Schadenfreude

1 05 2010

I was raised Catholic. I well remember having to think up creative lies for the weekly confessional – at  8, I had so little to confess I would struggle for hours beforehand to think of something bad I’d done that was worthy of grovelling before a priest (to save shocking God Himself, who would obviously be totally disgusted if He had to deal with me). I’d mumble something like “I was mean to my sister” or “I stole cookies”.   Even back then I doubted the ability of three Hail Mary’s to stop me from stealing them. I’m still stealing cookies, but since I live alone it doesn’t seem so evil anymore.

I’m sure it was this that got me started in fiction.

But I still have the guilt thing going on – the feeling that there should be something to confess, no matter how small, as I am such a bad bad girl.

Now I’m not denying the bad bad part. Heck, a girl’s gotta have a little fun, doesn’t she?

But now I am battling with the distinct urge to wish badness on another being, and I can’t help but think this might be a confession worthy failing, if I went to church these days.  You see my ex is getting married.

Yeah yeah, I should be happy for him and his finding true love yadda yadda and I’m delighted he has the strength to take on another relationship after ours, which destroyed me so badly I am still pulling the feathers out of my teeth and putting anyone who wants a relationship through the seven layers of hell just to hang in with me.

Yeah, yeah, I’m ecstatic that he remains healthy and wealthy while I fall apart with MS and live on disability…okay, I’m lying about that.

And I keep telling myself that I could wish him less harm if I liked his new bride but I’m lying there, too, since it is much easier to imagine him getting married to someone who I think is totally wrong for him and who I will have not the slightest urge to spend time with.

It’s his life, etc., etc.  But am I a bad woman to hope for just a teensy weensy earthquake in California the day they get married? No deaths, no great injuries, just a screw up…

You need to understand our past.  For our wedding, one aunt died, an uncle had a stroke, my father was taken to the hospital at the same time as the photographer arrived, I got gastroenteritis that made me throw up our entire wedding night, one of the ushers broke a hand, there was unprecedented hail and a huge traffic jam, my wisdom tooth got infected and caused squirrel cheeks, my brother’s girlfriend was so traumatized by setting off alarms in the house next door that she was hospitalized, the female guests got into fistfights in the girl’s washroom, and our shower broke through the ceiling of our kitchen, sending rivulets onto the usher-with-the-broken-hand’s Stetson. And then we flew across the Atlantic to take up our new home in London, UK, and got ripped off and left on the outskirts to walk home.

The whole thing wasn’t filled with good omens.

Back when we’d been married for 10 years and I was thinking of ways to save the dying marriage, I offered to restate our vows.  My mother told me no – “We don’t have enough relatives left!”

She was right. Many of them were booking extended holidays far away just on the hint that this might happen.

So in the back of my heart, I am dreading hearing about his picture perfect marriage to this woman who has no children so who has her girlish (a.k.a. non-stretched) figure, who appears wealthy and connected.  I just want a teensy twisted ankle, perhaps some tectonic plate rumbling, maybe a huge mudslide that sucks the whole wedding party into it….um…sorry.

I want some schadenfreude – that sinful pleasure you have when you hear of an enemies’ small misfortune.  Just enough to warm the cockles of my evil evil heart.

Of course, if anything bad does happen, I’ll be awash in guilt the rest of my days.  And three Hail Mary’s won’t help there, either.

Phooey.  I think I’ll just go steal another cookie.

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