Isn’t the joy of perfection the fun you have in failing?

Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.

Perfection is a bug, an illness, a disease that lives in everyone. Every time a new baby is born into the world, the parents are simultaneously struck by how irrefutably perfect this little soft, peachy scrumple of skin is and at that moment, they will promise that their little urchin will become the most beautiful and intelligent person to walk this mortal coil. Once the little scrumple of skin wakes up and begins to develop a personality, the parents still find themselves desperately wanting to protect this innocent, untainted being. The first time they get a bump on the head or a cut knee, the emotional pain for the parent is a hundred times worse than the child’s physical pain; their precious child is no longer perfect. They have a little scar or bump, which you didn’t manage to protect them from. Obviously you cannot possibly protect children from every little scratch and that is a key part of their growing up and surely those scars aren’t a detriment to perfection, they actually make people individual and serve as a physical reminder of the formative events in their life. I have numerous scars about my body, but I can remember where most of them came from; the one across my wrist, where I had a small hand-eye coordination issue when using an axe, the ones across both knees where I misjudged the strength of a self made rope swing (over a road), another from a scooter brake failure, where I found myself embedded in a brick wall and the most recent was a high speed collision with a ditch and a tree in my car. Maybe in some people’s eyes, these are imperfections, but to me, they just make me who I am; slightly clumsy and easily coerced into harebrained ideas.

We seem to seek out perfection in everything that we want. Horses are the classic example; save for ponies and small horses that have been outgrown, every horse is for sale for a reason. A horse is not like a Gameboy or a Wii, it is an animal, so like every person it will be slightly flawed. Regardless of talent or ability, nearly every rider wants a horse that is so talented and well tempered that they could take it round Badminton. By looking for the perfect horse with no flaws whatsoever, all you are doing is inviting the dealers and sellers to lie to you. A much better way of looking for the right horse is to find out what their problems are and see if they are ones you can live with. They say that love is blind, but I think that lust is blind and long term love/marriage is a real eye opener.

I have owned Bea for three years and she may be a little long in the leg and short in the neck, but to me, she is beautiful. I never thought that I would own a coloured horse, I passed them off as pikey ponies and pantomime cows, but Bea is quite attractive; she has a slightly wild eye with a crooked blaze and big pricked ears that make her look really alert and interested in everything that is going on. These are certainly not signs of classic beauty, but to me, they match her personality perfectly and she wouldn’t be her without them. I was fully aware when I bought her, that she is not a good showjumper. But in a strange way, that pleased me – I knew why they were selling her. She is the most genuine and straightforward horse I have ever had the pleasure of owning; she can be a bit fizzy and excitable, but I completely trust that she would never intentionally put me in danger. Riding her through a dressage test or round a cross country course is like a dream, she just doesn’t quite jump the full height of the show jumps. If she was careful as well, I wouldn’t have been able to afford her.

Maybe we should look at more things in this manner; it is not an imperfection or a flaw, it is a quirk, something that makes us an individual. We know that everyone is going to have things that irritate us; we just have to work out if it is something we can live with. I can live with Bea’s showjumping because she is so genuine and lovely in every other way. Maybe this is where I’ve gone wrong with men and to be honest, I blame the television. We spend our lives watching some of the most beautiful relationships unfolding in front of us, both on the big screen and the little one propped up between two chairs in the corner of the lounge. My shelves are adorned with books, videos and dvds based on this fantastical relationships; Lizzy Bennett and Mr Darcy, Monica and Chandler, Spaced’s Tim Bisley and Daisy Steiner, Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman, Richard Hammond and Oliver. Then we go along and imagine that we deserve the perfect person, but everyone has a flaw. Mr Darcy? He was an arrogant sod. Monica? Could you live with someone that clean? What about Tim and Daisy? How many episodes of Spaced did you watch before you saw either of them working? Even Oliver was old, rusty and sickly, but the important thing was that he tried. He had heart. Well, ok a metal engine, but it still beat like a little heart, like a soul. So I suggest when God (or whatever other fictional force was stood by the oven creating us) is updating his designs on men, he should turn to the likes of Jane Austen, Richard Curtis, Stephen Moffat, David Krane, Marta Kauffman, Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Jessica Hynes. There are so many writers who have perfected the formula, so why hasn’t he?

When I was really little, I believed that Neighbours was real and they were watching us in Australia; but then I also thought that sheep had two long legs and two short legs (on account of the hilly nature of their fields). But picture for a moment that we live in this surreal Bryniverse where Neighbours is real and sheep are incredibly wonky; imagine the let down for the poor Aussies who are watching our lives. We can never be as good as our fictional counterparts, but we do have one thing over them; they are fictional. We all have our problems and our flaws, but we are real, and in our parents eyes, I expect we are perfect. Some of the time.

If we lived in this tv land and I were perfect, I would have gone to Oxbridge and not met some of the most entertaining, lovely and loyal friends. If I were perfect, I would have known better than to go to see the new Alice in Wonderland film, but I would have missed out on the giggling and fun of detesting it in company. If I were perfect, I would never have spent all of my seminars showing off and making smart arsed comments. If I were perfect, I wouldn’t have played taxi driver to three of my bosses last night (and then given them Anadin for their sore heads this morning). If I were perfect, I would not have had all the fun competing my pony, regardless of the results. All in all, I’m absolutely bloody delighted I’m not perfect because I’ve had so much fun along the way.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Matthew Kayser
    May 08, 2010 @ 22:14:06

    I love it. I really enjoy the way you think – and write. My favorite blogs are the ones that don’t always go for the cheap visual thrill. When the content is good, reading is tops.

    From an Anglophile who lives across the pond (in Chicago), good work. I look forward to reading more.



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