Posted by: lolalately | October 25, 2012

Perfect, just perfect

As I looked around the house this morning, my eyes fell upon a kitchen sink full of yesterday’s dishes, a kitchen counter littered with this week’s mail, an assortment of magazines, the local grocery ads, tomato’s that still hadn’t made it out of the plastic produce bag and into the fruit and veg basket, one bottle of Elmer’s School Glue, and a small half decorated pumpkin. The dining room table didn’t look any better; there’s the box of boring white snowman ornaments I plan to “frost” with Epsom salts, my husband’s stack of magazines that arrived this week (he must get a dozen a month), two pair of his Levi’s folded and hanging off one of the dining room chairs, and the Vegan cookbook a friend gave me two days ago.

Entering the living room I’m greeted by a basket of laundry that could have been folded yesterday. And then there’s that bag of bra’s on the coffee table that I’ve been meaning to donate to “Free The Girls”, but haven’t quite gotten around to. And don’t even get me started on the end table between the sofa and my husband’s favorite chair. More of the same.

The point of all this revelation? That I’m decidedly NOT Susie Homemaker. Especially when my husband is out of town, as he is through Saturday. In fact, most of the time when he’s gone, the house looks like a hurricane whipped through and turned the entire place upside down. Pretty much like the sight that greeted me this morning.

By the time my husband waltzes in, the house will at least be tidy, if not spotless. The laundry will be folded and put in its rightful place. The sinks will be empty, but perhaps not scrubbed sparkly white,ย  the kitchen counter, coffee, and end tables will be cleared of excess reading material and whatnot, and I will be wearing something other than the rather ratty, old comfies I pulled on the day he left and haven’t yet managed to drag myself out of.

The truth is, I spent years trying to be superwoman; the perfect mix of whore in the bedroom, master chef in the kitchen, and the perfect immitation of susie homemaker in the rest of the house. It took everything out of me, and none of it was appreciated much less rewarded. And it didn’t garner me the perfect marriage either. In fact, it was often the topic of choice during my many years of therapy

Before I retired, I worked a full-time (nearly 70 hours a week) job in corporate America on top of my quest for all this perfection. It didn’t matter that my paycheck filled the fridge and pantry with extravagent goodies or dinners out, it didn’t matter that I dropped everything to drive my husband to and from the airport regardless of the time of day … or night. It didn’t matter that he never had to pack his own suitcase, or take his uniforms to the cleaners … superwife can fit it into her schedule! Somewhere along the path I had developed the notion that if I kept a perfect house, cooked perfect meals, mixed a perfect Martini, and was the perfect always-willing sex partner, my husband would be appreciative, loving and faithful. Not so.

No matter how hard I tried to keep all the balls in the air, inevitably one would drop and I’d feel like a failure, wracked with guilt. If we had to dine out more than once I week because I got home from the office late and dinner wasn’t ready to serve, I’d feel guilty. If my husband didn’t have his favorite shirts to wear on a trip, I’d feel guilty. If I was too tired for sex, I’d feel guilty. And while I was feeling all that guilt, my husband was happily living his life, flying all over hell’s half acre, not a care in the world. It wasn’t that he demanded all that perfection, I was the one demanding it of myself because I’d truly convinced myself that the perfect woman would never suffer the pain and indignity of being lied to or cheated on or used.

When at last I realized that no matter how perfect I tried to be I would never attain perfection, and that in fact perfection is an illusion, I also realized that my idea of the “perfect marriage” was terribly skewed. Marriages aren’t perfect because people aren’t perfect. We are all flawed human beings. That’s not an excuse for being an asshole, it’s just a statement of fact. There is no such thing as perfect.

He will never be the husband I dreamed of, and I’m not going to be the wife I imagined I had to be. And the house certainly isn’t going to be on the cover of House Beautiful magazine. And ya know what? I no longer give a flaming, flying fuck. In fact, I’m going to spend the rest of the day right here on the sofa, feet propped up, wearing my comfies, drinking coffee, and probably surfing the web. The perfect day if you ask me.

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Responses

  1. I am in love with this post, especially the last paragraph!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you for that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I love this. It’s my life in a nut shell. My therapist said it means I’m co-dependent.


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