Perfection in a Chipped Plate

Image from growingyoungereachday

In my old house, I strove for perfection.  My ex and I were constantly laying tile, painting walls, building furniture, and then repainting walls. We looked for furniture, dishware, and accessories that would give a Pottery Barn look on a Target budget. I once spent over 30 hours looking for just the right throw pillows for the couch after we repainted the living room. We both had a similar level of neatness, so the carefully selected objects in the carefully crafted house were not obscured by clutter. Perfection always seemed attainable, although slightly out of reach.

In my new home, perfection is laughable. My boyfriend’s talents do not extend to homemaking; in fact, as far as the house is concerned, I feel like I live with a scattered 16 year old boy. Our furnishings are a compilation of his twenty years of bachelorhood and my on-a-very-tight-budget IKEA run to furnish the apartment I was in for year 2 of my new life. The cupboards are filled with an odd assortment of dishes and glasses, many of them chipped from being carelessly loaded into the dishwasher. The couch, a remnant of bachelorhood, is stained from spilled drinks and muddy paws. It is topped with throw pillows that don’t match much of anything. Even the house itself is a rental, so we have done the bare minimum to improve its aesthetics.

Sometimes, when I visit other people’s homes and I see their perfect serving dishes and their matched accessories, I feel inadequate. I think about hitting the stores and upgrading some of our things. But then I realize that I don’t want to travel that road again. I don’t want to feel the pressure to create a perfect home. In my old life, I took pride in my surroundings, yet I was also a slave to them. I like living in a home where I do not have to be worried about a spill on the rug or a chip in the wood. I like not being owned by my home.

So, if you ever make it over for dinner, I can promise you a mean Mexican lasagna on a chipped IKEA plate, plenty of wine (although it may not be served in a wine glass), and lots of laughter and good company (oh, and pit bull kisses too). That’s my idea of perfection.

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15 Responses

  1. rascalfoxx says:

    😀 Yep, that’s perfection. It’s called love. Love of people and self. You are truly rich. And wonderful. And smart.
    And that’s all you get for $5. heehee

  2. BetsyBetsy says:

    I love this post! Happiness certainly doesn’t lie in what is perfect but instead is found in what is imperfectly perfect. It took me awhile to figure this out!

  3. My house is a home: not a museum. I too have chipped plates and some chipped mugs. Nothing even matches. However, it is cozy and my new hubby and our seven kids love our lived in home. Great blog!

    • Thanks! I’ll take a home over a museum any day:). I’ll be in savannah for the rock n roll marathon too. My training has been sidelined by pneumonia, but I’m still looking forward to the run! And 7 kids??? Wow. You have major respect from me on that one.

  1. December 9, 2012

    […] has been our greatest source of friction. On my part, I have had to learn to let go of perfection (Perfection in a Chipped Plate) and to not let my environment dictate my mental state. Brock has had to learn that his actions […]

  2. December 24, 2012

    […] with nary a ham hock to be found. The kitchen will be messy and the plates will be mismatched (and chipped!). But there will be laughter and games. Friendship and […]

  3. March 26, 2013

    […] not going to go Martha Stewart on my house (after all, I do see perfection in my chipped plates!), but I am going to take a few moments over spring break to restore the wall hangings and transfer […]

  4. July 2, 2013

    […] He knows that our current home is a bit of a dump (what’s funny though is that I’ve adapted and even learned to appreciate not having a “nice” home). He is feeling responsible for making sure that I am in a place where I can be […]

  5. January 3, 2014

    […] I used to be a classic perfectionist, always wanting things to be just so. With the loss of the home and my nomadic and limited living quarters for the next few years, I learned to give up on the idea that things need to be perfect. Now, I can find perfection in a chipped plate:) […]

  6. January 15, 2014

    […] A note to those of you in “china” families: I don’t get ya’ll, but I’m jealous. My home will never look as good or as put together:) Keep rocking that china! And, on a related note, please don’t judge if you’re over for dinner. You will be eating off chipped plates. Which I happen to think are perfect. […]

  7. January 23, 2014

    […] Eat off them.  Duh. […]

  8. June 28, 2014

    […] then I adapted. And I accepted. And, you know what? The house may not look perfect, but I’m relaxed. I learned tricks to hide the inevitable stains like buying removable covers for the throw pillows […]

  9. September 6, 2014

    […] Brock and I? Not so much, especially at the beginning. […]

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