Friday, December 4, 2009


I have been called a perfectionist --- like that's a bad word. Actually, I prefer the term "selective perfectionist". I mean when it comes to weeding in the garden, its just close enough. After all, I'll be doing the same thing the following weekend anyway. And do I really need to make my bed each morning with a dozen fancy pillows with coordinating pillow shams only to toss the pillows aside 12 hours later? This is not to say that I don't own these pillows, they are present when company arrives and my bedroom and specifically my bed, becomes the depository for coats. But to do it all on a busy Monday morning ..... really is it necessary? Since I entertain mostly outside from May - September, does the front parlor really need to be dusted and vacuumed? If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it .... is there a sound? So if a room is behind a closed door, is there still dust? Now I know these things relate more to mundane chores .... so nope, no perfectionism there. (Sorry Martha S., I have failed you.) However, when it comes to decorating, I'll admit to being a bit obsessive.

For example, I spent weeks this summer, tweaking my newly painted shelves in my family room re-do, editing my collectibles and bringing in new pieces to ensure just the right amount of white space (without looking too sparse and sterile) along with just the right amount of pieces to feel warm, inviting and un-cluttered. Following each rearrangement session, I would ask for comments only to receive, in an exasperated tone, "Mom, it looks just the same as before." I have been known to spray paint picture frames, mirror frames and anything else paintable, to achieve just the look I want, again and again and again. I even color coordinate my books. Currently the family room books are in shades of rust orange and olive green, my 2 accent colors for the room. When it comes to Christmas Trees, what I am especially known for, I'll admit to having removed strands of lights on a tree to only rearrange them again and again so that the look is perfectly uniform with the perfect sparkle.

I didn't start off with so many trees, like all collections, this grew over time. When my daughter was real young, we had only 2 trees. I was busy one day decorating the larger of the trees, carefully placing each ornament, limited as my collection was back then, for maximum eye appeal. My daughter asked if she could help .... she was 3. Being a good mom and a safe mom, I handed her a few of the non-breakable ones and proceeded to show her where to place them. NO, she wanted shiny ones, like Mom's. I had just purchased a cheap set of a dozen red glass balls, so no real concerns if one accidentally broke. I would place a hanger on each ornament and one by one handed them to my daughter to hang. I kept busy placing my vintage treasures high atop the tree, rehanging a few if necessary ... again for just the right look. This routine continued for several minutes, as we each worked in silence with only the faint sound of Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" coming from the other room. When I took a step back to survey the tree, I realized that I couldn't see a single red ball. Confused, I turned to my daughter and asked where she had put all the ornaments. With an innocent and joyful grin that only comes from a happy child, she proudly pointed out her handiwork. There, all on one branch, were 12 red ball ornaments in all their shiny glory. "Mommy" she asked, "how does it look?" Perfect .... absolutely perfect!!

1 comment:

thasnifty said...

That is a beautiful story and so wonderful that you got a picture. This gave me my first smile of Christmas Eve :)