We demand perfection in so many things––
performances most flawless, cars that sport no dings,
trophy wives to greet us at the door each night
with Ivory complexions and bodies toned just right.
My kid’s an honor student, your child a beauty queen.
If we have other children, they are more rarely seen.
In our quest for perfection, somehow the TV
Has become our standard for reality.
Silicone injections in our lower cheeks,
surgery reducing our stomachs, thighs and beaks.
If we’re not born perfect, thank God that we can buy it.
Every ordinarily attractive gal should try it!
I heard there was a sale on for tummy tucks and lifts––
promoting them as valentines and other midlife gifts.
And so I declared myself my own valentine
and began to plan a body that was really really fine.
I started with love handles and worked up to my neck.
‘Til I’d made a total rehab out of this old wreck.
If I had been born perfect, I’d probably be blue.
I would have had to figure out something else to do.
Perhaps I would have learned to make those statues on my shelf
instead of concentrating on adjustments to myself!
This poem is a spoof––no tummy tucks yet. When I was growing up, there was a feature in the “Reader’s Digest” entitled “The Perfect Squelch.” In it, they would share perfect examples of verbal “one-up-manship.” Now that’s the kind of perfection I can appreciate. I’d love to hear your examples of perfect squelches you’ve made or heard in the comments section below. I also have a “perfect photos” piece I’m working on, but I’ve run out of time as I have a birthday party to go to, so come back later for the photos I meant to accompany this poem.