Life Notes: Meet “The Perfects”
Everyone should have friends whose perfection rubs off a little

Everyone should have an Ann and Bob in their lives. A and B are the couple who know exactly how to handle an emergency because they are brilliant planners.

When the weather forecaster predicts rain, this is the couple who will always be prepared with umbrellas – one for you, too, because they know that if not, you’d probably be drenched. And they ask for nothing in return, except that you do not dare return that brand new, immaculate umbrella because you’ll surely need it again. Yes, they are those kind of friends.

My husband Vic and Bob have known one another since they were college freshmen and fraternity brothers, and we wives are forever grateful that we married them. In the process, we have gained lifetime friends. I admit that with humility and gratitude, because aside from not being drenched on numerous occasions, we have spent the last 50 years learning from their perfection.

If you’re lucky enough to have friends like this in your life, you’ll learn life lessons on everything from how to pack a suitcase that will not only hold everything you will ever need for a perfect trip, but also teach you the art of making a perfect list. Trust me, it’s truly an art form. You also will get the best hotels at the best bargain prices. Until we met Ann and Bob, we had an uncanny knack for missing every travel deal.

We love those two and are sometimes tempted not to share them with anyone. But somehow, we can’t keep them to ourselves because – well, just because we shouldn’t. Perhaps most important of all, these friends have never been preachy, but have always led by example.
I know what you’re probably thinking by now: who wants perfectionists as pals?

We do!

We’ll know months in advance precisely when we’ll be sitting at a table at the hottest new place in the city because Ann and Bob took on the challenge. Best of all, our buddies are so modest that sometimes I ask myself how they can be so NICE along with being so smart and kind.
So I have studied them.

Ann is a California girl who got both the serenity and the confidence genes we all yearn for. Bob had a talented sports-writer father and a gentle teacher-mother who contributed to the calm. They have been exemplary parents to a son and daughter any of us would be proud to claim. And when it comes to pulling calm out of chaos, they can check that box too.

At one of our three daughters’ weddings, all was going smoothly, at least by a Friedman definition – sustained but mild chaos ruled the day. But as fate would have it, Amy, the daughter who was the bride of the moment, tripped on the hem of her gown with the heel of her white satin shoes. The wedding was at home, so it shouldn’t have been a huge problem. I just needed to find the sewing box for a needle and thread. Simple!

Except…the sewing box had vanished. The rabbi was waiting and the bride was getting teary. Who in the world would be carrying ivory threads and a very thin needle?    

Yes, there was our Ann, a study in calm and grace. The hem was back in place in seconds. Amy was beaming for the photographer, and Ann – well Ann would be called on another mission. Someone had dropped car keys on our lawn and of course Ann and Bob had to put their metal detector to use.

So yes, we love and need our dear friends. And while we know with certainty that we never will have their genes, we at least can stay in their orbit – and maybe as we watch and learn we too will find ourselves a little bit closer to perfection.

November 2019
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