How Not To Be Perfect

Current Christmas Situation

This week saw the Woogettes kicking some goals! We filed into the school hall with thousands of others, to watch Horatio get an award. My kids are lucky enough to go to a kick ass State High School, but it is a big school so I was concerned that this assembly would take all day and I would be reduced to a puddle on the floor by the end of it. The formidable Principal gave a wonderful address, mainly telling us that if we shut the doors, the air-con would eventually kick in. She advised the students to consider the fabric of their chosen university, as she was wearing wool and fur and was quite warm.

The huge hall was packed, like there was an over-flow room. And in an eerie-like Handmaid’s Tale scene, the teachers stood around the perimeter of the hall, eagerly eyeing off any trouble makers. As Horatio’s name was called, one of his mates just couldn’t contain himself…


And then a go-go gadget hand of a nearby PE Teacher reached out across the rows and dragged his ass out of the assembly. Later, I asked him whether the lunchtime detention was worth it, and he told me in no uncertain terms, that the moment was indeed glorious.

But back to the Principals address. She thanked the P & C profusely for putting air conditioning in the hall. And then she went on to talk about awards, and how they actually were not that big a deal. She told them that sometimes, they were the windshield, and sometimes they were the bug. This left me so puzzled. Turns out that it was a lyric in a Mary Chapin Carpenter sone from 1992.

I love a good address! She wounded up her speech by insisting that they all get off Instagram over the holidays and get outside and enjoy the Sydney summer. “Jump in a pool!” She instructed them before telling us that she wished that she could jump in a pool right now.

The whole thing bought me back in time, decades ago. I would have been in about Year Two, sitting on the floor during a school assembly. I cannot recall the teachers name, heck, I cannot recall what I had for dinner last night, but for some reason, her lecture has never left me.

She was telling us about a word she despised. It was not “moist” or “labia minor”. The word was got.


She GOT so worked about about it, she actually told us that she wanted to get a shovel, dig a hole, place the word GOT into the hole and then bury it!

Now, if you are in Year Two, and you are me, you have a very, very active imagination, and I felt sorry for GOT. Buried in the school grounds. And then she listed all the words that we could use instead of GOT. There were loads of them.

Did you know, much like Pantone announces a colour of the year, The three big Dictionary companies also announces their WORDS of the Year?”Justice,” “toxic” and “misinformation”: These are the 2018 “words of the year,” according to Merriam-Webster, the Oxford Dictionary and, respectively. Not very upbeat, don’t you think? I believe that there is a certain orange gentleman that may have some influence on this decision.

But there is a word that I would like to dig a hole in the earth, put it in and then pour concrete over.


I fucking hate that word. Particularly at this time of year. The Perfect Gift. The Perfect Christmas Tree. The Perfect Holiday. The Perfect Christmas Outfit. I would like to stab perfect, shred it through a machine and fire it into space from a cannon. The Perfect Turkey. The Perfect Trifle. The Perfect Table.

If you type in The Perfect Christmas, there are 141,000,000 articles written about how to be perfect this Christmas. And it almost makes me want to have the PERFECT hissy fit.

In 2013, COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg wrote the famous best seller called Lean In. Comedian Ali Wong reacted to this in her 2016 stand up show Baby Cobra. She said that she didn’t want to “Lean in.” She wanted to “Lie down.”

And the whole thing got me thinking how stupid this admiration of perfection has gotten. I mean, read this if you require further evidence. I fear that we are turning into a society so ridiculously obsessed with perfection, that there will be no place for us mere mortals.

My truths?

We are not going on a family summer holiday this year because last year we went to Noosa and it was such a disaster that we all ended up not speaking to each other. And I bought my first packet of cigarettes in 7 months.

We are hosting Christmas Eve at our house this year, and two of our relatives are currently not speaking to each other which should make for tense fun.

Until this morning, I have been hobbling around and wincing when I sat down due to an ingrown hair in a very sensitive area. Sweet relief came but a few hours ago.

I am ok with the fact that I will not be able to give my family the PERFECT Christmas. If I have low expectations, then no-one can be dissapointed.

I have gone up a clothing size in the last month.

I purchased my own Christmas Presents and I am going to LIKE THEM FOR ONCE!

I had run out of my Lexapro Happy Pills and couldn’t get a Dr appointment for a week, so my girlfriend gave me a sheet of hers.

I take Lexapro for anxiety.

My anxiety has decreased a lot this year, due to the fact that I finally defrauded the illusion of perfection.

So I can actually see you there, stressing about the festive season and whether it is going to be good enough for your tribe. Whether it is going to be perfect. And I want you to repeat after me.

“Fuck it. That will have to do.”

Are you perfect?

Or are you interesting?