New, Not Perfect

January 20, 2011

One of the things you discover with a new house is that it isn't perfect. In this instance when I say new I mean a brand new house that no one has ever lived in.

Everything in the house is new, the appliances, the paint, the floor coverings, the mechanicals, ..., everything. But there are places where it isn't perfect. The one square of trim in the master bath that is held in place by friction only. Or the water dispenser on the fridge that won't dispense when the dispenser area light is on. (Must be shy, I guess.)

I'm not complaining about any of these things, but I am surprised to discover the distinction between "new" and "perfect." Nothing, it seems, is truly perfect, even when it is new. But then a strict definition of "perfect" may not itself be perfect. The imperfections here are ours, lock, stock, and barrel. (Got the official recording of the deed in the mail today - it's ours!)

They say when you buy a new car you should open the trunk and in an obscure location scratch the paint with the key to firmly move it from the "new and perfect" stage to the "not new anymore" stage. Finding the little things that aren't perfect here are a way of adding a little scratch to a new car.

Sorting out the difference between new and perfect has helped me to see that neither new nor perfect is really the key here. "Ours" is the key. This house, this property, with all its wonderfulness and whatever blemishes there are, is ours.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.