Recently a friend of mine recounted the story of a job interview that was -almost- perfect. She had the perfect black jacket with just the right accessories, the perfect upbeat can-do professional attitude, the perfect answers to all of the tough questions. Except apparently she had dandruff all over said perfect black jacket. After assuring her that this minor fashion infraction would not put her out of the running for the job, I proceeded to laugh my a** off.
Until yesterday, when we got a knock at the door. My neighbors from across the street were there, glossy pamphlet in hand, selling gift items as a fundraiser for their kids' school. When I was a kid we got some little 8-page little handout with either candies, or wrapping paper, or magazines, or jewelry, or... or.... or.... Yeah, not these days. Yesterday they handed me a 30-page glossy catalog selling candy AND wrapping paper AND magazines AND jewelry.
It was going to take me a while to get through this catalog to find the perfect item that was both useful to me and affordable (i.e., less than $10). "Come on in," I say. I lead them to my living room and make the usual apologies for the "big mess." Except today I'm especially proud because the mess is actually very minor, so the apology really presents us as far neater and more organized than we really are. (If one were to go more than one room back into our house, they would see exactly what a "big mess" really is.)
So we sat and had nice conversation while I flipped through the catalog. Liv played the perfect hostess and asked the kids to play with her. She handed out stickers and asked if the kids wanted any snacks. I spoke with the mother about school choice, the standard topic of converstion among parents of children in our age bracket in our school system. (Private schools? Public schools? If public, are you going to use the magnet schools or the neighborhood school? Homeschool? Charter school? It's all a very big complicated mess....)
I ended up with a cute roll of wrapping paper. Expensive by my standards, but under my $10 limit. After I walked them to the door and we said our goodbyes, I was just complimenting myself on presenting such a pulled together image to my neighbors, which is so far from our chaotic reality.
And then I felt a little itch on my nose. Cause, you see, I've had this sinus drainage/infection thing going for about a month now, and I'm constantly having to blow my nose. And getting really yucky stuff out in the kleenex. And it was just that yucky stuff that was dried, caked on to the tip of my nose. The perfect neighbor in the perfect house who placed the perfect order from the fundraising catalog and had the perfect conversation about what perfect school would be appropriate for my perfect child. All while having snot caked to the top of my nose.
Last night I called my friend - the one who had the interview - and told her all about it. We laughed our a**es off.