Girls Write Out
Thursday, December 08, 2005

I have an illness.

No, it's not a virus, I'm not contagious, and I don't need treatment (though Kevin has suggested otherwise). It's something I was born with or picked up somewhere along the way. At times it serves me well, but usually, I serve it.

This illness is known as perfectionism, and those who have it know exactly what I mean by that last sentence. The affliction is so popular, there is a game named after it. ("Pop, goes Perfection . . . ") They sing it as if the stress of fitting little pieces of plastic into their slots before the time runs out and the board suddenly pops, scaring the ba-jeebers out of you, is actually fun. Please. As if life isn't stressful enough. Still, it's an apropos reflection of real-life perfectionism. I should know.

I was the child whose dolls were lined up shortest to tallest on the shelf, the one whose socks had to be exactly straight (there's a line across the toes, you know), and who had every bobby pin and barrette in individualized compartments. Advance 20 years (okay, 30) and I'm the one whose spices are alphabetized, whose face is always made up, and whose sofa pillows must always be in place. I will read this blog at least three times before posting and probably three more after I post it, checking for mistakes. I have been known to remove guests' plates from under their noses (he said his fork was halfway to his mouth when this occurred, but that is heresay) in my effort to restore my kitchen to it's spotless appearance. My name is Denise and I'm a perfectionaholic.

I don't know how I came to be this way, but there it is. My illness. During my early adult years, God sent three remedies to help fix me. They're named Justin, Chad, and Trevor. I admit, their appearance partially healed me. Boys don't put things away. They don't line things up and sort clothes by color. At least mine don't. Apparently the illness is not hereditary.

And I should be glad, because this illness is a pain. The pieces rarely fit, and in my focus to do it right, I'm completely caught off guard when life goes "Pop!" It's frustrating to lose, and when perfection is the goal, let's face it, that's what happens. At times like this, I realize my Milton-Bradley existence is a crazy way to live, but I'm pretty sure there's only one cure. Heaven. And I have a feeling we perfectionists are going it appreciate it a little more than everyone else.

Denise Hunter  
posted at 10:20 AM  
  Comments (8)
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At 1:17 PM, Blogger Jennifer Tiszai said...

Oh, that's too funny. I call myself a recovering perfectionist since I've had kids. Boy my standards have fallen. But I still get after the kids to keep the pillows on the couch the right way and get seriously annoyed with my husband when he cooks and gets the spices out of order.

We need a support group. :)

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

Okay, so I'm an opposite.....line things up? Alphabetize spices? Sheesh, it's like living with my sister all over again--she does these things. However, her diagnosis wasn't perfectist, it's called Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder. Check it out, Denise...I think you may feel right at home! LOLOL

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Dineen A. Miller said...

Oh, what a great post, Denise. Thank you. It's nice to know I'm among compadres, except for you Robin! LOL! I hear God speaking to me tonight through blogs.

Let go and let ME.

I guess I better listen...

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Robin, I think Kevin may have mentioned that OCD diagnosis at some point. LOL It's nice to know there are others like me, Jennifer and Dineen. :-)

At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I will read this blog at least three times before posting and probably three more after I post it, checking for mistakes"
lol- I do this all the time with everything I write. Even if it's not worth it. I'm not a complete perfectionist, but once I got a fortune cookie that said, "You yearn for perfection." I just had to keep it!

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I will alphabetize ANYTHING. But it's a real testament to how busy the last six months have been. See, I moved the end of May....and my books AND my spices are not yet alphabetized!! Sometimes that makes it hard to sleep at night. But then I think about my CD collection. It’s in chronological order. Ahhhh

At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Bethanie said...

i like my books listed in alphabetical order on my bookcase. and my cds in my cd wallet. only, not the car one, coz that's too difficult to do while driving (but i didn't say that right??).

but other than that, i will never be a perfectionist, as my mother is one and it drives me mad. i'll be nice to my kids when i have them... well that's what i say now anyway.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger south asia said...

This post cracked me up, only because each and every thing listed is something I am guilty of. I also like my closet to be black shirts are first, then blue, then brown, then's a sickness, but at least it's an orderly sickness.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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