The Norman Transcript

March 7, 2014

The Quest for Perfection


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Don Quixote and Sir Galahad had at least one thing in common. Each one was on a quest for perfection. Sir Galahad sought the Holy Grail and Don Quixote sought his perfect lady, Dulcinea del Toboso.

People are never content, always seeking that elusive state of perfection. Is this condition or mindset part of being human?

Take Adam for example. God put the guy in Eden and took care of his needs, but Adam was dissatisfied and thought he was lonely. Some people are just wired to be miserable. Adam was in paradise for heaven’s sake, but he had to open the companionship can of worms. He should have left well enough alone. So even in paradise there was a fly in the ointment, meaning discontentment with the status quo must be part of our DNA.

To keep him happy, God injects Eve into the equation. A big mistake. Women are rarely content with the status quo. Perhaps she was frustrated because unlike furniture the landscape could not be rearranged. Then her reptilian confidante put the bug in her ear, and suddenly Eve wanted to be smarter. See, she was worse than Adam. In the end, her discontentment led to their eviction from Eden. And that was when the couple discovered what true misery was all about.

Women, no matter how gorgeous they may be, tend to be dissatisfied, especially with their appearance. Ask any woman, including a fashion model, and she will quickly point out everything that is, in her mind, a glaring imperfection on her body.

There is always something bad to focus on. Whatever the flaw may be, real or imagined, women only see the flaws such as the ubiquitous issue of weight. If a woman loses weight, whether it is 20 pounds or 100 pounds, that “fat girl” still lurks in the shadows of her mind ready to take her to grumpville. Either she is obsessed with her weight, terrified to gain a couple of pounds, or she continues to think from the “fat girl” point of view. Instead of reveling in her new figure and great accomplishment, she is trapped in her old mindset.

Alongthe same line, we, mostly females, seem to be fixated on our appearance when it comes to clothes, needing outside reassurance from someone other than the mirror. So she asks the dreaded “How do I look” or “Does this make me look fat?” Whoever the poor schmuck turns out to be, he cannot win because she will only hear a confirmation of her misguided belief that she does not look good. Even if he tells her she is gorgeous and he is proud of her, she will hear “I’m proud of you, but you could lose a few more pounds because I can see skin on those sticks known as bones.”

This discontentment with our looks, weight or lot in life, puts a towering dark cloud over what could otherwise be a good life.

Mother always said “It’s what’s inside that matters and not the fleeting external appearance, so let your inner light shine through.” Yes she was right, but that does not play well with teenagers who may be coping with acne and other teen related problems.

With this negative piece of DNA just waiting to take you down from the happy realm, what can be done? Even if you had a magic wand and could make your fondest wishes come true, within a short span of time that negative fly in the ointment would crawl into view and dim the magical joy.

How about injecting humor into that gloomy mindset?

There is a term used in the military “to pass muster” meaning to pass inspection. Unwilling to put Hubby on the spot just to confirm that my dress is not on backwards and all my buttons are properly buttoned, I put a twist on the “How do I look” question and ask, “Do I pass mustard?” His nod and smiling “You look terrible” is all I need and we are good to go.

The question has become our little inside joke and on occasion he will ask “Do I pass mustard?”

Oh, yeah!

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Check out her new novel Sins of the Father on Amazon. Visit her website: www.elizabethcowan.com.

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