Imperfection on Display

Imperfection on Display

Recently a friend sent me a text message that was so completely out of context that I knew it was not intended for me. But since it was a GIF of a comedian saying, “Bless His Heart,” my snarky Southern self was quite amused by it. (Who inspired my friend to send that?! I wondered.)

Earlier in the summer in some family communications about an upcoming gathering, an in-law sent a reaction to one person that definitely wasn’t intended for the actual recipient. Graham and I were entertained by that one, too.

And then not long ago I did a similar but less amusing thing — I sent a text meant for one colleague to a different colleague … who was the one about whom I had been writing! I had been hurrying, participating in multiple text threads simultaneously, and … well … it happens.

It was awkward and uncomfortable, and I apologized.

Thankfully, I wasn’t speaking unkindly or inappropriately about this colleague, and it was even understandable to them that I’d been discussing our situation with someone else. My mistake was not a breach of confidentiality, it didn’t have significant negative consequences, nor anything particularly bad at all. It was just … yuck. I’m cringing as I think about it now.

The simple truth is, I wish I had been more careful. I wish I hadn’t made a mistake. I wish I had done “better”.

It’s also true that I’m glad for this essentially painless reminder not to hurry unnecessarily through tasks; to give adequate attention to what I’m saying, typing, doing; to take care with others; to practice saying, “I messed up. I apologize;” and even to be gentle with myself when I discover that my imperfection is on display.

After all, the fact of our utter imperfection is undeniable — we are blessedly, beautifully, horribly imperfect. Always and forever.

Humanly, humbly yours,
Paige

2 Comments

  1. Norman Hazzard

    Paige, I appreciate that you have enough self-confidence to share your slip-ups with us, thus reminding all of us that we are imperfect beings. Like most of us, I assume, I have had my share of embarrassing moments. Here is one: Our sons participated in Indian Guides during their adolescent years, and each father took his turn hosting our monthly meetings. As we were getting settled in one of these homes for the first time, I greeted the host father, and then saw an apparently older woman standing nearby. Without thinking before speaking, I asked, “Is this your mother?” He replied, “No, she is my wife.”

    • Paige Getty (Author)

      Thank you, Norm, for sharing your story! There ARE so many examples, aren’t there? Your anecdote reminds me of the time I went home from college for spring break and asked another young adult, “When is your baby due?” I had been told by a mutual acquaintance that she was pregnant, but she wasn’t. Ouch. Never again have I repeated that particular mistake. And of course I’ve learned a lot since then about (in)appropriate questions, in general.

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