– The problem is, it’s too perfect.
– That’s not possible. Perfection is binary. It’s perfect or it isn’t. It can’t be too perfect.
– Look, for me perfection is the same as normality. It’s a convention. Too perfect is lifeless. Remember when CDs came on the market? Purists wanted the scratches from the previous recordings. There is something to be said for the messiness of life. When it’s too perfect, it gets too cerebral; it no longer speaks to the animal in us.
– We are still talking about landscaping, right?
– Are you doing this on purpose? I am just saying that if you don’t break the symmetry or add a touch of whimsy,… Remember when women painted moles on their faces? False beauty marks to stand out?
– And then it became a fashion trend. Nothing like standing out for other people to want to be unique just like you.
– Maybe we’re digressing.

They look at the house. A short alley, a few steps, a porch, a red door. Large pots with cascading flowers flanking the door.

– We could use one of the pots elsewhere, as a reminder of this one. One calls to the other. There is tension, a need for completion.
– You’re doing this as if it were a painting.
– And why not? A painting is a representation of life.
– I will leave it up to you to find a compromise. You’re perfect at that.
– Very funny. Nobody’s perfect…
– Not even a perfect stranger!*

They laugh and start dancing like the crazy teenagers they once were.

They’re dancing on the front lawn. “Our house… in the middle of our street,”** they sing loudly.
– I can’t believe we were arguing over flower pots. Argh! We’ve turned into our parents.
– Let’s strive for imperfection and celebrate flaws!
– Plaid and stripes! I’ll start wearing purple with a red hat which doesn’t suit me…***

They go to bed still laughing, feeling light. It’s a good feeling.

They’re a bit uneasy, in the morning. They look at their manicured lawn, at their nice clothes. They’re not sure how to go about embracing flaws. They try and remember the lightness – that helps. They eye a crumb on the table from the toast they ate. Is that imperfect – or unsanitary? Will they feel heavy or light if they leave it there? They make an effort and leave it conspicuously on the table. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” becomes their mantra. They simplify an already simple life – or so they thought. They find they are drawn to people they had lost touch with – they had become unpalatable. The refinement of their palate had cost them friendships.

Are there other hidden costs? Yes, they’ve lost their spark. They now have a reflection of their spark. They dig deeper. They’ve hidden what made them unique. Flaws are what make us intrinsically human.


*Time the Avenger, by The Pretenders
**Our House, by Madness
*** “Warning” by Jenny Joseph

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