Thursday, November 08, 2007

Perfect...Just Perfect!

Every workplace has one. She's a clone of sorts, I do believe. She's that perfect person who strolls through the day with nary a hair out of place and who serves as a living example of the standards to which we should all aspire.

The clothes? Classically cut. The skin? Unblemished. The voice? Musical even on the worst of days. Her posture? I can't even discuss it without shamelessly weeping. And, as much as you may want to hate The Perfect Ones, they typically turn out to be rather nice and you can't help but like them. Even if it hurts just a little bit.

We have one of those in the school where I teach. She teaches fifth grade and there is not a little boy who hasn't fallen desperately in love with her nor a girl who doesn't want to grow up to be just like her. At least once a week, my Cheerful Teaching Assistant and I sigh longingly and bemoan our less than perfect states. We discuss her latest sweater vest and how it so fetchingly sets off her blouse. We admire her gentle way with the children. And her hair? It looks the same every single day. It is impervious to weather, humidity and the natural ravages of time.

It is hard to tell her age as she is one of those "timeless" sorts of beings. But, I think I'm probably older than she is. In spite of this, I join the little girls in her class in hoping that I might be like her when I finally get around to growing up.

I'll just bet she wasn't aiming a blow dryer at her shirt this morning in a desperate attempt at wearing something wrinkle-free and only barely damp to work. It is highly unlikely that she was eating her breakfast in the car and picking her teeth with a credit card to dislodge a residual piece of bagel at 70 miles per hour. And there is no way that she spent twenty minutes in the teacher's restroom staring at the mirror and berating her hair in the hopes that the sheer shame of the tongue-lashing might force it to buck up and exhibit some poofiness. (This did not work. It was a flat-hair day and there was no amount of product nor punishment that would convince it to be otherwise)

When the Perfect One came upon me in the photocopy room this morning, I was a bit aware of my damp and non-poofy state. This probably accounts for my trying a little too hard. As it was, she was witness to my discussion with a colleague around my fear of the laminating machine. When the colleague fled to go teach some children or juggle knives given that either might be preferable to hearing another one of my verbal essays regarding the dangers of things that get very, very hot, I had little choice but to engage the Perfect One. She was sort of staring at me. What else was I supposed to do?

Sheepish Annie: Seriously! These things get really, really hot! I'm always afraid that when I leave the copy room, it will just heat up to the point of no return and explode, taking us all out in a fiery blaze of doom...

The Perfect One: My goodness! I guess I never thought about the laminating machine quite that way.

SA: (realizing that she may have crossed that oh-so-delicate line between "colleague" and "tonight's dinner conversation") Well...I sort of do have a rich and colorful inner life.

TPO: I should say so! (Smiles sweetly)

SA: (Encouraged! Clearly a favorable impression is being made! Maybe The Perfect One will become her new best friend!!) Yeah! You should hear my theory on the imminent zombie invasion! I've got a whole scenario worked out and a plan for survival under the new world order that I'd be glad to share if you ever want to sit down and....

TPO: Well now. This sounds like more of a Friday Conversation, I should think. As it's only Thursday, let's put a pin in this one, shall we? (resumes photocopying)


I left the copy room in shame. I'd gone too far. I probably should have just said I liked her shoes or something. But, being perfect, she always sort of blushes like she's embarrassed when complimented and I was stuck for something to say and the whole thing went wrong and now I have to use the downstairs copy room. Which is really far away. But worth the trip if it means not having to see the Perfect one and relive my shame.

This is the sort of thing that makes me glad the weekend is almost upon us. Maybe there will be an actual zombie attack over the weekend and I won't look so darned stupid come next week. Or maybe I'll be hit by a meteor. I'm flexible. Whatever...

I will, however, make some time to get back behind the wheel and see what I can do with the sock yarn. I may not be perfect. And I may horrify those who are. But I can spin sock yarn.

It's not perfect either. But I'll just bet that she can't do it!

SA

18 comments:

Julie said...

She'll be sorry she didn't listen to your survival plan when the zombies do attack!

trek said...

Now I am convinced that none of these conversations actually ever occur.

kmkat said...

Tell me she didn't really say, "Let's put a pin in that one, shall we?"! Anything followed by "...shall we?" is condescending, and her, um, metaphor is just too-too.

(There, does that help you feel superior to Little Miss Perfect?)

mehitabel said...

Perfection is not my goal; I'd just like to get out of the house with a pair of socks that match, ditto shoes. When you are wearing one old battered Nike and one shiny new Reebok, people will look at you funny.
Maybe when the zombies come I can get them to match up my shoes for me.

debsnm said...

Look at it this way - when the Zombies come, she'll be eaten first, because she's completely unprepared. If you REALLY want to make her day, hunt her down tomorrow and say - Are you ready to discuss zombies now? And see how fast she runs! Perfect, pah!

Mouse said...

I agree.. she'll be sorry after she fails to pay attention to you and the zombies eat her- (perfectly coiffed) head first.

Marianne said...

...sigh... poor old perfect person, she is SO missing out... and well, sure enough those zombies are gonna laugh in her face should she try and convince them to 'put a pin in it, shall we?'..... ohh yeahhhh...

Veggies.... said...

Oh Sheepie, you've hit the nail on the head as usual. There is ONE in every workplace, God knows where the cloning factory is located. Loved the image of the credit card, bagel and 70 mph of speed to add to the drama. Thanks for the LOL!!!!

Beth said...

I just hate it when I say silly things. And I seem to do it frequently. Fortunately, my memory isn't what it used to be and I don't recall them all. But I hope I don't forget the image of you picking food from your teeth with a credit card while zooming down the highway. :)

Pam said...

I think if she was REALLY perfect, she wouldn't have left you feeling embarrassed at your silliness.

Of course, I'm perfectly silly, so I may look at that differently ;-)

Bells said...

Oh Lord. Did you just want to die? Perfect People aren't really all that interesting, I find. Or maybe it's just that I do wish I was even a little bit closer to perfect?

catsmum said...

That person was me, once upon a time [ apparently I was known to my teaching colleagues as The Ballerina ] but these days I'm just an ageing bohemian goat herder covered in cat hair.
You know what they say about us ex -teachers?
Old teachers never die
They just lose their class!

missemilysmom said...

That was great! We all do have one!!

Jacqui said...

perfect people we remember, but their lessons not so much. goofy stories and self-deprecating humor- now those drive a lesson into our long-term memory FOREVER.

really, your outward lack of perfection is evidence of just how much you care for your students- to share your humanity and foibles to ensure their learning efficiency and betterment.

given that this is inescapably true, little Miss Perfect is actually selfishly denying her students the best learning experience because of her unwillingness to reveal a little humanness.

suddenly i find your Miss Perfect not nearly so perfect after all. tsk.

Mia said...

"Let's put a pin in it"... heheheheheheheheheheh

April said...

Oh Sheepie, I *think* you're perfect.

knitseashore said...

Oh, I feel your pain. I have worked with those perfect types, and my level of lameness goes up proportionately to their apparent level of perfection. I want to hide under the desk...

B. said...

Hey Sheepie!

You're perfect just the way you are! I wouldn't change a thing.

Your blog entry was just what I needed to hear this morning! Thanks for the laugh...

B.