BLT will be here in less than 24 hours. I am obsessing. I knew I would... It's what I do when I'm nervous. Tonight I'm focused on perfection, my constant and unrealistic search for that one thing that is missing... that "thing" that will make _____ (fill in the blank) just perfect!!
I know I can't have it, I can't give it, I can't expect it from others. My brain knows this... but there is part of me, something that is an integral part of who I am that craves perfection. I've nearly achieved it - at least from the outside looking in, and it made me miserable. I KNOW this. So why, in the darkest hour of night do I list off all the ways I'm imperfect? Why do I keep struggling back and forth over:
The perfect body that has always eluded me. Too tall, to fat, too many stretch marks, skin too fair... blah blah blah, yada yada yada...
The perfect marriage who's facade cracked like old plaster and showed the ugly foundation underneath for the whole world to see. How can I do better? How do I avoid the pitfalls that helped break down my marriage? How do I really let this amazing man see the whole me? I'm so afraid that if I do he'll be disappointed. What happens when he finds out my fingers and feet swell while I sleep if I ate too much sodium and I wake up with sausages? What will he think when he realizes I am ridiculously anal retentive about color coding my closet and the direction in which I fold my towels? What if he hates the way I cook lasagna? He deserves perfection, this sweet, funny, sensitive man who has fallen in love with me. And I know I'm not perfect...
Being the perfect mother, something no woman can achieve in this life time, and yet I feel guilt when I fail. And I fail often, in a million little ways, in a few big ones.
The perfect home, another illusion that made me feel trapped and suffocated under the responsibility and weight of the financial implications. It was 450 thousand dollars worth of worry and a never ending cycle of cleaning and maintenance. I don't want it back. I DON'T EVER want it back. So why do I struggle so much with the idea of whether or not my house is good enough, clean enough, comfortable enough for guests? Did I choose the right shade of green for the kitchen? Why am I ashamed of my used furniture and my hand me down bed linens? Who really cares? Nobody but me... and still, if someone offered me that big, sad, lonely house back in exchange for my blue cottage I would laugh them out the door. So why do I obsess like I do?
The perfect job. I love my job. I can actually say that - I really enjoy it. But it's very "blue collar", and not even remotely glamorous. I come home dirty, sweaty, tired, and my once "perfect" nails are destroyed. My hands are getting dry, I wear jeans and tennis shoes and a dirty flannel shirt... no corporate ladder, no designer suits, no power lunches, no influential friends. Will people think less of me for what I do for a living? Should I care, no! And yet, there is this twinge of embarrassment when I tell people what I do for a living.
Being the perfect girl friend. I try, more than anything to treat BLT the way I want to be treated. To be honest at all times, to not close myself off so that I can be open to his love and affection. Even then, I know I'm not perfect and that breaks my heart in a way. He's moving here to be with me, to have a shot at a life together, and I am a flawed creature. I WANT to do better, be better, be more loving and accepting...but I struggle with my own inner personal demons. There is a part of that goes so far as to say, "if I really love him, REALLY and truly, then I should encourage him to find someone better. Someone without so much baggage. Someone as good as he is." but being flawed and somewhat selfish I can't get myself to do it. I want him too much, I need him to keep me grounded and make me feel safe. I like the person I am when I'm with him, I like the person I see in his eyes.
And so, at nearly midnight the day before BLT arrives I'm repainting the toe nail I scratched up today. I've cleaned my room, changed my sheets, and finished painting the kitchen. We baked him his favorite pie to have for dinner the first night. I made sure his favorite beer is in the fridge. I made room in the closet and the bathroom vanity.
Now I wait... hoping this house, this life I offer, this woman is perfect enough...