I made that up.
I have been accused of being a perfectionist by those who do not know me very well; the people who have not opened a drawer, or gotten close enough to notice the mustard stain on my lapel. I am actually a startling combination of flawlessness and havoc: the qualities that intrigue men at first, and then find them shaking their heads in horror and saying things like, “I found this crumpled in your couch cushion, do you just ignore letters from the IRS?” or “You’re using the same spoon you use for dog food to dish out our mashed potatoes?” or “There is something organic in your junk drawer – I think it’s a cheese sandwich…” I could go on…
This yin and yang of traits is the reason I was able to pull off my raging alcoholism for so long. I was neat and tidy on the outside while my insides were a jumble of mismatched socks…
The software I use for this blog allows me to see how many times I have revised a document before I publish it. In a recent post, this is the diagnostic:
I revised the document eighty-four times before I sent it out. I am embarrassed to tell you this. Especially because the post was not one that required research or extensive formatting. Now you know – I am like the chef who emerges from the kitchen with a perfect soufflé, leaving a sobbing staff, a bloody knife and chaos in his wake.
Since I’ve been sober, my extremes are not as extreme. I do not feel the obsessive need to bring order to the turmoil in my mind and I am not as anxious to sweep things under the rug (Lauren actually caught me doing that once – I swept the long hallway debris into a broom closet, and looked up to see her giving me the same look my date gave me when I stirred the potatoes with Fiona’s spoon…).
Here’s my concern: as I begin to smooth out the rough spots and modulate the ups and downs, I don’t want to become so “normal” and bland and even-keeled that you can’t tell my junk drawer from my writing desk… Does that make sense?