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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014
The annoying world of perfection
Seema Goswami, Hindustan Times
August 09, 2014
First Published: 16:11 IST(9/8/2014)
Last Updated: 14:38 IST(10/8/2014)
Seema Goswami

Go on, admit it. Isn’t there something just a tad annoying about perfection? Okay, make that very annoying indeed. You know what I mean, don’t you? All those picture-perfect images of celebrities in the media, without a hair out of place. The slickly designed homes that feature in style magazines, colour-coordinated till the sofa springs squeak. Those food shows that serve up glossy, glammed-up food, on gleaming crockery, to equally gleaming people.

Well, whatever you may think about it, I have to confess that I am fed up with being fed these images of perfection day in and day out. If anything, these tableaux of perfection make me long for a world which is a bit messed up, a tiny bit ragged around the edges, or even just plain old ugly.

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Perfect 10: How does Angelina Jolie, who in addition to looking as glamourous as ever, manage to pull off the Earth Mother routine as well, dragging along all six of her children for the oerfect photo opportunity?

It’s not just the media, of course. It’s also real life. And of course, some people, who are so darned perfect that the only response to their po-faced perfection is to punch them in the face (not that I actually do that, but consider yourselves warned).

I have a sneaking suspicion that some of them are just playing the part and are secretly as flawed and imperfect as the rest of us. But true to form, they play the part so perfectly that they have the rest of us convinced – and bloody annoyed. Or is that just me?

Well, for what it is worth, here is a ready reckoner of all the things that I, in all my glorious imperfections, find very, very annoying indeed.

* Those people who decorate their houses in shades of beige, taupe, ivory, cream, or even stark white, and then manage to keep them looking pristine for years. Don’t these people have kids? Or even guests? Don’t they themselves eat dinner, drink red wine, or sneak in a quick ice-cream late at night? And if they do, how come their décor remains spill-free and immaculate? Do they secretly execute renovations in the dead of night so that the rest of us don’t know what they are up to? I think the world deserves to know the truth about this Beige Brigade.

* Perfect moms who send their kids to school with perfectly ironed uniforms, perfectly brushed hair, and with tiffins that contain only organic, free-range, thingummy jigs, with not a trace of added sugar. You know the ones I mean, don’t you? The kind of mums who treat your kid like a terrorist because he or she is packing a cupcake in his/her goody bag. And who send a long list of instructions of what their child can or cannot eat if you ever invite him or her over for a play date (even as you mutter “never again” to yourself under your breath).

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* Talking of kids, don’t you hate those smug parents whose kids never put a foot wrong? These perfectly reared monsters never have a meltdown in a supermarket aisle, never smear chocolate on other people’s furniture or clothes, and never ever run around terrorising hapless diners in fancy restaurants. Oh no, they listen to Mummy and Daddy all the time, obey all instructions, say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ without being prompted, and generally do all they can to make other children (and their parents) feel totally and utterly inadequate.

* The folks who can wear linen or starched cotton the whole day long without ever throwing up a single crease (if you don’t count the ones they had achieved by the efficient press of an iron). How do they do it? Do they never sit down all day long? Or do they carry discreet little travel irons around in their handbags to affect repairs as and when needed? The mind truly boggles!

* Those people with iron self-control who never cheat on their diets, not even if a three-star Michelin chef is in the kitchen. They stick with cheerless severity to their lettuce salad (hold the dressing), poached fish with steamed vegetables on the side, and a fruit platter for dessert. These are those ‘virtuous’ creatures who are never tempted by a plate of French fries, a gooey chocolate desert, or a juicy hamburger with cheese and bacon, and then look down from the moral high ground of their dietary superiority on the rest of us mere mortals. What’s not to loathe?

* And last of all, there is a special place in hell reserved for people who manage to get off long-haul flights looking as good (if not better) as when they got on. I can just about forgive the Duchess of Cambridge, aka Kate Middleton, who has a hairdresser, lady-in-waiting and God alone knows who else, travelling with her to ensure that the future Queen of England never steps off a plane looking less than immaculate. But what do you make of the likes of Victoria Beckam and Jemima Khan, who stroll through airports with bouncy hair and immaculate make-up even after a 12-hour flight. Or, for that matter, Angelina Jolie, who in addition to looking as glamorous as ever, manages to pull off the Earth Mother routine as well, dragging along all six of her children for the perfect photo opportunity. What is wrong with these women? And why doesn’t static strike them like it does the rest of us? Honestly, there really is no justice in this world!

From HT Brunch, August 1o
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