Miss Music Perfectionist

“Would you read this piece of crap for me, baby?” I asked McDoc.

‘Uh, sure,” he said. I mean, who could resist an offer like that, right?

I had been agonizing over an overdue blog post, and I had finally whipped out something resembling an article on my chosen topic, but only after worrying and ruminating and avoiding and obsessing over it until I nearly broke out in hives.

I’m a nasty little perfectionist. Always have been. Which, I hasten to add, is not to be confused with being perfect, or even being super awesometastic all the time. In fact, it can produce the opposite effect.

Take my kitchen floor. (Please!) It’s linoleum dating from who-knows-when (the house was built in 1920), and it has seen better days, to put it mildly. Between the formerly-white color that is now permanently dingy no matter what cleaning substance or implement of destruction scrubbing is applied to it, and the gouges it has collected through mysterious past incidents that happened long before we moved in, it’s just… sad. If we were owners rather than renters, and if we had the budget for it, that floor would be gone before midnight tonight, even if I had to rip it out inch by inch with a table knife. As it is, I just try not to look at it, and when I forget and cast my eyes down inadvertently, I tend to start fantasize about kerosene.

So you might think, then, that my perfectionist nature would drive me to scrub the living daylights outta that thing, right? (Maybe kerosene removes dinge — but I should probably leave that possibility unexplored. :P) Well, it did at first, but after a while, it spawns a stubborn form of resignation. Since I can’t get it really clean, and it starts to look dirty again after 10 minutes or so anyway, I resent having to clean it at all. But seeing it dirty tweaks my perfectionism… and voilà! You have a vicious cycle!

Perfectionism can be paralyzing, and that’s especially true when it comes to writing music. I have to struggle to outsmart it; sometimes I do manage to catch it napping, or forge on with gritted teeth in spite of it, or distract it with something shiny for a while — long enough to get a post written, at least!

By the way, McDoc read the post I referenced above (I’m not saying which one it is, because I love all my children equally 😉 ) and thought it was fine. I needed some convincing, though…

“Not too sappy?”

“No, it’s fine.”

“Not boring? Not too long?

“No, I think it’s engaging and effective.”

“Not too short, though?”

“It takes the laudanum or it goes back in the attic!”

“Yes, sir.”

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3 Responses

  1. New flooring is needed. And something for your OCD but methinks new flooring is easier to fix. 🙂

  2. Ah the Virgo perfectionism gene. Yep – lived with that for a mother. Dear lord was it hard to ever clean well enough to meet her standards!! To this day I loathe dusting ;-))

    New floors. I agree with grog.

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