Jesus and June Cleaver

I can’t tell the truth; I want to wordsmith this day, which should be a good one, but isn’t, into something positive, because everyone wants all positive, all the time.  Go ahead and try to give a real answer on a bad day to the question, “How are you?” and watch people slink away if you answer truthfully. It’s your duty to cough up the word, “fine” unless you’re truly not, in which case most people won’t ask the question in the first place.

Damnit, today should be a good day. There’s a lift in the air that feels like early summer; we’re rolling into a holiday weekend and all is essentially right in my world. I’m fed, clothed, healthy, housed and a dozen other things other people would want.  All that’s missing from the list today is the word “cheerful.”  My imagined interaction:

Person in Street: “How are you?”

Me: “I’m a melancholy piss-ant. You?”

Slink, slide away while you still can. I’m feeling dangerous and I’m not saying I’m proud of it.  A friend on Facebook  just wrote, “I am going mental because of one fly buzzing around in here all morning. It’s the little things, people…always the little things.”  Google the phrase, “things that annoy me.” and you’ll get dozens of results.  I want to believe that I can somehow avoid being reduced to pissy-ish behavior. Perhaps if someone dropped off a sack of money and a cabana boy to knead my tense shoulders my mood would improve.

The large things I can mobilize for. Give me a genuine crisis and I’m focused and calm. It’s the everyday things that can grind me down: the forgotten thank you, the snide comment, the crumbs on the counter, the suddenly tigher jeans, the dog fur–no, really, the dog fur in my house is practically life-threatening–the pile of junkmail and bills on my narrow kitchen counter, the teenager who now looks at me with an expression of profound contempt and disgust and the husband who doesn’t seem to notice; these are the things that wreck my day.  In summary, I’m a woman, wife and mother, who today feels like she’s pulling a reverse hat trick.

Right now, I’m envying June Cleaver. I want to dress elegantly and bake.  I want to spurn this righteous ability to juggle and break things; I want fewer wrinkles, hair that doesn’t go gray every three weeks, a 25-inch waist and a new sofa. In short, on bad days, I want the impossible.

In my Bible group this morning, we talked about how to “wear” God everyday. One of  us talked about how you wake up and get dressed, and that in a way, you should also “put on” Jesus like you would your clothes to face the day. It’s hard for me to imagine Jesus dabbing my counters with a sponge, but I like the idea of  “wearing” Jesus, even though I’m pretty certain today people wouldn’t recognize him on me. But I’d like to think that on good days, I bear a closer resemblance to Jesus than June Cleaver.  Updated imagined interaction:

Person in Street: “How are you?”

Me: “I’m great. God Bless You.”


Mom, Wife, Advertising Sales Deal Maker, Social Media Addict, Friend of Jesus, Gardener, Good Cook, Bad Singer, Chardonnay Lover, Runner


  • hey Cousin C., good piece! re: little things being more annoying and in some ways harder to handle than a decent crisis — so true. I find the flip side (well, not exactly flipped, but close enough for family) true too. That taking pleasure from little things is key to being happy; if you wait for those major moments to bring you happiness, you’ll be melancholy most of the time. If you can get a little exited when your toaster works properly, you’ll be a happier person–weirdly happy, but happy. My car started today, got me to the gym and back without incident–and no traffic tickets. Complete and utter Joy!
    Cuz Glenn


  • god bless you sister, and please tell me this is not the first time you have felt this way !! : )


  • Thought provoking. Why do I occasionally feel unsatisfied when I too am fed, housed, healthy, solvent, and clothed? Ultimately it is the feeling of love and human connection coupled with contribution that lifts me up. June Cleaver may have been polishing her floor in three inch heels, but she role modeled feeling connected to her family and creating a loving space for them. Maybe she was a metaphor for being Jesus like.

    Carolyn Ayres


  • Someone who hadn’t seen me since I left my job of 28 years and then got hit by a truck said, “Well Catherine, on FB you look like you’re doing really well.” My response was, “Well yeah, but FB isn’t real life. There have been some incredibly dark moments but no one really wants to read about when you’re sobbing because you’re in pain and you know there’s nothing you can do but wait till it gets better. Or that you want to kill the guy that hit you. No, no one wants to read that kind of stuff so I try to focus on the positives.” She didn’t know what to say. I really like the idea of Putting on Jesus. Thanks, I need more tools for this life. And I loved June Cleaver.


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