Warning: TL;DR ahead. Read at your own risk, or skip
This does not surprise me, to be honest. My mother is a perfectionist, although it's been winding down the older she gets. Her stress & anxiety still
goes through the roof when something isn't clean & perfect enough for her.
When I was growing up, her household cleanliness criteria was BS. Never expect a spotless clean house with kids when you shove them out the door to
play. They will get dirty, and they will track it through the house. She never understood that, and essentially had hissy fits when we came back
inside for meals and tracked dirt across the freshly washed entry. It was equally mind-boggling when she fumed when we tracked dirty up the recently
swept front steps. WTH, it's outside, like nothing ever blew up there in the wind, either??
Sure, the vast majority of the time, our house was hospital-level spotless & shiny, but none of the neighbor kids ever wanted to play at my house.
Nobody was ever allowed to touch anything, make the slightest mess, etc. It's no coincidence that the most fun us kids had was at other kids' houses
where parents didn't mind the messy room so much and got down in the lego pile and played with
us instead of scrubbing/sweeping a floor again
with a scowl.
Some of her anal retentive crap rubbed off on me (I even used to iron underwear to remove wrinkles...I was that pathetic) BUT! To my credit, I've
been breaking myself of the old habits. I do enough to be tidy, but not perfect. I clean to be sanitary within reason, and remove hazards (who wants
to slip on matchbox cars in the middle of the night?) I do not live in a model home, and there's no logical reason for me to strive to mimic that
Our furniture has signs of wear, it happens. As opposed to my mother, I'm not going to fret over a dent. One of the kids drew all over the kitchen
floor in crayon? A few minutes with a soapy scrubbie takes care of that. When my younger brother did it as a kid, I distinctly remember her wailing to
my dad, "This is why we can't have nice things!" I don't know who she was trying to show up, we never had visitors. And other than it being a
learned behavior, I don't know why I ever went that far myself. It was almost a compulsion for me, but it must have been pure compulsion for her.
I completely agree with sites like Facebook not helping, too. I no longer have an account with Fakebook, the most important reason being because the
narcissism among my friends on there was getting gaggy. Nobody really
cares what drink you just ordered at Starbucks, nobody really
cares about what you just ate for breakfast, no one really
cares that you just pulled up to the gym -- like you do ever day. Yes, you look fine
in all 129 Instagram selfies you took of yourself between dinner last night and breakfast this morning.
It had gone from a great place to chat and catch up with friends & family across the country to being complete self-absorption on display. I honestly
can't tell you how many news articles, science discoveries, historical things I linked that went unnoticed. Maybe they'd get a Like or two, or one
half-arsed one-liner comment, but hot damn, if someone bought a fugly new designer purse, it got 50 Likes and 100 comments. WTF indeed.
And it seemed to be no coincidence that if someone posted a picture of a sparkly clean, well decorated room in their house, other friends would begin
posting their own, albeit under the guise of whatever a kid in the house was doing, or a pet, etc. Totally transparent motive there.
Comparing ourselves to others is natural, it's a part of who we are by nature (competitive) But toss in FB & FB-fueled perfectionism, and it's just
a bad mix for peoples' psyches.