On the way home from a short trip out of town, a girlfriend asked everyone in the car to take a stand: if you could swallow a pill that would make you just a little bit dumber, but would also ensure that for the rest of your life you would have a perfect body, would you take it?

I said that I would take two, in case the first one didn’t work.

My friend’s little sister was dismayed at my ready response, but she’s in medical school and has a fast metabolism. (What does she know?) When she got out of the car she said, “Then again, I haven’t had kids yet.” I pulled at the excess skin in my midsection. What I wouldn’t give for an even more vapid look in my eyes!

The next day, my friend and I were on a walk when a girl with a perfect body passed us. “She took the pill,” we announced in unison. With a body like that, no way she was also intelligent. It doesn’t work with my theory of eventual equality, which surmises that if somehow, that woman on the street really is smart, then she must be out of touch, or painfully dull, or obnoxiously squeamish.  No one is better than me in every aspect of life; it wouldn’t be fair. 

This is how I tend to react to people who are overtly impressive: I find a way to belittle them. The better a person seems, the darker their secrets, the more tragic their flaws, the more pitiable (really) their existence.

Though I’ve lately decided—just like that—to give up the fight and admit that there are plenty of women who are smarter and kinder and prettier than me. I’m even allowing that a lot of these women are also happier and have more faith and keep their houses clean and earn a lot of money. What I am saying is that I finally feel comfortable knowing that people who are too good to be true can actually be true. In fact, I got the idea to let people be wonderful from a woman who fits the description above. (She would be so wise…)

At first, I got nervous just thinking about it. But more and more I’m loving the paradigm shift. I don’t know where I picked up this habit of trying to make myself feel better about myself by looking for other people’s flaws (midddle school?), but it was terribly liberating to sit down and acknowledge that some people are simply out of my league. A relief because thank goodness, can I finally stop comparing myself to them?