No, not that kind of jealousy, when you hate the new girlfriend of an ex, no. Something far odder and more hateful.
There are some people I have encountered in my time, who, actually, I barely know. There was a girl at orchestra – pretty, popular, well-dressed, blonde, and despite being the year below me she always seemed so much older and wiser. All I can say in my favour (or could) was that I was probably cleverer than her, and a better musician; but I’ve just discovered she’s gone on to Oxford – I’ve now got nothing on her.
Another girl, from college: leggy, olive skin, beautiful; clearly didn’t have the biggest wardrobe but damn well knew how to use it, went on to do PPE at Oxford and meanwhile got the guys I was always interested in.
All people who have everything I’ve got; and more, and there’s no obvious reason for it. I know I’m bright enough and passably good-looking enough that I could be one of those girls in another world but somehow they have this indefinable thing which I know I’ll never really get, let alone possess.
Is it just me or does everyone go in for irrational dislike of too-similar people? Because I don’t dislike the girls who are massively prettier and cooler and cleverer and better than me; only the girls who I could very nearly be. Why is that?
I just wish I didn’t. It’s not about my own lack of self-esteem, that’s not it at all – but I don’t really know what this is about.