Years ago, the concept of absolute perfection was so far from our grasp, that it made the jump into science fiction and horror on the big screen … if you aren’t old, that is what we used to call the movies. Nevertheless, that perfection looked at us from stunning silhouetted beauties, muscles from Brussels and homes that did everything but live for you. What a world we thought was awaiting us, as we peeled back the thin tin foil on our new fangled TV dinner, wondering why there weren’t any lumps in the “real” potatoes.
Perfection you see used to be that small silver area where we had hopes and dreams, thinking maybe someday we will have done something or been worthy enough to sit on that shelf, while everyone else can applaud. Although the time allotted is brief, afterwards we feel as if we can go on to bigger and better things, having been perfect at least once. It’s an incentive program with great returns actually. However, what happens when perfection is the norm and anything less is trashed before it ever hits a shelf? In case you are wondering, I’m talking about life in this very overworked New York minute.
Life wants success, drive and ambition, however, the incentive of getting there has changed from dangling a cheap carrot to something now costly and 24 karat, something very few of us can attain. If you don’t look the part of perfection, have your skills in line or live the ideal life, you don’t fit into the scheme of things and never get a chance to show what you can do. In short, unless you have figured out how to bitch slap Stepford men and woman into stopping for a reality check, you might as well hit the concession stand.
How does anyone learn, experience or develop without the ups and downs, or the flaws and failures that were once built into life? Satisfaction comes from knowing you did it right, knowing you tried your best, with faith that the third place purple ribbon will be a first place blue the next time. We may not have been the best, but back in the day, we were still a human race wanting to make life better for not just ourselves, but others as well. So what happened? Why do we all have to be perfect before we even try? Hasn’t anyone noticed the deadly failure rate in people? Emotionally, physically and spiritually people are just giving up, walking away and taking frustration out on one another… and that makes for a perfect storm if you ask me.
I am not perfect by any means; I’ve got scars from business, love, hate, friends, family and more! However, I see them as what has brought me to the place in life where I am, and they are dots on my map as I move forward, reminding me, welcoming me and warning me, as I hope to attain something close to perfection each day. I also like lumps in my mashed potatoes, reminds me they are real and fresh, and someone, if not me, has made them with love, which after all is the perfect way to serve a meal. Flawless may be unique and appreciated in a moment, but lumps, bumps and occasional thuds get the best attention, the warmest hugs and the funniest giggles, so you won’t have to look far to figure out where I prefer to be.
The other day, I used a USB turntable to record some vinyl into MP3 files (not bad for old chick!) Once they were done, I played them back, suddenly returning to the journey my soul had taken once with 8 track tapes, phone booths, silly putty and comic books, televisions with 3 channels and root beer floats and I liked it. It wasn’t the songs themselves that really made the journey complete, it was the recorded sound of the needle as it played in each groove, offering a slight kiss of static into the arrangement, sneaking past the perfect processor of my laptop. The songs weren’t perfect, but it was my life…which, for the record hasn’t ever been either. Needless to say, when a well meaning friend offered to replace my work with some fresh MP3 recordings that were indeed worthy of the Grammy Awards, I passed.
I hope today you find a lump in your potatoes, a peanut not yet ground in the peanut butter or one of those great oranges with additional slices inside. Maybe if you are lucky, you’ll read a newspaper and find one side of it blank or the traffic lights will blink out of whack when you drive past. Regardless what it is, I hope imperfection finds you today and you smile, laugh at yourself or the moment and then share it with someone. Life is serious, but it doesn’t mean we have to take it seriously – so enjoy that hole in your sock, broken make-up brush or occasional blemish, because you will know you lived today!