The American Heritage Dictionary (4th edition, 2000) tells us that to covet means "to feel blameworthy desire for that which is another’s; to wish for longingly." It also means "to feel immoderate desire for that which is another’s."
Being Christian, the Ten Commandments are part of my faith tradition, but I get a big break, because Jesus' sacrifice saves me from being judged by how perfectly I avoid the big ten "Thou shalt nots." Still, I've tried. And failed. I'd say I have committed a good 90% of them, either in body or spirit. But the one, the ONE that I would have said I'd avoided all these years, was #10: Thou shalt not covet . . .
I don't know quite how I avoided it; it seems to me to be one of the tougher ones for most people. But I observed some years ago that if I were likely to covet anything, it would be babies. I've had nine miscarriages. I have heard, from other people with infertility problems, how much they coveted babies. How much they resented going to baby showers, Christenings, and the like, how bad they felt at such gatherings. I sympathized, but somehow (only by God's grace, I'm sure), I never felt that way. I looked at it differently. Every new birth, every new announcement of a pregnancy, just reassured me that God was still in the business of giving out babies. And that could only be good news for me. As I told someone years ago, someone who was almost embarrassed to tell me about her pregnancy, "If your getting a baby meant that I didn't get one, I'd fight you for it. But that's not how it works! Your pregnancy doesn't diminish me or my hope in any way. I am nothing but happy for your happiness!" All true. So I thought since I'd been able to resist covetousness in that arena, I was home free.
But now, dear readers, it has happened. I have fallen into the sin of covetousness. It started earlier this summer, as WTF Disease closed its grip on me, and parked my ass on the couch in front of the TV more than any middle-aged woman's ass should ever be parked. It went a little something like this:
Would you look at that? Jessica Simpson, laughing on the red carpet. Wish I felt like laughing on the red carpet. Or any color carpet. Bet her throat doesn't hurt; bet she can swallow without thinking twice about it . . .
COPS? Wow, wish I felt like that guy . . . I'd like to run around the trailer park shirtless, drunk, raising hell . . . you gotta feel pretty good to cause that much trouble . . .
President of Iran? He looks like he doesn't have diarrhea . . .
Testosterone? Wish I felt like injecting testosterone and riding a bike . . . or even one or the other . . .
You get the gist. But lately, it's gotten even more heinous. Not only do I wish I were these other people . . . I wish I had other people's illnesses . . .
You pee so much you need a map to tell you where the bathrooms are? At least you can still travel . . . trade ya . . .
I'd take those pushpins or ants inside my legs when I'm trying to sleep . . . bet you can walk on those legs just fine . . .
Erectile dysfunction? I'd take that. Take a pill and end up watching the sunset from a meadow in a clawfoot tub. I could live with that . . .
Dang, those Valtrex-poppin' herpes sufferers have more fun than anybody! Look at the energy level of those suckers!
*Sigh*. I'm trying to do better. Thanks for hearing my confession. Anything you wanna confess?