The band is probably equally well-known for this song and for their lead singer, Eddi Reader (who went on to have a successful solo career in the 1990’s and into the 2000’s).
This song is about looking for that love that has to be perfect.
On the surface, I think that’s what we all want, isn’t it? Don’t you want that in all areas of your life? Not just love, but in your career, with your family, at your home?
We want it all to be perfect.
And sometimes, maybe even a lot of the time, it isn’t. And we get discouraged.
I think we set our sights unrealistically high. Maybe it’s because of what we see on TV or in the movies. Maybe it’s the books we read. Maybe it’s songs like this one.
Of course, it’s always easier if we can blame someone or something else. Our parents. Society. Pop culture.
Even this band.
But I think it’s just human nature to want the best of everything. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting the best.
The problem is that a lot of us will do without instead of getting the best we can, as opposed to the best there is.
We spend a lot of time waiting for things to be perfect. We avoid having friends or family over, because the house isn’t clean enough. Sometimes, we won’t even get together at all, until we’ve lost a few more pounds. And sometimes, it’s almost like we’re looking for the tiniest imperfection in order to dismiss something, or someone.
Like this compilation of clips from Seinfeld…
While that’s funny as those characters really take it to the extreme (and beyond), there probably is something there you can connect with.
The truth is none of us are perfect. And we shouldn’t expect each other to be.
I’m not suggesting that you settle for something or someone you don’t really like or want. You are worthy of love, and all the finest the world has to offer. But if you wait for everything, and everyone, to be perfect, you could miss your whole life, waiting.
This song takes the idea of finding someone perfect to a point where many of us are eager to go. Eddi sings that too many people settle for second best, but that she won’t settle for anything less than perfect.
It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into, especially if you’ve been hurt. The trick is to learn whatever you can from your past mistakes, without insulating yourself with such unattainable expectations that you find yourself spending the rest of your life for everything to be perfect.
There is a world of difference between “perfect” and “perfect for you”. Maybe the real trick is keeping that in mind when you hear or use that word.
And maybe that’s really what Eddi is singing about, after all.
Ken Kessler has always been interested in psychic phenomena, and like Mulder on the X-Files, wants to believe. But like most, he tends to look for, and accept, rational explanations. (More)