Monday, September 05, 2005

Wanting to Be Perfect

As I may or may not have mentioned before, I adopted the nom de blog 'Balabusta in Blue Jeans', because 'balabusta' is one of many Hebrew and Yiddish words referring to women who have got it going on, at home and away, which I find endlessly tempting and fascinating. Being a balabusta is a goal on my part, one I slowly work toward with a copy of Flylady's book in one hand, and a To Do list in the other, and a Swiffer clenched between my toes.

One of my most basic self-assigned problems in life is this:

I am inherently disorganized. I forget to check my messages and am then afraid to call people back because it's too late. I pu things down in big piles on the furniture, rather than putting them away where they belong. Cleaning takes forever. I start big projects I don't have time for. I am afraid of looking bad. I work incessently on lesson plans, trying to make them perfect, and they're not, and then I've spend two hours on one lesson plan, rather than planning the whole week and being done with it already. Nothing is ever done, because I'm still making long lists of what I'll do to it next.

Things die in my fridge. I've half to seven-eighths written three novels. And I let all of this get to me at times.

Some people seem to be able to take this kind of thing and make it work for them, because it tells them they are free, and spontaneous and creative. It makes me insane. I have a fantasy, you see...

She's a bit like the RenReb's Dinner Rebbetzin, I think. The fantasy version of me gets up in the morning, showers, and her hair falls into place. Great, inherently appropriate clothes fly off the rack, and on to her body, while I am trying to decide if my bra straps will show through that shirt, and realizing that the wrinkles didn't fall out of my skirt after all.

She davens Shacharit and Maariv and never gets confused and thrown off by the directions for assorted yontiffs. She drives. (Trying to get there.) She's active (superactive) in her synagogue, Hadassah, the Irish Cultural center, the SCA, the local young writer's community, Planned Parenthood, the teacher's union, and the Democratic Party. Occasionally she organizes a fundraiser for Magen David Adom. She can make a martini. (I won't even drink a martini, so I don't know what use this is supposed to be.)

She deals effectively with her principal, who worships the ground she walks on. She hosts fun evenings for the other teachers. She is always there for her students, and they love her. When she is firm and clear about her classroom expectations, it sticks. She never accidentally writes the wrong grade on a paper in red ink and then has to cross it out. If she did such a thing, she wouldn't worry about the kid showing it to other teachers and them thinking her a dingbat.

She cooks from scratch and freezes. Nothing goes bad in her fridge. She's published a novel already, and has a contract for another. She manages money sensibly, and is not afraid of landlords. She weighs about forty pounds less than I do, and her trichotillomania is totally under control. Also, she does not bite her nails. Also, she moisturizes every morning and always wears sunblock. All her friends turn to her for support, and she is able to fix their problems, find them people to marry, and organize the wedding in her sleep. Everyone needs her for everything, and she is able to take care of all of them. She never makes mistakes.

Also, she buys Christmas presents in October, forgets no one's birthday, and throws at least four big, charming parties every year. And she leads her own Seder and hosts Thanksgiving. She has never paid a bill late in her life, and her credit rating is great. Her house is immaculate. And beautifully, although inexpensively, decorated.

She still has time to sit on her deck and watch the sunset, and spend quality time with her boyfriend.

Deep breath. That's the horrible truth. Unfortunately, this woman is not me. She does not exist. Her only actual job, which is probably why she's able to do it so very well, is to sit in my head and criticize everything I do.

Yes, I've got a therapist. She has allowed me to get to the point where I realize this is sort of silly, and have made changes in my life that make me very happy. The superego twit still hangs out with me and interferes.

Her plate has actually gotten more focused and less full. There was a time when she was also supposed to belong to a million and a half save-the-world type lefty organizations, and work for zilch pay at a heroic women's nonprofit, and write a major third-wave feminist book. Then the Balabusta turned twenty-eight, and her tolerance for the anti-Semitism of the American Left bottomed out, so the superego twit is now at least allowed to hold down a middle-class job. This is big progress.

I'm sitting here giggling, but this woman really takes up too much of time. And it's tricky to sort out, because she may be fictional, oboxious, and impossible, but she really does represent all of the things I want to do. One thing at a time, I guess, and some careful picking and choosing.

Anyone else out there got one of these people?


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Sweettooth120 said...

Balabusta...are you sure you are not my twin? That read like it came directly out of my journal (if I actually had one, but I don't because I am too lazy and disorganized with my thoughts.) Having high expections from yourself and others can be frustrating, but I am sure you will find a balance and be able to happily focus on what's going on in your life, in the moment, than what is not.

Btw, interesting about the name Balabusta. I had looked it up before because I noticed a few people with that blog name. The definition I found was either the wife of an important man, or a bossy woman. Not sure how the two are related, but have you heard of these definitions as well?

Moishe Q. Public said...

No, I don't know anyone like that. But I tell you, Baly, if you find her, introduce me! I'd LOVE to meet her ...

Jack's Shack said...

Sure, I know three women just like her, or maybe it is six. It sure feels like it. ;)

Eliyahu said...

i've concluded that G_d didn't want us to be perfect, because G_d would be bored with us. so far, G_d's desires have been well implemented in my life.