Monday, 10 January 2011

The Perfect Christmas

I've noticed a trend on British TV for things to be advertised using the phrase "the perfect..." as in "the perfect Christmas" or "the perfect kitchen".  You might think I'm overstating things, but the unnecessary raising of one's expectations in this way is more likely than not to result in disappointment.

How many of us, I wonder, had "the perfect Christmas?"  Indeed, what is the perfect Christmas?!  What makes a meal, or a birthday, or a fancy new kitchen installation "perfect"?  Are we not more used to that sensation of looking forward to something for weeks or months, only for the final event not to live up to the hype? Is this not a recurring phenomenon?  Why do we not learn to reset our expectations accordingly?

I guess that's the difference between optimism and realism.  The optimist is always looking on the bright side, regardless of the facts.  The realist hopes for the best but knows things could go otherwise.  The pessimist... well, let's leave him well alone.  I opt for the middle ground on this one.

Human beings are insatiable.  We will always want more, no matter how much we get.  I think it's important for us to understand that we live in a broken world, filled with both good and bad, and that it's unrealistic to expect things to go "perfectly" for any prolonged period of time.

So, Mr. Marketing Man, please stop trying to sell me "the perfect" anything.  I know you're just selling me a lie.

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