Guest Post: Falling Off the Wagon — Confessions of an Ex-Perfectionist

Guest Post By Jenn Ripley

I always joke with my husband that he didn’t really know what he was getting when he married me. My weird quirks, rituals and obsessions were hidden under a very neatly presented façade that I maintained while we were dating. I wasn’t intentionally being subversive as I wooed him into loving me; there was just no way he could know my deep, dark OCD habits until he became my roommate.

Three years later and a lot of strange looks, frustrating conversations and slamming doors later, I have determined to abandon my life as a perfectionist, but it doesn’t come easy.

I’ll let you into my strange little world for a peek at some of my finest moments as I try to reform my pedantic tendencies.

The latest incident…my husband and I are standing in the kitchen hovered over our dishwasher. He had so “graciously” granted my request to help me unload the dishwasher. Note: I asked him to help. Our conversation went something like this:

“Thanks for helping me unload the dishwasher,” I said as I picked up the flatware carryall and begin putting away the flatware in a draw next to the dishwasher.

“No problem,” he replied while he continued minding his own business and stacking dishes in the cabinet above the counter.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too,” he supplied as we both continued putting away various items.

Silently and secretly, I was watching him. In my head, I was thinking, “Oh man, he is stacking those dishes facing south. Stay cool, Jenn. It’s ok, the dishes can face the wrong way. Don’t say anything. Don’t say anything!”

“You sure are good at stacking dishes, Boo,” I told him.

“I know,” he said with a little bit of sass as he began pulling bowls out of the dishwasher and stacking them on the countertop.

“Not again,” I was thinking. “He didn’t dry those bowls before he stacked them. Calm down. It’s ok. Note to self: come back in 5 minutes and dry the bowls.”

“The weather sure is nice today,” I remarked.

“Ya, I’m glad to see the sun came out.” He was moving on to the plastic cups pulling them out of the dishwasher and stacking them nonchalantly.

“Here we go. Oh crap! Oh no! He didn’t dry the cups,” my mind was reeling. “They’re going to stick together when people try to pull them apart and mildew is going to grow on them. Don’t say anything! Don’t say any…”

“Aren’t you going to dry those cups?!?!?!?!” I spewed. “I mean I told you that they will mildew if we don’t dry them and people will be grossed out when they come over and pick up a cup and find that it smells terrible and that its still damp like we just used it and put it back in the cabinet, and…”

I stopped myself.


Needless to say, it’s time to let that one go. I get better with each day. For example, last night, I resisted the temptation to straighten the magazines on the coffee table before I went to bed. I might have straightened them this morning.

My poor husband.


Jenn Ripley is the writer, creator, and editor of The Trophy Generation (, a blog highlighting the fascinating people of generation Y, and their attempts to create success for themselves by following their passions and by using their unique gifts to stand out in an age of mass communication.  She hopes to inspire others in her generation to take risks to pursue their dreams and to dispel the negative characterizations of her generation including a supposedly inherent laziness and sense of self-entitlement.  Jenn also writes on occasion for and plans to continue to do so.

3 thoughts on “Guest Post: Falling Off the Wagon — Confessions of an Ex-Perfectionist

  1. I love this! I wish I were more of a perfectionist in terms of cleaning and organizing…also loved the trophygeneration and compathos. I might use compathos for my English classes! Thanks for a great post!

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