Perfectly Imperfect


My lotion stand, may it rest in pieces.


By M.P. Witwer

Even though I don’t consider myself to be a perfectionist, I’ve learned that others hold a different view. My daughter has admonished me for it, my mother has teased me about it, and when the instructor of my clay class said there’s one in every group, all eyes turned toward me.

Two things should be pointed out from the start: 1. This tendency, which I will grudgingly admit may (does) indeed exist, extends only to professional and creative endeavors (as those who have observed my housekeeping efforts may attest); and 2. I do not hold anyone else to such exacting standards. Really, I don’t even expect perfection from myself, but it usually is my goal.

Armed with this knowledge, I have been proactively pursuing a plan to pocket my penchant for perfection. I’m also attempting to alleviate alliteration, but that’s another story.

It was with my perfectionism-reducing agenda in mind that I set out recently to make a ceramic tray for a lotion dispenser. I had a rough notion of what I wanted to do, but didn’t take any measurements or create a template for the project. My idea was to craft a rectangular tile with a circular indentation at one end for the base of the bottle to sit in, while the spout perched over the tray so any drips would wind up on the lotion stand and not on the bathroom counter. It didn’t need to be perfect, just functional. Continue reading

If Ignorance is Bliss…


By Cecilia Rogers

A few years ago, the first day of June had ushered in a heat wave that, as it turned out, would last for three months. No one knew it then of course, which was just as well. We all struggled through the hot, muggy days, shuttling back and forth from air-conditioned homes to air-conditioned workplaces, usually by means of air-conditioned transportation. It was supposed to be the best time of year and we were all trapped inside, trying to escape the heat. Casual conversations were peppered with endlessly repeated clichés as to how hot it was, how unusual a June heat wave was and variations on, Wow if it’s like this now what’s it gonna be like in mid-August! Repetitive though they were, those comments didn’t get to me. What got to me was that before long the refrain had shifted to the irritating inanity uttered by would-be comedians: Hot enough for ya, Marissa? Usually it was accompanied by a braying guffaw that no self-respecting donkey would ever produce and a hearty slap on the back, as though it were all just good fun and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

When on a Monday in the middle of the month I had heard that from three different people before 10:30, I felt as though the day couldn’t get any worse: I was mistaken, as a mere ten minutes later it did. Continue reading