Saturday, July 11, 2009

(60) Perfection by Julie Metz


There are certain events in life that everybody reacts to differently. How we handle those events is a true testament to our character. Our jobs, as casual observers or intimate friends is not to judge how somebody handles such devastating blows, but to be there to love and support them in whatever way we can. A devastating blow like the death of a husband or the discovery that he had multiple sexual encounters and affairs during the entire length of the marriage could destroy the strongest of people, but they could also make us stronger people.

I try really hard to empathize and imagine what I would do in Julie Metz's shoes. Her husband drops dead suddenly of a pulmonary embolism & six months later she finds out that he cheated on her repeatedly and was involved in an affair with a close friend. While I don't know exactly what I would do, I am pretty sure that I would NOT repeatedly call up the ex-friend and scream obscenities at her. I am pretty sure that I would NOT rip our daughters, once the best of friends, apart and cause a scene so grand both little girls are crying hysterically. But I do not know for sure what I would do.



Perfection was, at times, very difficult to read. The raw emotions that Julie went through were so raw and graphic to read that I was almost embarrassed for her. Julie takes us on her journey of grief . She shares with us love letters (emails) between her husband and his various lovers. I found it very difficult to read those & in most cases I skipped over them. Julie also takes us through some of the steps she takes to getting herself & her life back. Engaging in a romantic affair with a friend within months of his death. Contacting each of his lovers and joining Match.Com were all ways she tried to deal with her pain.. Again, none of these things are likely anything I would do in her situation, so I am trying very hard not to be judgemental.


I would not say Perfection is the best memoir I have ever read, nor would I say it was the worst. I understand that the book was probably her ultimate way of dealing with the excruciating pain that she was dealing with in the years following his death. But it is not a book that I would have ever tried to get publish. There are some things that just don't need to be shared with the world. This is one of them. I really and truly hope that Liza never, ever reads this book. No young girl should ever have to read the things printed in this book about her deceased father. It just wouldn't be right.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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