Last night I was vegging out with my favorite mindless pastime – reading makeup reviews on Sephora – when the following lipstick review intrigued me.
That was it. No explanation. Just three stars and the words “exceptionally ok”.
And as I considered this short phrase, I started to like it. I started to love it.
Now I have often extolled the virtues of staying true to what you love (Five Things You Deserve Now). I strongly believe you should be passionate about even simple things. I know I feel wonderful wearing something I love or using my great-aunt’s china. Or reading a great book. Or even finding the perfect shade of lipstick.
But I realize that there are many things that are just fine without needing to be fantastic. Exceptionally OK is more than good enough.
Everyone’s lists are different… things that need to be excellent and things that might be fine if they are just ok.
Here’s a few of my exceptionally ok stuff:
Movies. Oh, I used to be a film snob. (…and you can usually spot one because they say ‘film’ and not ‘movie’….) But now I’ve come to enjoy lots of not-so-great movies. I can watch a classic gem like “The African Queen” one day, and happily laugh at “Ted” the next day. Entertain me. Many days, a few hours of entertainment is exceptionally ok for me.
Houses. My house is gorgeous, and I love it. I’m enormously fortunate that my husband is such a great homebuilder and that we have such a lovely home. But I am also aware that although I love my home, I would also be happy with a simpler place. I have lived more modestly. I was fine with it. Because loving your house has more to do with how you take care of it and what you do in it than with how many amenities you have. I was happy in my first one-room apartment. And if I moved back tomorrow, I know it would be exceptionally ok again.
Cars. I appreciate great automobiles. But I also like one that starts when you turn the key and gets you where you need to go.
Music on the Radio. There are some folks I know who can’t hit the button fast enough when a song comes on that they hate. But for me, most of the time, any music is fine. I know three and a half minutes later, I get another chance to hear a better song. How exceptionally ok is that?
Tea. I’m fussy about my coffee. A fabulous cup of coffee will brighten my whole day. And a lousy cup of coffee gets on my nerves. But tea? I guess I am not a connoisseur of tea. It pretty much all tastes the same to me. My favorite cup of tea is whatever my mother makes. Because she made it. She is my favorite boiler of water.
Restaurants. My food has to be completely inedible for me to complain in a restaurant. First, because someone else cooked it for me. Second – and even more important – someone else is going to wash the dishes. And third – and most important of all – if I am out to eat, nearly all of the time, I am not there for the food. I am there for the company. My friends and family. Delicious food is a bonus. But a hot dog is exceptionally ok. Just as long as it lets me be with the people I love.
Gifts. Anything you buy me is good. Don’t fret about it. And by the way, I no longer fret about what I give you either. I’m happy when it pleases you. But I know it’s just a little insignificant representation of our significant affection for each other. What it is doesn’t matter. It’s exceptionally ok.
Kid’s Art. Any story or drawing or musical offering by anyone under twelve is absolutely exceptionally ok. Do I appreciate talented kids? Sure. Do I like average kids too? You bet I do. Especially if they are related to me. But even if they are not. (But if they are, the age limit goes away. You can be in your sixties or seven years old – I will like your song, your painting, and your dance steps. Guaranteed.)
What’s on your list?