art by Amanda Richards
In college (and for a good while after that), I was a perfectionist. Always had to do everything perfectly, get all A’s in school, etc. I expected the best of myself at all times and would become extremely upset if I did not master new things immediately. Needless to say, I did not have much of a sense of humor when it came to laughing at me, or at other’s foibles. An incident that occurred in college planted a seed that would help get me going in a new direction.
I am very unathletic, so when I learned that I needed “Physical Fitness” credits to graduate from college, I took badminton class. I had played a little badminton growing up, with the family in the back yard. I figured I could bumble my way through the course with a passing grade. I was amazed to discover that I did not totally stink at it. The more I played, the better I became. Uh oh – perfectionist tendencies came home to roost. Since I was pretty good, I suddenly had the need to become “perfect”.
Before I knew it, I found myself in the mixed doubles final. It was a pretty informal “competition”, but a competition nonetheless. I strode out onto the court like I was the second coming of (insert good badminton player here). My partner and I were in a dogfight, but managed to stay on top. Match point was upon us. Only one more point to achieve badminton greatness! I was serving. I threw the shuttle cock in the air and swung the racket with all my might. Just then, I felt an uncomfortable ripping feeling at belt level. My pants zipper had separated! My pants fell to just above knee level, exposing everyone in attendance to a full view of my rather dingy looking cotton “old lady” briefs and my unshaven thighs. My opponents were so busy staring at me that I aced the serve and my partner and I won the match. Pandemonium broke out as our opponents protested that we had “rigged” the match, the audience was laughing hysterically, I was running out of the room to hide, and my partner was chasing me screaming “Woo hoo” and trying to give me a high five because we had won.
Needless to say, I was pretty horrified. I was convinced that people would not like me anymore (told you that I was wound pretty tightly). Once I got through the good natured ribbing I received, life went back to its normal ebb and flow, except that now I began to realize that people (including me) can be funny, imperfect creatures that are no less loveable for being human.
|Lisa Lodge is an Organizational Development and Instructional Systems Design Specialist. As a creative outlet, she designs handmade, artisan jewelry, which has been published nationally in Jewelry magazines. Her designs have been described as feminine, classic, and organic. She also enjoys sharing the joy of artistic creation through blogging. Find her designs on Zibbet, and follow her on Facebook.|