I just got back from my fiddle lesson. It was a frustrating session. The song I'm learning, "Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine," has one little run of notes that just eludes me. I'm learning by ear, which means I don't have written music to guide me. When I remember the right order of notes, I forget the rhythm, and vice versa. My teacher tried all different ways to help me get it, and a couple times I did, and then I'd lose it again.
At one point, after I'd practically collapsed from frustration, he said, "You're a perfectionist, aren't you?"
Reader, I was shocked. Anyone who has ever seen the inside of my car (or my attic, or my laundry room) would be shocked. A perfectionist? Moi? And then it occurred to me: Maybe I'm the worst kind of perfectionist. Maybe I'm the kind of perfectionist who thinks she's an imperfectionist, an uptight gal who believes herself to be loosey-goosey.
I don't know. I'm going to chew on this a little more. In the meantime, I've started knitting a lace shawl. If I'm a perfectionist, knitting this shawl will likely kill me. I'm 15 rows in, and I'm already faking it. I've cast on at least three times already, and I just can't bear to start again. But I really, really want to knit this shawl. I want to uncover the mystery of lace. I want to be able to make beautiful shawls for friends and family alike. I want to knit a shawl without screaming at my children, "Leave me alone! Don't you realize how HARD this is?"
Here's what I've learned about lace so far: Lace is insanity written up in a pattern and published in a magazine. Believe you me, I'm going to drive myself crazy knitting this shawl. But I spent $42 on the yarn (it's handpainted silk, it's beautiful), and I'm not giving up. Ever. In fact, I'm feeling slightly obsessed with my lace knitting, with getting it right, no mistakes, no gaping holes. Hmmm ... could I be a perfectionist after all? Or just plain nuts?
Don't answer that.
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