Nobody’s Perfect

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.


About Christy Hayes

A wife, a mother and a writer of romantic women's fiction. I love dogs, exercise and cable news.

Posted on August 8, 2011, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Christy, glad to meet you and loved this post. I am a so not perfect, crabby cranks, over the hill, ex-hippie grandma in spanks.

    I write about New York City women on the edge of discovery, danger and fun … Oh yeah … I just love to be bad 🙂

  2. It’s a pleasure to meet the “real” you! Doesn’t it feel great to be ourselves? I love your “crabby cranks!” I might have to borrow that sometime. I hope your New York City women also wear spanks 🙂

  3. Christy,

    I remember having exactly the same feeling at playgroups, where I felt like I was the only mommy who ever lost her temper or plopped the kids in front of Toy Story five times a week or fed her kids (gasp!) processed foods.

    I don’t want to read about perfect women any more than I want to be one, and I don’t write them either. In fact, one of my favorite rejection letters cited my “endearingly flawed heroine.” Made me want to run right out and get a T-shirt made!

  4. Rosemary,
    If you make a t-shirt, I’ll be the first one to buy it!

    Motherhood is ripe with insecurity! I stupidly thought I was doing everything right with my son because he was so easy-going. God gave me my daughter to prove I’m not in control of anything.

    Can’t wait to read your work!

  5. Perfection is overrated and exhausting! My house is messy, my lawn sports a few weeds, my kids are happily average and my hair, well we won’t go there today. 🙂 I am very content in my less than perfect world. Yes, I even used that phrase as a title for a manuscript! It fits my heroine perfectly.

  6. Christy, I have felt your pain. That’s why I am half-hermit when I can be. My superiority complex is probably my biggest flaw. I’m not perfect, just better!

  7. Tracy,
    Because I know you, I can argue with most of your points! We clicked as friends because neither one of us tries to be anything but what we are–which is pretty darn good!

    Your kids, however, are well above average!

    • I’m gonna argue that my kids ARE average. They just have a well developed suck up bone they use to their advantage. 🙂

      Seriously, I think it’s good for our kids–and us, too–to know that it’s okay not to be perfect at everything. Average is good, It makes us want to work harder at those things we really desire in life.

      I will agree with your statement that we are both pretty darn good!! I may have good writing news!

  8. Laura,
    You are better and I’m better off knowing you!

    Admitting our flaws is an important step in accepting ourselves and the choices we’ve made. Good, bad or downright ugly, they’re ours all the same!

  9. I’m having difficulty responding to this post because I’m a Virgo-wanna-be-perfectionist who is so far from perfect, I have trouble admitting it out loud. The perfect side of me is hard working and selfless. The imperfect side of me is lazy and selfish. Maybe the real me is somewhere inbetween and I’ll discover her when I’m in a rocking chair in the retirement home. 🙂

  10. Discovering the real you sounds like a whole lot of fun!

  11. I absolutely loved this post, Christy. I’m a little (or a lot) weird when I meet people who are atypical, for lack of a better word. At first I’m a little put off, then I let that feeling go and I swear those are always the individuals I end up liking a WHOLE lot! It happens all the time to me and I’m so glad I stick with these people and give “myself” the second chance to get to know them. There’s always something that strikes me as a bit “out there” or call it “imperfect’ about them and when I stick around I find their flawed-ness endearing. I believe it must be because perfection bores me……

  12. Patti,
    Perfect is boring so thank goodness none of us are! The couple I mention in the post aren’t perfect either, and if they’d ever let their defenses down and show some flaws, I’m sure we’d be friends, too.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. I had to laugh because I had that same feeling in a Bunko group I used to be in. At that time we’d just moved to Colorado to a really nice neighborhood that we could only barely afford because we both worked full time. I was the only female within miles, it seemed, that worked. Everyone else stayed home with their kids, and I wanted that so badly but it wasn’t in the cards. I was invited to join their Bunko group that in truth was fun but all I ever heard about was their perfect lives with their spotless houses cleaned by bimonthly maid services, their GQ husbands, their private preschools for their sure-to-be-gifted children, and the endless play dates with each other to the zoo and everywhere else I could never be there to take my daughter to during the day. I couldn’t stand the constant perfection and quit after the first year.

    Now I live in an older neighborhood back in my native Texas, where no one is perfect and if my house gets buried under the dirt I never get around to dealing with (still want that maid), then my family will survive just fine. In fact, it’s like a vaccine…makes them tougher! LOL.

    Great post, Christy!

  14. Ahhh, Bunko…don’t even get me started on Bunko!

    Glad you found your place back home in Texas! One of my best friends is moving to the Fort Worth area (lucky, lucky Fort Worth-they are such a great family). She’s a talented photographer if you’re anywhere near and need family photos or a head shot.

  15. So true. It’s enough to keep me home sometimes but I go and I simply be…

    Myself. Trying to measure up takes too much time and effort, anyway. Time and effort I’d rather spend hanging out with my family–or writing!

  16. True words, Diane. I gave it over a year before backing out. I often have to remind myself that my first impressions are often wrong. The older I get the less patience I have for games and falsehoods. Nice to know I’m not alone!

  17. Nice post Cristy. My daughter always bought into the “Everyone’s so perfect, and I’m so not.” thing (we live in So Cal, so you understand.)

    I always told her it always looks like that . . .on the outside. She believed me when the ‘perfect people’ divorced.

  18. Great to see you here, Laura. Sorry your daughter had to learn the hard way, but we all eventually learn. As a mother, it must be nice when they come back and tell you you were right!

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