Go ahead. Be perfect. But count me out!
Sounds good, right?
If we’re gonna do it, we might as well do it right?
And by right.
I mean perfect.
A little-known secret. Actually secret would imply that it’s not known at all. And most of you know this.
So here’s a very poorly kept secret.
I am not a perfectionist.
I do not aspire to perfectionism.
And quite honestly, I’m annoyed by those who are; by those who do.
I miss notes.
I paint outside of the lines.
I don’t use a paper cutter when I’m trimming pictures to fit the frame.
I don’t even use scissors. I just jam it in there till it fits.
And eventually it does. You know, fit.
Take a deep breath. It’s OK.
Perfect is paralyzing.
I can’t do it perfectly.
So I can’t do it at all.
And life is messy. Messy with cancer and divorce and poverty and kids who are in trouble and parents who are in trouble and sometimes, sometimes, you just gotta do it.
My friend’s husband has cancer. I feel helpless. You know, because—I am—actually quite helpless.
But then it comes to me.
We can feed my friend. And her kids. And her husband on the days that he’s hungry.
I can do food.
Which is funny because of all my gifts (and you know there are so many!), food is not one of them.
So now you know two poorly kept secrets. I’m not a perfectionist. And I’m not a good cook.
A few weeks ago my mom had gathered the ingredients to make chili, but the whole ‘there’s gonna be a blizzard’ thing came along and she headed south before we had a chance to eat it.
You really can’t mess up chili so I threw it all in the crock pot and invited two families over.
There were no tables set. I didn’t have enough bowls. I hadn’t vacuumed.
I tell them. My mom made the chili. It’s safe.
And then I grate the cheese.
And I notice this blue stuff. All mixed in with the freshly grated cheese.
And I realize that I’ve grated the blue plastic zipper thing into the cheese.
And then my friends come. And their kids eat.
I don’t understand. It has beans and meat and tomatoes and they still eat.
And I didn’t really plan on children who eat.
And I run out of chili.
Fill up your cup (if not your chili bowl) fun.
I type a quick email. I send it out. Let’s feed our friend.
And immediately I get responses.
And I smile. I’ve been married to one for almost 15 years.
I recognize the signs.
Let’s keep a list of what everyone’s making so we don’t all make the same thing.
Let’s use a website where we can input allergies and likes and dislikes and put in a calendar where people can sign up.
Where should we drop off? Let’s all coordinate to feed them at the same time. Make sure to ask people to include fruit.
A drop center? A call center? A ‘let’s work together to make this perfect’ center.
I’m half joking.
And my sweet, perfect friends who will read this, please know I love you for being perfect.
I just don’t do perfect.
I do cheese with blue plastic.
Not perfect, but really, really good.
And we have dates filled in for meals until the middle of February. And it won’t be perfect.
But the village showed up and there will be food.
This weekend I saw Silver Linings Playbook. And I left smiling.
Looking at Bradley Cooper for two hours will make you smile.
I’m not kidding.
But these people were messy. Mental illness, harsh language, affairs, broken marriages, physical abuse, messy.
But there was love.
And there was hope.
And they danced.
And it wasn’t perfect.
But it was good. Really, really good.
And his eyes are blue.
Really, really blue.
And I think he’s single.
And I think I might want to marry him someday. 🙂