Dear Mama,
So many things I learned from you.  Whether I wanted to carry them for a lifetime or not.  One of them plagues me — perfection.

Our closest friend is coming for a weekend visit, and I’m worrying over the most trivial things.

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Will she look microscopically at every nook and cranny?  Like you always did — looking for what was left undone.

Will she thoughtfully check every morsel she eats to see if I did the dish just right?

Will she give the “white glove” exam?

I truly hope not.

I truly hope she loves me for me, not for how I measure up to the standards of perfectionism.

I’ve tried to put all that behind me, but now and then, even at my age, the cloying aggravation of “measuring up” raises its ugly head and taunts me.  When it does, I begin to worry.  Even think of giving in.

But I’m writing today to tell you that it only distracted me for a moment, and I realized that this is a friend coming.  Not the enemy, not even my mother.

I know you loved me.  I know you wanted me to “be the best” I could be.  Just once, couldn’t I have been just me?

Loving you still,