My husband and I used to belong to a dinner club where we’d spend one evening a month at other couples’ houses and we’d host at our house once a year. We had just
moved into our area and it seemed like a great way to make friends, although cooking is not exactly my forte (have you checked out the recipe section? I’m not in there…).
At the time, our children were in single digits and as any family with young children can tell you, babysitting fees can make you wonder if going out is worth paying $10 an hour. After each month’s dinner, I’d lie in bed and wonder if we should have stayed home with the kids and pocketed the money. Not that I didn’t like the other couples; they were wonderful people and many of them remain our good friends. Not that I didn’t enjoy the food; as a not-so-great cook, it was a treat to eat well prepared food in the comfort of someone else’s home. But something always made me scratch my head and consider backing out of our commitment.
After a year of attending, one evening as I sat listening to a couple I always managed to sit near (thanks to the random pick-a-number-from-a-hat seat assignment process) discuss their perfect children, their perfect parenting, their perfect jobs, their perfect life and the details of their perfect wedding, I knew exactly what made me want to break up with our dinner group. Their absolute perfection made me want to run screaming from the table. The couple had demonstrated, in living color, that perfect people are irritatingly boring.
Let’s face it folks, nobody’s perfect and I couldn’t be happier that’s true. Real people have flaws, make mistakes and sometimes do stupid things. Even the smartest most level-headed among us trip and fall, or are bad drivers, or pick their noses. Flaws make people more interesting and so much more relatable.
My favorite books and my favorite authors keep me riveted to the page as their flawed characters bumble their way through life—just like the rest of us. I don’t want to read about perfect people any more than I want to hang out with them, and I don’t know too many people who’d pay $10 an hour to walk away from an evening feeling stupid and inferior. Shoot, now that my kids are almost teenagers, I get that at home for free!
So here I am, Christy Hayes, introducing myself to you as the real person I am: moody introvert, mumbler, exercise addict, cereal lover, chronic daydreamer. If you’ve got a minute, I’d love to meet the real you, too.