See Your Mistakes? Keep Your Mouth Shut

See Your Mistakes? Keep Your Mouth Shut

In the last issue, Rob wrote about how woodworkers are much more attuned to any apparent flaws in their projects than the recipients of such gifts are. Many readers agreed. – Editor

“You are so right!  I’m trying to be better about that, but it is difficult because, I think, we want everything perfect.  When I read your article, I busted out laughing because what you said is so very true.” – Walter Hayes

“I just had to say it must be true. I make something, possibly something I worked on for weeks, and my wife looks and says how nice it is! Me? ‘Oh no, Sugar,  just look here, see that spot?’ Yeah, that’s me. I have lots of nice things I’ve made in my home, and I get lots of compliments, but all I ever see are the mistakes, regardless of how small. It’s crazy! I have no idea what’s the matter with me! I’m my own worst critic. But, I think you’re right: it might be universal!” – Steve Kendall

“I have trained myself to just say ‘thank you.’” – Jeff Kelly

“I can’t stand when I do it. I look for the Clydesdales to help me pull the words back into my pie tray (mouth)! Once you release them, they’re gone. Then all I can do is hope you’re right about them just being polite.You’ve got to stop being right so much, Rob.” – Dennis Young

“Oh how true, Rob.   I’ve made it a personal rule not to remodel my own house (outside of painting) nor create more than utilitarian furniture for myself.  If you made it, you will see the flaws for the rest of its life. However, one has the ability to overlook the flaws of others’ work, and folks that receive gifts will overlook the little stuff so long as it’s functional and not a pain to use. We are definitely much more accepting of others’ imperfections. In fact, craftsmen and tradesmen have been deliberately adding imperfections to their work for a long time. I like to take tours of old buildings where I look for those imperfections. Sometimes I’ll see them and sometimes I have to ask. Navajo weavers added in these imperfections to their rugs. The belief is that these imperfections trap part of the weaver’s spirit in the rug.  My mistakes, of course, are not planned and are not deliberate but, heh, why not tell that fib if it’s ever brought up? Thanks for the much-needed reminder.” – Randy Gleason

“I have forced myself to adopt something I learned from working with roofers:  ‘They’ll never see it from the road.’” – Ralph Lombardo

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