Compulsive: Someone who feels compelled to do certain things.
Perfectionist: A person who is displeased by anything that does not meet very high standards.
Here are two things you need to know about me. One, I’m not crafty. Two, I’m so not crafty that I recently attempted a project that required using superglue with toilet paper rolls, which are more or less paper, and I basically accomplished nothing but gluing my fingers together. Multiple times. So essentially, I’m so bad at crafts that I cannot superglue paper together. So knowing this, here’s what you do when you’re a compulsive perfectionist:
It starts with your only child and their quickly approaching first birthday, which of course, should be perfect. So balloons just won’t do. You need to make something. Those puff balls that people make out of tissue paper are so cute.
How hard can that be? So you purchase the supplies and get to work.
Then you think maybe you got the wrong kind of paper.
Then you go back to The Dollar Tree (where all real crafters shop, obviously) and buy different paper.
Then you think maybe you still got the wrong kind of paper.
Then you cut the paper you have into varying sizes.
Then you think maybe you need something different to tie it with. And different paper.
Then you bravely decide to go to Hobby Lobby (on a Saturday afternoon with your almost one-year-old who has just had the time of her life at a birthday party but is now quickly growing louder in expressing her desire to go home).
Then you have the brilliant idea of taking one of her favorite toys into the store. It’s a precious little owl that her daddy picked out and it hooks onto the shopping cart so she can’t throw it on the ground over and over and over. And over. This will guarantee enough shopping time to identify why the puff ball experiment has gone so epically wrong so far.
Then you spend a good 10 minutes deliberating over colors and patterns on paper plates, cups and napkins only to decide to purchase them later at, yes, The Dollar Tree – because you hate to waste money.
Then you realize you’ve now lost 10 minutes of “happy baby shopping time”.
Then you make your way over and through aisles containing 1,372 kinds of thread and other tying devices, 64 colors of tissue paper, 589 styles of card stock, cake decorating tips, cake toppers, party favors, ribbon, balloons, streamers…wait, what did you come to Hobby Lobby for again? (This is the “compulsive” part.)
Then “happy baby shopping time” is definitely over.
Then you quickly make your selections and head to the front of the store. You are confident that this time the puff balls will be a success.
Then you load your purchases into the car and make your way back home with a relatively still happy baby and you debate whether or not that happiness will last long enough to go to the Dollar Tree and pick up those paper plates, cups and napkins.
Then your relatively happy baby is increasingly less happy and you say, “Honey, play with your owl that you love.”
Then your heart sinks because the owl that she loves (that her daddy picked out and bought her) is most definitely still hanging out on the Hobby Lobby shopping cart. All cute and alone.
Then you call daddy frantically and tell him that you’ve left the cute little owl at Hobby Lobby, but you are already almost back home and is it worth it to go back and get it? And he is patient and explains that “it’s just a toy” and “she has other toys” and it is indeed not worth the trip back to Hobby Lobby. And you reluctantly accept this answer. It would take 30 minutes minimum to get to Hobby Lobby and back, dangerously cutting into baby dinner time and it would cost almost as much in gas as you paid for the owl in the first place and remember you don’t like to waste money. But isn’t it wasting money to leave the toy at Hobby Lobby? No, he’s right, it’s not worth it. He’s right. He’s right.
But the owl is so cute. And she loves it. And her daddy picked it out for her. And it’s so handy in shopping situations because, well, it hooks onto the shopping cart (the very trait that caused its demise). And it’s so cute. Nope, he’s right.
Then you try to forget about the owl, but might lose a tiny bit of sleep over it that weekend.
Then you leave work on Monday afternoon and think, “Hobby Lobby is on my way home. Maybe the owl is still there.” And you call and it’s there and you are on your way to pick it up.
(Then you almost run out of gas because it’s 20 cents cheaper per gallon at the Rivergate exit versus downtown and, remember, you hate to waste money.)
Then you return to Hobby Lobby and are reunited with the owl. And while you’re there, you pick up balloons because you’ve finally accepted the reality that the puff balls are not going to happen. Which is a small victory in your compulsive perfectionist ways because you are accepting defeat.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9