(I didn't have problems reading without logging in, but if necessary, use BugMeNot)
We all have them, those close friends, colleagues, casual acquaintances or complete strangers whose lives and careers exist -- it seems to us -- solely as a rebuke to our own. We respect them, admire them from afar, maybe even love them -- but with a twinge of . . . what exactly? Jealousy? Envy? White-knuckled rage? They're the people who are constantly reminding us that we'll never quite measure up. They're the valedictorians to our salutatorians, the bestsellers to our mid-listers, the mid-listers to our never-published, the homecoming queens to our also-rans. They seem to have sprung fully formed from our ugliest competitive streaks, our egos at their most fragile, our deepest self-loathing. They are our own squandered potential, fully realized.
I'm not wild about her portmanteau word -- idolspize -- but the article really resonated for me, especially in regard to fandom, which seems to bring out these feelings in me like nothing else in my life. At least now I know it's not just me.