I’ve decided to become a perfect person. Maybe that should be A Perfect Person. Maybe it should be The Perfect Person. It’s hard to tell with such things. I think I’ll go with Perfect Person.
I came to this decision the other day.
Years ago, there was this cartoon thing that a lot of folks had hanging in their office. I don’t remember the exact wording but it was something to the effect of “One Aw Shit cancels out 1000 Ata Boys.”
With that in mind, I’ve experienced a lot of Aw Shits lately, both uttered at me and by me. I figure my stock of Ata Boys (Ata Girls?) is at an all time low and it’s time to restock like Macy’s preparing for Black Friday.
I find, however, that enumerating the characteristics of Perfect Person is not easy. Are the characteristics internally or externally defined – which is to say, does the generic You or the specific I mediate what is perfect? (And is there a generic You?)
So, here I am stymied at the very beginning.
If I go with the generic You, I’m setting myself up for judgment by every You in the world. Or at least that intersection of the world I come into contact with. While it might be interesting (and painful) to learn what all the Yous in my life think I need to do to become perfect, I’m pretty sure one You will want this and another You will want that when the relevant this is diametrically opposed to the relevant that. I suppose I could develop multiple personalities to cope with that peccadillo, but it seems to me that acquiring, deliberately, a DSM IV diagnosis is not a Perfect Person strategy. [I believe this paragraph reveals that there really isn’t a generic You, but a collection of brand name Yous. At least to my way of thinking which may or may not be correct.]
If I go with the specific I, the very first drawback that springs to mind is I’m high diving into the bottomless pool of the Cult of Individuality. The second drawback is that I have to decide what constitutes a Perfect Person (and we know how bad I am at decisions).
Now the deep pool of the Cult of Individuality is nice to splash around in when overheated by life in the new millennium, but, really, one can only swim and tread water for so long – unless, of course, Perfect Person entails the ability to infinitely maintain an aquatic (so to speak) lifestyle. Let’s not go there. It makes my head hurt. [Hmmm, is perfection painful?]
Let’s go here instead. The Cult of Individuality has fueled the Post Modern experience which was a nice change from what went before, but, really, hasn’t it all gotten just a little dated? And silly? Besides, anyone (including me) who thinks the I is completely divorced from the You enough to define Perfect Person is delusional. [Ah, here we are back at the DSMIV again.] While I’ve yet to read an intellectually or emotionally satisfying definition of postmodernism it is, for the most part, agreed that analysis of experience is socially mediated through context. In other words, the I and the You spend an awful lot of time line dancing together.
As I’ve said here and in other places, I’m not good at decisions. Here I sit having made a decision without any idea as to how to implement it.
But since the Health Department, most of my peers, and myself are of the opinion that a clean and orderly home are a Good Thing, I think I’ll get off my derrière and restore some order and cleanliness. After which, perhaps, I’ll be able to begin teasing out a definition of Perfect Person.