Beautiful Imperfections

Last Wednesday at work a genius new employee wrapped his lunch in tinfoil and paper towels (to mitigate the foil’s effect), and popped it all in the microwave. That would be okay, but he turned the microwave ON. So, fire happened, someone stomped it out, the fire alarm was pulled, and the whole building was evacuated. Since Prince Scientist is across the hall from me, my friends and I walked out not too far behind him and his.

My friend has been prompting me to check out the Prince’s goods, but I’m usually so distracted by his face and his ridiculous intelligence that I don’t notice. Since he was in front of me and I wasn’t talking to him, I did. Fortunately or unfortunately, I think his cute homo scientist friend saw me (seriously, this other scientist is a total cutie. It must suck to hang around the Prince…he sort of gets washed out by comparison).

What struck me was that for the first time, I noticed that Prince Scientist has a little extra weight around his midsection. It’s not much, but it was obvious and noticeable when he took off his jacket. I’ve seen him at lunch. Most of the scientists here eat very healthy: salads and quinoa and fruit and…I don’t know…nutrient-rich potting soil and whatever else healthy people eat. Not Prince Scientist. He eats from the truck: tacos and burritos and grease and horror. He wears his pants a little big like I do, but there was no backside to speak of. He also needs a haircut. Direct, unrelenting southern California sun isn’t all that flattering to his light skin. He’s NOT perfect…and that makes him all the more adorable.

It made me think, though. Am I so insecure that I have to pick out imperfections? Is it to make myself feel better? Probably. But at the same time, perfection is intimidating and it’s almost like there’s nowhere left to go. This is going to sound stupid, but it reminds me of the World tarot card. It signifies perfection, the end of a cycle, completion. When you are done with a project, what do you do? You move on to the next. For me, beauty and personality are kind of like that.

Perfection pales. It’s boring. Flaws make the good parts of people stand out all the more and make the total package desirable. I’m not talking about an extra head, schizophrenia, a vestigial third shoulder-wing, or a sixteenth nipple, but more like what’s mentioned above. A large nose, a scar, a little extra weight, bad eating habits, a character flaw. In books and movies, what characters are we drawn to? Those with flaws. We like to watch pretty people doing pretty things, but that doesn’t touch us. What touches us is that cliché hooker with the heart of gold, an otherwise good person who needs to overcome hubris, the insecure geek who finds his true worth. Everyone loves an underdog. Without flaws, there is no conflict, no reason to try, nowhere to go but down…or to move on.

So, I got a little (LOT!) philosophical there, but I do think about crap like this. Whether my noticing Prince Scientist’s supposed flaws will go to allow me to feel better talking to him or not is immaterial. It’s a reminder of what I value — change, growth, character, and, well, just being interesting. That’s not to say that I’m immune to good looks or that Prince Scientist isn’t ridiculously beautiful. There’s a lot of beauty and very few physical flaws. I’m not trying to lie to seem noble. His face makes my boxers melt off, and when he makes that lingering eye contact with me — as we did just the day before this — I feel like I’m going to have a stroke (and you can take that any way you’d like, thanks). But if he is perfect, if his personality is flawless, I’ll get bored.

And so I find beauty in his imperfections. If only most people could turn that on ourselves, I think this world would be a happier place.

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~ by Darren Endymion on April 13, 2015.

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