People Need Their Imperfections

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Late 2020 we finally saw the completion of our renovated kitchen

It had been a long time coming. Not only had we, as a family, fought incessantly over how the renovations would look, would we or would we not remove a wall and turn two smaller rooms into one large kitchen, which is what we eventually did. But it was in the middle of a pandemic.

We received the commitment from the renovators in early January, but were unable to begin until mid August. The first wave of the pandemic delayed construction almost a year.

Ours is an old house. At least 120 years old if the city museum is to be believed.

It is replete with old house problems, but it has a certain old house charm, and old house imperfections. The new kitchen, however, is near perfect. It is much improved over the previous kitchen both in form and in function. But there are a few minor imperfections.

I have discovered lately that I like the imperfections. The corner where the countertops had to be connected diagonally, has a noticeably raised seam, the island could have used foot rests, and the fridge makes slight creaking noises when opened and closed, probably from rubbing on the cabinets that enclose it.

It makes me wonder why I like the imperfections. The creaking sound that the fridge makes is like a symphony to me. I rub my fingers along the imperfect seam and it actually calms me.

Most people would consider how much money they spent on this new kitchen and, for that kind of money, demand perfection. They might demand that these imperfections be resolved. They might demand some kind of restitution with the builder. In fact, they might allow these imperfections to make them feel worse, more angry, more frustrated than they did before the renovations even took place.

But not me, I let it remind me that there will always be imperfections in life.

I let it remind me that there will always be disappointments in life.

If having worked for 30 years with the general public has taught me anything about people, it’s that many people demand perfection. The woman who gets upset because her hotdog is slightly cooler than she prefers. The man who becomes livid because his car is taking ten minutes longer than promised.

I admit that both of these people could possibly have just reached their breaking point after a long string of disappointments, goodness knows, I’ve been there. But it’s more likely that these people need more encumbrances and battles in their lives.

The battles that keep you grounded, the battles that allow you to really FEEL the imperfections in your life and really embrace them rather than cause you to feel like your life is coming apart at the seams.

Just like that imperfect seam on my counter.

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