The Perfect Woman (part 2)

Outdoor portrait of pretty young girl riding bike in a forest.

The perfect woman came to my house. I was merely attempting politeness when the invitation was sent. Really, she shouldn’t have come. This was supposed to be a lovely evening. Yet, in she floated like a ballerina on opening night in her fitted ivory pantsuit.

In one glance she eye-slid me. For clarification, this refers to someone who runs an eye up and down a person’s body and smirks. I peeked down at my blouse—it looked like I dragged the thing from the bottom of last year’s mission barrel. I especially liked this shirt, before tonight.

She roamed the room in a single glance, as I followed her eyes. Suddenly cobwebs burst from the ceiling and out from under the chairs, while the carpet displayed shadows of last year’s spills. My favorite designer chair looked like it arrived on the Santa Maria; the drapes I’d made a few years before seemed as though constructed by a novice.

I didn’t want her to enter the kitchen, but in she waltzed to congregate with the women who I thought were my friends. They should have halted her passage and eased her out the doorway. She offered polite conversation to those gathered while she scowled at the maple syrup drizzled down the cabinet. Why hadn’t I seen this earlier? Lemonade punch littered the counters and stuck to the white floor leaving a trail of footprints.

Pinterest offered an adorable swirly design for my cupcakes, yet now they were dry and a bit dull. In fact, this entire meal tasted like a bite of brown paper. The party ended at her entrance.

When she should have inspired me, she wilted me into sautéed spinach. For years I had contemplated her power over me. Not just her, but every woman who was polished, well educated, and widely traveled. They deflated me even when I wore my best jeans. But then something happened that forever changed me.

My transformation didn’t occur like Scrooge’s all-night drama. It was a slow slide into freedom. More like daily walks with Jesus. And listening. Listening with a heart eager to know myself and my Savior. Without Him some parts are missing. We continually struggle as seemingly perfect people rip the joy out of our heart.

Eventually, I became the gal who felt comfortable with my own imperfections. This is freedom when I can be real without fear of rejection, and accepting of those who are smarter, prettier, and thinner. This also leads to embracing those who wish me misfortune.

Jesus removes the cobwebs from our corners and brightens our favorite blouse. He takes our junk and converts it into treasured pieces that evoke our deepest gratitude. We eventually see people as just that, people—people on a journey.

I’d like to wrap this up with a fairy tale ending, but we all know life isn’t neatly packaged. We have those days when we’re in our own ivory pantsuit. Days when the president could eat from our kitchen floor and his dog drink from our toilet. But then there are those times when the perfect woman knocks on our door.

The Perfect Woman Came to Stuck (Part I)

Beautiful Young Woman Outdoors. Enjoy Nature. Meadow

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.