"SD, mommy is waiting for you in the kitchen. She needs you to braid the challah!"
"SD, can you help me with this scrapbook page I'm making?"
"SD, I'm trying to dye this, can you help?"
These occurances all have a common thread. While my aquaintances often grimace when I take my time, completing a task to perfection, they find themselves coming back to me for help when it is important to them.
I guess you could call me a perfectionist. That would be the only explanation for behaviors such as waiting for my little sister to leave the room, so I can un-set the table and re-set it to my liking. And perfectionism is probably the reason behind the hour and a half it took for me to make lettering for my friend's baby's scrapbook. And when most people's challah looks like just...challah, yet mine looks like something out of a postcard, it all boils down to my constant need for perfection.
Sometimes people grumble. "Can you just hurry up and ice that cake SD?!? I wanna leave already!" But then, it's their friend's vort, and not just any cake will do. They want to make a cake that will scream out "don't cut into me! I look too fancy!" And somehow, I get drafted. Cuz I am the only family member who is capable of sitting there for hours and hours, putting details onto that cake that nobody will ever notice.
So last night, I sat there thinking about it. I was deeply engrossed in the act of putting canned cherry pie filling on top if a cheesecake. My friend was looking on with a mixture of admiration and horror. "Why don't you just dump the can on and smooth it out?" To me, it was simple. It wouldn't look good that way. So I sat there fishing the cherries out of that red gook. I was lining them up with such precision, that if anyone like me would cut the cake, each peice would have an equal number of cherries. It may have taken me three times as long, but looking at the finished product, even my skeptical friend was impressed. "That looks beautiful."
I am not saying all this to brag. Honestly, I'm not so sure it's a good thing. Obviously, I'd be better off with a balance. My philosophy, as you probably noticed, is that when you do something, you may as well do it ALL the way. So as I sit there toiling over minute details that most people would overlook, such as folding over blanket just so as I make my bed, I basically come to terms with it. This is me. Good, bad, or tedius. A perfectionist might get on your nerves at times, but when there is a kiddish to set up...call in the perfectionist and all is well.
At times, I think I am my own worst enemy. If not for my inner perfectionist, I think I would have been able to develop my artistic abilities. Because as it stands now, I pick up a pen to draw something, I don't like it, and I rip it up. And eventually, I run out of room in the garbage can and I give up.
On the other hand, I am my own best friend. It's the perfectionist inside of me that gets me the promotion at work, that gets me trusted with jobs that nobody else would be allowed to do.
What do you think? What is the line one shouldn't cross? When should a person look the other way and give up on having something perfect?