We live in a town of Strawberry queens. I’m attempting to become a lady, but occasionally severe failure has greeted me in unexpected moments. Just when I think I can slip in the corner market for a tub of butter without makeup, there’s Miss Perfect in the dairy section.
The perfect woman never needs to apologize because she never says anything stupid. She doesn’t color her hair because it’s naturally the angelic shade of dripping honey. With her, there is no need to diet because she’s been the same weight since puberty. Her nails never crack, peel or split. The word “worry” isn’t in her vocabulary. She has flawless faith.
She never burns a roast, slices her finger with a steak knife or trips over the same footstool. She never sweats when she jogs and her feet never smell as if they’ve walked through a cow pasture. She never utters an unkind word, never forgets a birthday, and never, never, never forgets to return a call. She promptly answers every email as if she’s internally wired by her Internet service. Her Christmas decorations are in the attic long before January 2nd and dead azalea blooms are never found on her bushes.
Her windows sparkle when the sun’s glorious rays shine into her breakfast nook. Pollen doesn’t collect on her lawn furniture or dust on her furniture or germs on her toilet. Her photographs are creatively arranged in her scrapbook albums with cute little labels on every picture. She doesn’t know what it means to scramble for a pen when the caller wants to leave a message.
She shops at Lowes in Cinderella shoes and arises at the crack of dawn to prepare her husband’s favorite breakfast. When she bakes she doesn’t require extra ingredients because they’re always in her cabinet. The doorbell rings and she’s always prepared to answer—no quick clothing change, make-up repairs, or scattered items to shove in the closet.
This woman is perfect and I don’t like her because she makes me feel like Leah when I want to be the beloved Rachel. I’m afraid my husband might meet her and expect me to drag my despondent body out of bed to make him an omelet and waffles for breakfast.
I’m more likely the other woman. The one who leaves her car running for two hours while she enjoys herself at a woman’s fashion show luncheon. Or the one who sneezes when she brushes her teeth and explodes toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror. Or drops her favorite red polish on the tile floor. Or drives fifty miles to shop at a specialty store, only to forget what was needed. Or the one who has her nails painted only to smash them under the dryer before exiting the salon. Or the one who collects crystal even though she’s broken every piece of collectable item in her home. Superglue is a staple in this house.
My purse is a black scary abyss where anything can be lost from cell phone, keys, lipstick, breath mints, ink pens, and tissues. If you want to lose something I’ll help you. My socks refuse to match and my underwear drawer looks as if the FBI raided it in search for stolen merchandise. My life is more like perspiration stains on my favorite blouse, an outfit with one earring, and lipstick that sticks to my teeth.
I realize these confessions are like laying on the interstate waiting for Miss Perfect to run over me with perfect solutions to these conundrums, but today I have the “I don’t cares.” It’s a good day filled with transparency, where feeling like a failure isn’t the worst thing that can happen. I could be stuck in Stuck.