by Victoria Alexander

When my husband looked at the new cover for THE PERFECT WIFE, he said something along the lines of (and I'm paraphrasing here, although one would think the words were burned into my memory) "that's my idea of the perfect wife." Amazingly, I let him live.

But I did start wondering about the whole idea of perfect. One of the definitions of perfect is "entirely without flaws". I don't know anyone of a non-fictional nature who is entirely without flaws.

Oh, I know some very good people who really are very nearly perfect (not being at all perfect myself, this drives me insane which these nearly perfect people would understand and forgive) and I know a few who think they're perfect which also drives me nuts. (I'm one of those people who thinks she's always right which probably drives other people crazy because I'm not always right although I would never admit it.)

It's really tempting for an author to create heroes and heroines who are perfect. But flaws are what makes us human and what makes non-fictional people real.

Say, for example, your hero has treated your heroine in a dreadful manner throughout the book. When he realizes the error of his ways and begs forgiveness, do we really want our heroine to say, "Think nothing of it, my dear Bertram. Of course I forgive you, after all, I love you." I know I don't. (I suppose Bertram's behavior could be excused simply because we have stuck him with the name Bertram.)

Unless you're Bertram, there's nothing the least bit satisfying about forgiveness with no strings attached. I much prefer heroines who go on to say, "However, Bertram, my forgiveness does not come without a price. Until such time as you have earned my forgiveness, I fully intend to make your life a living hell." At which point she casts him a brilliant smile and he does realize he won't like the price but she is worth it. Now that's perfect! And you can trust me on this because, while I'm not perfect, I am, well, always right.

While I don't believe in perfect people (real or fictional), I do believe there are moments in life that are as close to perfection as possible. Moments that make your soul swell with the beauty or the joy or, yes, the perfection of them. They are gifts--a tropical sunset over the water, the laugh of a baby. They are treasures--the Hallelujah Chorus sung with more heart than skill in a neighborhood church, your son calling from college just to talk and not ask for money, and, oh, seeing your name at the top of a best seller list is pretty close to perfect.

I think the nearly perfect moments are given to us to make up for those that are so much less than perfect. So, what are some of your perfect moments?

1 Comments:

Blogger Mary Castillo said:

I was walking with my MIL, up ahead were my husband and two year-old son. My MIL turned to me and said, "Wow, I never imagined that I'd live to see this."

Looking ahead, my husband and son were holding hands. I can already tell that my son will grow up with the build as his daddy, and seeing my six foot husband, leaning so he could reach my son's hand was too precious.

One day, I hope that I'll get to see my son holding his son's hand.

4:19 PM  

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