Maybe the first sign of this apocalypse was when rock stars started to become health freaks, shooting up B-complex vitamins and human growth hormone instead of heroin.
What we have today is a rampant case of perfection, or at least rampant among the people I hang around with when I can, and it has rendered life a little, well, dull.
I was at a lovely brunch just yesterday where only a modest amount of prosecco cut with fresh squeezed juice was consumed. Nobody had a second helping, and no one finished their tiny slice of the most glorious chocolate cake on earth.That's okay I suppose, it was Sunday and all, but it was a departure from the booze-infused massive greasy brunches I knew in younger days.
The talk around the table was of women our age or thereabouts, and here is where perfection has taken hold in deep earnest.
There is the colleague who really, really wants to meet a man and has a whole system worked out of where to be and on what night; the crimp in the plan is that this fantasy man has to be met between 6:30 and 9pm because she has to leave a certain number of hours between eating and sleeping in order to have the least impact on weight plus there's the race on the treadmill to do before bed. Does it need to be said that no gentleman has yet taken this one on?
I have friends who eat a slim bean and sip tepid water when we go out because of the run/early start/"ton of work" to do at the crack of dawn or earlier. I have friends -- actually this is my category -- who can't eat anything white, or dairy-gluten (the curse of the modern world apparently) or have to have only lean protein, no carbs and that means no smart cocktail and don't get me started on the vegans.
The essential element missing from a broad spectrum of life today is FUN.
I am a sucker for perfectionism too though you'd never know it to look at me. I love a good strict regime -- yes the cayenne-maple syrup-water thing found its way into my life as did Six Weeks to OMG, Atkins, South Beach and the rest. I have gotten up at dawn for the run and freaked if I couldn't get to the gym after work.
The sum of it though was simply stress. The actual quality of my life was not improved by these restrictions.
There are two ex's in my life who summed it up. When I was going on about the fact that white flour or a teaspoon of sugar (white! the devil!) had passed my lips, one of them would look at me and say "please don't visit me with your mishegoss." The other, a blunt Yorkshireman if there ever was one, would not even look up from the newspaper or computer screen and say in the most bored voice possible, "oh shut up you dreary bitch."
Quite right! There is an excess of dullness pervading what should be the best years of our lives! Even Jesus himself ate, drank and hung around with loose women. The only thing to be gained by perfection is solitude and loneliness!
Perhaps the thing is to add enjoyment to life, rather than perfection. Let's see what happens when we do that. Let's see if the run on the treadmill or the gluten free lean organic local artisanal protein seems so important then.
Maybe I'll have chocolate cake for lunch today. And ice cream. Just to see what happens.