If You Have to Ask, You Can’t Afford It

I’m attracted to beautiful people.

Aren’t we all?

I heard they did a study with very young children to prove that even in our innocence, humans are attracted to aesthetically pleasing people.

All my friends are beautiful, or at least their faces have become so familiar to me that I’ve grown to believe they are beautiful. But there are some people whom I once believed beautiful who’ve become decidedly less so the more I’ve gotten to know them.

A close friend of mine, who just so happens to be beautiful inside and out, has a frenemy who tries to emulate her at every turn. When she first told me about this, I thought, Well, that’s kind of flattering, isn’t it?

Except, over the years it’s become more like her own personal version of Single White Female. What was once “flattering” has become denuded as plain old “jealousy.” And I just can’t imagine what that must be like – for either of them.

I’m not exactly a plain Jane myself, but with all the full-fledged beauties I’ve had in my life I’ve never felt even the niggle of jealousy toward them, and I’m genuinely shocked whenever a friend quietly confides, “Well, I wish I had your…” or an acquaintance is blatantly envious of something I’d gladly share or surrender. Still I think this happens to everyone to some degree, doesn’t it?

It’s not so much that I’m incredibly self-assured as it is that I think I’ve always been instinctively aware that every gift has its price. My friend’s “frenemy,” for instance.

Think about it. If you’re born to or create a great deal of wealth, do you ever wonder if someone loves you for you or your money? If you’re powerful, is someone in your life for your company or for what you can do for them? If you’re beautiful on the outside, will you still be loved for your heart and mind?

And do any of these gifts come without a debt to be paid: people who depend upon you for their livelihood, a responsibility to those who are powerless, unwanted attention from strangers and sometimes people you consider your friends?

No, the green-eyed monster isn’t my sin. I’m not sure which is. But I count myself fortunate to have enough not to envy and not so much that I’m envied by all.

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