Last week, I was on a roll with some Way Back When… stories – Mr. Hopper, my wonderful elementary school principal, who put my spirit ahead of his rules, a first-hand account of bullying that happened so long ago, and my infamous, yet short-lived singing career that taught me that I could run long distances when I needed to!
So, now comes the story of Patty Dean and the Go-Go Boots. A story of ugly jealousy.
Patti Dean was a friend of mine who lived two streets over from me. As I look back on our friendship, I think I was always wishing that I was more like Patti Dean. She was prettier, had more and much cooler clothes, she had a mom and a dad, she lived in a bigger house etc. I definitely was jealous of her.
One day, Patti Dean came over to my house and she was wearing brand spankin’ new, white, Go-Go boots. You know the ones that had the tassels going down the back? These boots were the latest fashion and were out-of-this-world expensive! Well, that was it for me. Insane jealousy overtook me and my chosen recourse was to start telling lies about her.
For the next couple of days, I roamed the neighbourhood, telling all my friends that she had kissed Jimmy Swak ON THE MOUTH, behind the old red barn, AND, she had stolen the Go-Go boots from Jimmy Swack’s sister. I don’t know what got over me but I was out to destroy. It was all quite ugly, now that I think about it. Not one of my better moments.
Two days after the onslaught of my malicious words, Patti Dean’s mother showed up at our front door. She started to tell my mother about my behavior and I knew I was in BIG trouble. My next door neighbours had built a big playhouse in their backyard, which they used for rearing rabbits. I decided that this warren might be a good place to hide and ride out the storm.
What I didn’t know at the time was that I was extremely allergic to rabbits. Ten minutes into my escape plan, I couldn’t breathe properly, my skin was all blotchy with red bumps, I was itching and scratching everywhere and my eyes were so puffy that I could barely see. I stumbled home, burst into our living room and broke into tears.
Mrs. Dean was a nurse and she recognized the symptoms so she threw me into the back seat of her car and off we went, (yet again) to the North York General Hospital’s emergency room.
When I returned home from that adventure, there was no peace for the guilty. My mother was NOT impressed! She also threw me in the back seat of her car and off we went to the Dean’s house, where I had to to apologize to Mrs. Dean and to Patti for what I had done. But that’s not all. With my red skin blotches all over my body, I had to walk from house to house in the neighbourhood and fess up to the lies that I had told about Patti and her Go-Go boots.
It was a very humbling experience.
Jealousy is ugly. It really binds a person.
English poet, John Dryden, said that “Jealousy is the jaundice of the soul.” An apt description.