Sunday, September 2, 2007

Imperfection Becomes Us

I have a friend who has me laughing so hard without even trying that if there was a contest for the Funniest Person in America she'd win hands-down. I can ALWAYS count on her to have a funny anecdote or personal incident to cheer me up on even the darkest days. Friday was no exception - not that I was having a dark day, just that she had one of the funniest and most poignant stories I've heard to date.

Like me, she has started a new job fairly recently and was wearing a beautiful outfit for a big meeting she had early in the morning. Mid-afternoon, she went into the ladies room only to discover that her colorful and striped underwear was showing clearly through her skirt. This had not been the case when she checked herself out in the mirror at home that morning. She even asked a stranger in the bathroom to check, hoping it was just her own self-conscious perception. the stranger replied, "I can definitely see it." Even out in the hallway, where the light was a little less harsh, the underwear was completely visible. After being in the cafeteria with hundreds of people, meeting a whole new project team, her attempt at perfection provided a perfectly beautiful and entertaining lesson - perfection is highly over-rated.

In starting a new job, a new relationship, a new hobby, we are always putting our best foot forward early on, seeking to be perfection to our potential new mate, our new bosses, to our new co-workers, even to our fellow commuters. Despite my best attempts at perfection, I never quite get there, and I'm thankful for that. It's just when I think I've thought of every last deal that there's a total wrench thrown into the works. And the wrenches are what make the journey enjoyable, memorable, and bond us to people around us. There is no quality more flattering than being able to have a sense of humor about ourselves, and then have the humility to share that humor with others.

So while my dear friend may feel she fell short of her best attempt at perfection, I think that imperfection was what makes her uniquely and wonderfully her. We'd have a much easier time being perfectly happy if we could just take our imperfections in stride.

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