Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Must be nice"

I really detest this grudging response to someone's good fortune. Whether you are relating your own or someone else's wonderful vacation, new job, retirement there is always some tiresome sad sack saying, "Must be nice". Three words that say a lot - they speak of envy, jealousy and an inability to rejoice in a friend's happiness. And what EXACTLY is the proper response to this? "I'm sorry?" "Yes, it is nice and, by the way, kiss my butt?"

Lest I sound insufferably smug, let me say that I completely understand the impulse. I am just as full of the seven deadly sins as the next girl - and envy is one of my worst. For example, I want to quit work so badly that the thoughts of retirement and what I could be doing if I didn't work occupy an unconscionable amount of my day. At my job, I see retired people and homemakers all day long. So that little brat that lives in my brain does sometimes (ok, often) stamp her little feet and whine "Why not ME???". But I don't let her stick her head out of my mouth and burst someone ELSE'S bubble of happiness.


  1. YEEEEAAAAAHHH!! Amen to that. Can't they HEAR themselves?

  2. Oh, the green monster of jealousy! I know I've said "must be nice!" but I hope it came out in the way I intended it -- literally. But I'll be much more careful:thanks for making me think about how these three words can sound.

  3. Miss Maggie, I do not believe for a second that you say that the way that I meant. You have given too many clues about your mother and how you were raised for me to contemplate that. I'm guessing that your way comes across like "Good for you" - the way I'm talking about is green with envy and on the edge of malicious - "You don't deserve THAT".