the best pictures and have the happiest posts. When you know someones spouse is verbally abusive but you see posts that state the complete opposite you just count your blessings and move on. Where are the pictures of people just waking up and posts about blisters, chaffing, and hitting the wall?

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  23. I don't envy others' lives so much as I sometimes wish I could live my life somewhere else. Like, take the family to Germany, open a business, and enjoy 8 weeks of mandated vacation every year!

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  24. My grass is green enough I guess. I use spray paint to cover the spots where someone tried to pee on my lawn. Plus- you can always get a new gardner.

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  25. You do know what a labia is on a woman, right?

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  26. You only have YOUR life to live! Don't waste it wishing it were someone else's life - because that isn't going to happen. On the other hand you CAN improve, change or modify YOUR life.

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  27. I think we've all been there in life...
    Thankfully, when you wake up and realize YOUR OWN life is the best, it is then you find true happiness.

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  28. So true that the grass isn't always greener. Thanks for the reminder.

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  29. Elizabeth...uh, yeah. 8th grade health

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  30. Grass is not greener? Hah! You must not be standing on my side then. :) Just kidding.

    I love the life I currently have.
    Simple. Honest. Full of runs. Love. Wouldn't trade it.

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  31. My hens think the grass in greener in the school yard next door - and they're right.

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  32. If we all stood around and threw our problems in a pile, most of us would surely take our own back!

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