One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from my friend Ramey: “If you don’t want to be the only one doing all the work then you have to let other people do stuff using their own standards–no matter how crappy or inferior they may be.”
She was talking about diaper rash and Desitin, but over time I’ve found that her advice applies almost everywhere from the schoolyard and the soccer field to the domestic front and delegating at work.
You can explain it by whatever nature versus nurture notion noogles your noggin, but the fact is that men are overwhelmingly better than women are at letting go of perfectionism. They don’t really notice–or if they do, they certainly don’t care about–that pile of laundry waiting to be folded on the couch. It’s simply an obstacle to sit upon or pushed aside in their quest to find a place to rest their fatigued fannies after a hard day’s work.
They aren’t the least bit disturbed if the dinner table lacks floral finery, or even utensils, as long as there’s an ice-cold beer at their fingertips. They may be masters of their domains, but most of them have absolutely no interest in anything resembling a throw pillow, quilt or home decor accessory (unless it comes in HD and surround sound).
And as for calendars, schedules and to-do lists? Forget about it. Somehow it’s more manly to store things “in your head,” despite the sometimes sieve-like filter associated with this system.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of things that men simply don’t care about and thus they don’t stress about. As hard as it is for me to admit it, I think they may be on to something, especially when it comes to the holidays.
Have you ever in your life met a man who felt guilty when a caring neighbor brought over a homemade dish of goodies and he didn’t have a lavish platter at the ready to gift them in return?
Have you ever heard of a man stalking the aisles of an all-night drug store after midnight because the five shades of curling ribbon he has at home are just not “quite the right red?”
You don’t see men stressing about losing weight to fit into a cute new outfit for the company’s holiday party or going to 17 different stores to find the perfect Secret Santa Gift for the receptionist in their office who won’t even know it’s from them.
Nope, men don’t take it as their seasonal call of duty to personally manufacture every bit of holiday magic that comes into their household. For the most part, whether the laundry is waiting to be folded or not, they sit on the couch, relax and enjoy the spirit–and spirits–of the season.
Which is why this year I’m going to try to take the holidays like a man by relaxing the perfectionism, kicking back and enjoying them.
I hope you’ll do the same.