Throughout the years phrases, affectations, fads come and go, but the strangest ones are, oh what would you call them, key words, that pop up as common affectations. I’ve noticed a new one that’s been around for, I’d say, the past year anyway. It’s the word: Perfect.

I started noticing it, oddly enough, when I found myself using it. It made me self-conscious, so I started listening for it in others. I suppose it’s a sort of societal osmosis that I picked up this odd affectation.

I ordered a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s the other day. “A half-decaf, with-room, americano, please.” The barista smiled and said, “Perfect!”

Wow! I think I overshot a bit; I was simply aiming for getting my order correct, which I almost always do. But not only was I right on with my order, I’d gotten it perfect. I was on top of the world. How many people can boast of getting anything perfect in life?

And then I made a deposit at the bank. The teller said, “Perfect!” My terryaki order? Once again, perfect. I seem to be hitting the mark each and every time I do anything these days.

And then I became melancholy; if I’m so perfect at everything, what do I have to shoot for? If I’m pumping gas, getting coffee, shopping for groceries, and ordering my meals so perfectly, what other than a future of perfection do I have to look forward to? Nothing to improve upon.

And then I got home. Asked my wife if she’d like a latte’. She said, “Yes,” and I said, “Perfect!”

I brought her her cup, having taken particular care in preparing the foam. I asked her what she thought.

She said, without the slightest hesitation, “Not bad.”

Hallelujah! Now I have something to strive for again. Thanks, Babe.

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