Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mr. Not-So-Perfect

A few months ago I wrote about someone I know whom my friend gave the nickname "Mr. Perfect."

At the time of this post I knew very little about this individual. They were someone I had seen around here and there. At the time of the post "acquaintances" described our relationship best as we had only spoke no more than two or three times. As I mentioned in my post, I realize no one is "perfect," but until I got to know this person better I would not know how they were "not-so-perfect." Thankfully, this was someone I wanted to get to know better so I figured it was only a matter of time that I would break this image I had built-up in my mind.

In the beginning, everything I learned about Mr. Not-So-Perfect supported my first impression of him. Attractive, uber smart, came from the most functional family I have ever heard of, professionally successful and socially normal. "Where the hell were his flaws?" I kept wondering to myself.

(Before I proceed, I would like to state for the record, Mr. Not-So-Pefect and I are not a couple -- just friends. I don't want any misunderstanding or untrue rumors circulating, and ultimately ending up in my mother's e-mail inbox. Oy! What a mess that would be!)

As of recent, I've began to consider Mr. NSP a friend. Over these past months, I have been able to dig deeper into his world and figure out some of his flaws. However, it wasn't until the past week or so that I was privileged to some information about him that really got to the core of who he is. Or, should I say, I learned of something that has had a great impact on his life. This all came about when I shared with him an event in my life that had great impact on me. While we were talking about it, I asked him the one question I had been dying this whole time to ask, but was too afraid to do so. I guess the fact that I had shared with him my "secret" made him feel comfortable enough to share with me as I had shared with him.

Mr. NSP and I don't discuss our not-so-perfect life experiences whenever we communicate with each other now. I do, however, see that we're even more comfortable with each other than we once were. (Or at least I am more comfortable with him than I once was.) There is surely a greater sense of camaraderie and understanding than there once was.

This morning as I made my way into work, I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's book "Committed" for a second time. Right before I turned off the narrative, Ms. Gilbert was talking about how she made a list of her flaws for her beloved so he knew what he was getting into. What Ms. Gilbert went on to explain is that she believes part of marriage is not loving someone for all the great things about who they are, it's loving them for their flaws. (Or at least that is what I got out of that part of the book.) I may or may not have stated this in my previous post, but others joke about this need I have to discover this part of the individuals I wish to get to know better. I realize it's weird to focus on the imperfections of others. I fully admit I see how it can seem that way. However, I recognize that if I'm going to let someone into my world I need to make sure that I can accept them for everything they are -- the good... the bad... and the ugly. On the flip-side, I expect that they too are doing their due diligence when it comes to me. I believe it's a person's imperfections that makes someone human, and gives them true character. It's our shared vulnerability that I believe connects me to others, and provides the much needed glue to solidify true, meaningful bonds.

I am not perfect -- FAR from it actually. However, there are at least of a handful of people who think I'm pretty damn awesome, regardless. These folks know my good, my bad ... and my UGLY! Yet, they've chosen to look past those things, and share the experience of life with me -- as I have done the same with them.

I'm glad Mr. NSP isn't perfect, that would have been just plain boring if you ask me.

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