Monday, August 10, 2009

Nobody's Perfect

On the drive to Claire's summer camp this morning we got into a little argument after I heard her say, "I wish my eyebrows weren't so thick." In addition to unconditionally loving every single thing about her, I happen to specifically adore Claire's eyebrows and her little elfin unibrow is part of what creates her signature look. Still, I'm not stupid and I've always known that at some point she'd get self conscious about them and start tweezing and waxing (I also know that I am genetically responsible for it all) - I just didn't expect it to start so soon.

I said, "What are you talking about??? You're perfect." She dismissed me in two words flat: "Nobody's perfect."

I asked her who told her that, curious about where the rot grows in her world. In answer she broke into song, and I recognized the familiar pep and unstoppable pop sensibility of a Hannah Montana song. She sang about a verse and a half before dropping the chorus - Nobody's Perfect - which she emphasized by widening her eyes and leaning her head forward as if she were delivering the devastating proof. To her, these lyrics were irrefutable scripture.

"Hanna Montana doesn't know what she's talking about," I said, "And besides, she doesn't even write her own songs." We volleyed for a few minutes, her telling me about the inner-workings of the Hannah Montana hit-writing factory (according to her, Billy Ray Cyrus is the real wizard behind the curtain) and me trying to rationalize the song's lyrics and explain that the lines "everybody makes mistakes/Nobody's perfect" are about a different view of perfection, and that one can make mistakes while still being essentially just as they should be. She wasn't feeling it, sighed loudly and said, "Ugh, are we going to talk about this all day?"

It was optimistic of me to think that keeping Claire out of church would shield her from having her self-worth contaminated. As a being in our society she's swimming in mind poison flowing from endless sources, just like me. So I'm taking action. From here on out, I'm upping her compliments allowance. I was holding back, trying not to turn her into a vanity casualty, but there will be no more limits to my reassurances, praise and gratuitous ego stroking. I'm going Miss Havisham on her ass. I want her breaking hearts and offending sensibility wherever she goes, strutting into first grade and beyond Kanye-style and extolling her virtue to all who will listen.

I'm not kidding.

1 comment:

The Dark Tower said...

Try telling my psychiatrist "Nobodies Perfect." and she'll just up the dosage on my medication...

No joke either...