What I learnt this week

We need imperfections

Yesterday I opened my front door as usual. As I do several times a day. This time, I actually noticed the letterbox.

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It’s the same letterbox cover we’ve had since we moved in. It’s bent at the corners because it keeps falling off. It’s gold where the rest of the door fittings have slowly been changed to chrome. Yet somehow we’ve never got round to changing it even though it’s a simple, inexpensive task.

It’s the same with the eyelet curtains on our landing. When we put them on, we threaded them through wrongly so the lining shows. Such an easy thing to fix, yet they’ve stayed that way for over ten years now.

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Then there’s the ‘cricket equipment’. Apparently it’s too important to store in the garage, and too much hassle to keep going into the garage each time they need it.  Not a problem. We bought a blanket box to store it in. But then with three males in our household playing the game, it has spilled into the space next to the box. Carefully disguised, of course. Yet have we done anything about it, other than the ‘disguise’? Of course not.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that despite all these niggles being easy to solve, we don’t get  round to it because subconsciously we like them. They make our house a home. A place that’s lived in by real people.

I believe it’s the same reason we don’t want perfect characters in our stories. We’re far more likely to fall in love with a flawed hero – take Rochester, James Bond, Ross Poldark (umm, yes please). These fictional heroes capture our imagination because they have imperfections that make them real to us. Lovable. Plus they’re gorgeous, which helps…

Of course when it comes to our own, real life flawed heroes, it’s worth pointing out that leaving wet towels on the floor isn’t a sexy imperfection. It’s lazy.