I know that someday you'll find better things.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Perfect Cure

The journey is over, friends. I have found the cure for being a perfectionist.

Remember when I checked out every book in the Plano library system about perfectionism, read each one three times to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and took all those detailed notes along the way?

That did not cure me.

Neither did yoga, meditation, hypnosis, prayer, magnesium supplements, or quitting caffeine. And don’t even get me started about “letting go”.

As it turns out, the cure was upstairs in my closet the whole time. One little box was all it took.

If you or someone you know is a recovering perfectionist, one purchase and four hellacious afternoons should do the trick. The cure is closer than you could have ever imagined!

Are you on the edge of your seat?
Are you ready to finally care less?

Get out there and find a 1961 Hubley ‘Model A Town Sedan’ metal model car kit.

Counter-intuitive, right? A task requiring such precision should be a perfectionist’s dream come true. 

Well, perhaps in order for this to be truly effective, you will also need these factors:

  • No previous experience with any kind of model kit
  • No previous experience with any kind of metal
  • No access to any tools that could possibly help ease the tedium of the provided file
  • One incredibly ambitious and talkative six-year-old helper (I will loan you mine if you’d like.)

This adventure started in the usual way, with the thought of ‘How hard could it be?’

And in fact, opening the box wasn’t very hard at all. It was also not hard for my enthusiastic helper to pop open all the other little baggies within the box, effectively treating our family room to one very brief hail storm of itty bitty screws and other little pieces.

It was hard to find all those little pieces, though. Eventually, we just had to give up and move on.

We also discovered it was quite hard to do step one of the instructions, which involved putting real rubber tires onto tiny plastic thingamabobs. There’s a chance that it would have been a challenging task in 1961 when the kit was new, but now that the tires had been sitting around for 52 years, it was darn near impossible. We got two of them in place and accidentally snapped the other three to bits.

“I’m sure we can get some replacements at Hobby Lobby,” said my helper.
“I think I’m going to need some wine,” I replied.

Step two and step three were not impossible. Several times we turned to one another and said, “We’re doing this! I can’t believe we’re really doing this!"

The second day was not as exciting. It was tough to discern what was part of the car and what was part of the excess kit-frame. The tip snapped off the file. Although we own ten trillion screw drivers, none of them seemed to be small enough to fit in in the miniscule slots on the heads of the tiny screws.

The third day was downright painful. More pieces got lost. No matter how hard we tried to be neat, there were metal bits everywhere. Our fingers were covered in bruises, scrapes, and slivers. We finally found the Dremel tool in the garage, but all of the accessories were lost. A visit to Hobby Lobby was entirely futile. They had neither replacement parts nor Dremel tips. In fact, they had nothing useful. Mia pointed to a display in the science section and argued that the astronaut icecream could be useful, but this situation could not be solved with a dose of over-priced dehydrated dessert.

That night, we went to bed discouraged.

When I woke up on the fourth morning, something inside me had changed. I no longer cared if the edges were filed or if all the flashing was properly removed. I no longer cared if we had all the tires, or only two tires, or no tires at all.

I no longer cared if we ever finished the stupid thing. Ever.

I think this means I’m cured, don’t you?

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