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Tangoing with that Skeleton This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      “If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.” Or at least that is what George Bernard Shaw said. I don’t understand what he is talking about. I mean, what skeleton? My closet, it’s spotless. No, no, that is not a foot sticking out from under the door. No, that’s just a, um, sock. Simply a ... spare thought. Things are just a bit disorganized at the moment, that’s all. Life’s good, everything’s perfect. Yup, that includes me.

Perhaps this is how it has always been, yet it seems that in the modern age perfection has become key. People tell us adolescents that flaws are what make each of us unique and, depending on the flaw, I suppose, they should not be frowned upon. That loud, almost obnoxious donkey laugh of so-and-so sets her apart from the girl with the tittery laugh. People should just shrug it off - who cares! However, that’s not how it works. So-and-so tries to hide her laugh by holding it in, giggling silently as if her classmates will shun her for it. And that just may happen, so hide it away and pretend it is not there. Everyone will be happier.

Wrong, that is completely wrong! I would not love certain people if they were painted dolls: forever smiling, always doing the right thing, and having beauty that would put Barbie to shame. Not that there is anything wrong with that; it simply makes me wonder what the person is hiding behind that mask of perfection. I discovered that it is the characteristics that could be considered flaws that make people so wonderful. No one’s perfect, everyone knows it, and if someone cares about these quirks, then that is their loss. What people may not understand is, “Perfection has one grave defect: it is apt to be dull.” W. Somerset Maugham hit that one right on the head.

In addition to characteristic “flaws,” there are experiences that lurk in one’s past. These dark, unwanted memories are the real skeletons that haunt us, and so we tuck them away. Not to say we should throw open the doors and release these beasts; this definitely would overwhelm the world. I am merely saying that people should not cower from these memories, pushing them away, since they have shaped us into who we are.

We are our past and present, flaws and perfections, and, at the bottom of an extremely long list, our appearance. Therefore we should embrace people for everything they are. Yes, that includes the skeletons in the closets. So, grab that skeleton and tango!


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Allie97 said...
May 29, 2010 at 7:41 pm:
wow u hit this one rite on the head!!! there is this quote that i heard "the world will be a better place when people realize that imperfection IS perfection" what really is perfection??? the example you gave...a barbie...even a barbie isnt perfect (i mean if barbie were a real person she would have some LONG legs!!) nothing in the world is perfect so i dont understand why people are so wrapped up in achieving perfection....its impossible....i do believe that people can achieve a state of mind i... (more »)
 
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