Someone once told me, “Carter, you’re too much of a perfectionist to ever really be happy.” I disagree. For one thing, I’m not a perfectionist. I think I was for a while in the ‘80s, but adulthood bitch-slapped it out of me. What I’m good at is jumping in, taking risks, and dealing with the shit show that parades through life every few weeks. I have high anxiety, but it doesn’t stop me from pushing myself. Perfect? Not even close. But I have pretty high standards for myself and the people around me.
My daughter Lillian is pretty close to perfect. She’s sweet, wants to please, has amazing hair, won’t need braces, is tall (and thin, which I feel guilty adding, because I don’t necessarily think you have to be to have a nice figure) and has a 156 IQ. You’re fucking welcome, world. That said, she can whine as much as the next 12-year-old and her feelings are hurt daily. It’s okay; I know she’ll grow out of it. If I can just figure out where to send her to school for 7th grade, any worry I have for her will have less of an edge. I like those smooth corners.
My marriage? Definitely not perfect. For starters, it’s my third. Yes. I’ve been married three times. It still sounds weird to me. Like failure, actually; like I can’t get this romantic shit down. Maybe I can’t, but I really love my husband Ryan, and he’s the one I most want to share my stuff with. We were best friends long before I ever fell in love with him, and that friendship has saved us when I really didn’t feel like loving him anymore. I mean, he can really be an ass sometimes. He has to work really hard just to be polite calling to order pizza. It’s a struggle for him. When we were just friends, I once told him, “I feel sorry for your girlfriend. You’re really embarrassing in restaurants.” He just shrugged and flagged the server to complain about the temperature of his dinner. Entitled white boy.
My stepson Eric is hard. Being the part of the parenting totem pole that is rotting in the soil is not me, you know? I have always wanted to be a mom, and being a backseat driver kind of sucks. I’ve figured out that it’s best to stay out of things and just support whatever my husband and his ex dream up, although, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I’m any good at keeping my mouth shut. I swear I’m getting better. My tongue is scalloped from pushing it against my teeth while clenching my jaw shut.
Oh, yeah, I take a low dosage of amitriptyline to sleep. If I don’t, I wake up at 3:30 and replay the entire day, berating myself for all the mistakes I made.
Maybe I am a perfectionist…