Thursday, 2 May 2013
It's so galling when a person comes on as the perfect mother or Ms Generosity or Mr Infinitely-Patient-And-Understanding, and you're all too aware of your own boundless faults and failings.
You want to be admiring and complimentary, but there's a part of you that's also irritated and niggled by this apparent perfection, this inhuman flawlessness that just seems too good to be true.
You're constantly on the lookout for the cracks in the facade, the chinks in the armour, the carefully hidden reality behind the public persona. And you're constantly frustrated that it always seems to be the real McCoy.
Then one day you just happen to discover that the perfect mother has slapped her child, or Ms Generosity walked straight past a homeless person, or Mr Infinitely Patient showered a sales assistant with abuse, and you're so relieved because they've turned out to be mere mortals after all and not some impossible, unassailable paragon of virtue. They're just like me! They have feet of clay! Woo hoo!
Even better of course if over and above the contradictory behaviour they let slip that they have some truly debilitating weakness that's constantly about to overwhelm them - they're a slave to alcohol or drugs, they can't stop shopping, they like to be whipped, they're neat freaks. And you think, thank God for that, they're as human as the rest of us, they have their inner demons and their embarrassing habits. They've finally fallen off the pedestal. They've come clean.