• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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It’s a Wonder That You Still Know How to Breathe

What is perfectionism? A lie of the mind. OCD. Blinders. Obsession. Narcissism. Nit picking. Aspirational. When I was a child, if I made a mistake drawing a picture I would have to throw out the whole thing and start over. I couldn’t even handle erasure marks. I haven’t changed that much.

Are you a P?

9 Responses

  1. Yes. Very much so. I regret nothing.

  2. When I got an A, my father said I should get an A+. When I got an A++, my father said I should get an A+++. That created me as a P. I’m still running from it.

  3. After years of pursuing the big P, I have learned to be satisfied with TVBICD–most of the time… (The very best I can do)

  4. Not for myself. But I expect others to be perfect. Unless they support Rangers. Then I expect them to be complete cunts.

  5. Oh sure, goody two shoes perfect little me, growing up. I’ve mellowed over the years. I’ve come to realize that I prefer human imperfection; it’s a wellspring.

  6. To a degree. Only the gods are perfect (and that’s debateable) and so there should always be a minor imperfection to keep the universe from descending into chaos. That said, I think my least favorite phrase is, it’s good enough. No. Anything worthwhile should be better than good enough.

  7. “Are you a P?”

    No. I’m a PDG (“pretty damn good”). As does anyone who strives mightily to do as well as they possibly can, I set my sights high, but like to think I know when to close my eyes, when to avert my gaze.

    Yes, it bugs me to make a mistake. Bugs the heck out of me. If it is reasonably within my powers to correct the mistake, then I certainly shall. The key term there is “reasonably”. (Is that an adjective or an adverb? How is it I don’t know that? I think it is an adverb. It has that little dangly “ly” thing there at the end that, I’m given to understand, adverbs have. And I call myself a writer? Cor blimey, I don’t even know the names of the parts. Don’t let me into the surgery, even should you see me gowned and masked. No telling what I might slice off. And yes, I know there is a period somewhere above that any American editor would say is misplaced, but I will say I think they are wrong. Think about it.)

    Some few years ago, once the digital imaging revolution had got well underway, I scanned to computer all my choice negatives. You see, along with dabbling in the literary arts, I amused myself with still photography many years. Being hampered by restricted income and substance abuse (the two form a debilitating negative feedback loop), I hadn’t printed out very many of my images beyond the contact sheet stage. But there I was, pushing 50 years of age and sitting carelessly on some large part of my life’s work. So I scanned. Not everything, but an amount that turned out to be about 12,000 images. Took three years to do it (I also had a full-time day job, was launching a teenager out of his final years of high school, had returned to school myself for a while, and was smoking a lot of dope).

    As I started working up the scanned images in Photoshop, to make them into acceptable final images, I was faced with what in photofinishing is called “spotting”, (check out that comma, if you will) which is touching up the images to take care of dust motes, scratches, tiny pieces of lint, etc. I had scanned the images in at high resolution, so every flaw was evident. Early in the photofinishing project (which still goes on, and which I may not finish before I die, but hey, a man’s gotta have a hobby or he’ll be down at the pub, shooting pool and wasting all his money), I realized that for me to try to fix every flaw, painstakingly pixel by pixel, was nothing short of madness. I thought, “That is a striving after perfection, and perfection is in the realm of the gods, not of man.” I found some filtering and layering techniques I could use to help clear up many evident visual glitches (Photoshop is a wonderful tool), and I use them. I don’t fret overmuch. All is vanity, anyway, you know? And what is a photograph? While the nature of the technology is that a photograph is always of something, it is also a sign that blocks the way to which it points. It is a pattern of forms and colors arrayed in two-dimensions. And the photograph always lies. You might want to write that down, it’ll be on the final.

    When my son was but a lad, and we had something to do, like cleaning the house, I used to tell him, “There’s good, and there’s good enough.” That will also be on the final.

  8. It depends.

    With writing – yes, but no matter how much I polish, push, prod, pull in my effort to perfect, in the eyes of any beholder, I can’t say that’s what they see. It’s certainly not what I see.

    Cleaning house – yeah, but more like obsession – b/c even though I can’t say the place is spic-n-span, I have to clean EVERY week. It’s weird, I’m sure.

    Baking – nope. I can drag what has turned into an ugly cake out of the oven, and frost it – otherwise known as baking camo.

    Hair – sigh. I’ve lost my hair twice, first time came in thick, second time, not so much. I am (was) such a perfectionist with it back in the day. We’re talking high maintenance. That was then, this is now. It’s a win when I can get it “arranged” so it doesn’t show my damn scalp.

    I could go on. Happy Friday, y’all!

  9. Hell no.
    No such thing as perfect.
    To require it of others is a great injustice to humankind.

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