I never wish evil for anyone, but sometimes I don’t wish the very best for people. For instance, when some lead-footed driver whizzes past me on the highway, I hope later to see that driver sitting in his car on the side of the road while a police officer writes him a ticket.
I also withhold best wishes from people who appear to be perfect. You’ve seen them: those highly intelligent, exceptionally successful, always confident folks with perfect hair, skin, teeth, and bodies.
I wouldn’t be disappointed to learn that one of these exemplars of perfection flubbed up in some way. I’m not wishing anything bad for them. A stumble when stepping onto the stage to receive an award maybe. A dryer sheet sticking out the neck of a shirt during a public presentation. A burnt piecrust at a family picnic.
Maybe I am displaying a sour-grapes attitude, but why must I be so flawed while other people glide through life with the finesse of an Olympic skater?
I’m tired of being the one who tells her friend she will meet her at Chili’s at 6:00 and then spends half an hour waiting for the friend to show up at Applebee’s. I’m tired of being the one who sprinkles garlic powder instead of cinnamon on top of her apple pie. The one who routinely lets pasta boil over on the stove, erases holes in her checkbook ledger, and searches frantically for her phone while she is talking on it and her glasses while she is wearing them.
I want to know the secret of the non-blunderers. How do they do it? Is it possible they occasionally make mistakes but only in the privacy of their own homes? Do they excel in the art of the cover-up? Have they learned, by watching people like me, how not to do life?
My friends assure me I am no more flawed than most people. They confess to making as many boo boos as I do, and I believe them. Good friends these people are, but paragons of perfection they are not.
Maybe that is why I select them to be my best friends. When one of us confesses to accidentally spraying her hair with Glade air freshener instead of hair spray, we laugh with her. When another shares that she had a Just My Size pantyhose label stuck to the back side of her skirt for an entire workday, we can relate. When I admit to tucking my phone inside my bra so I won’t lose it, one of my friends pipes up with, “What? You too?”
I couldn’t have such conversations with perfect people. They would have nothing to contribute.
If achieving perfection status will cost me the companionship of my imperfect friends, I will pass. Those friends are the people I like best.
Besides, if I join the ranks of the picture-perfect crowd, some knucklehead will be wishing for me split ends, embarrassing hiccups in church, and an angel food cake that caves in on itself in the oven.
What kind of shallow-minded person would wish things like that on anyone?