Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Being Hyacinth Bucket

Do you know Hyacinth Bucket, pronounced "Bouquet"?  I hope so because, well, she’s a hoot.  Hyacinth is the main character of the 90s BBC comedy Keeping Up Appearances.  I fell in love with that show the first time I saw it on PBS.  My son and daughter-in-law have since gifted me with the DVDs so that I can watch an episode whenever.

Hyacinth is the eldest of four sisters and is married to lovable, long-suffering Richard.  Each episode is about the attempted realization of some desire Hyacinth has for a fuller life, intertwined with the antics of her sisters and the common sense of her neighbors.  Her home is immaculate, she dresses impeccably, and more proper etiquette was never practiced by anyone (almost). 

Wonderfully played by actress Patricia Routledge, I’ve come to enjoy this marvelous character as much for her perfect homemaking as for her follies and foibles.  In fact, one day I must have been relating something about the show and mentioned to my younger brother that I wished I were just like Hyacinth.  He teasingly, yet seriously responded, “You are Hyacinth!”  Of course, I was referring to her adept presentation of her home and person, but I knew he was referring to her personality.  At first I thought he might have been teasing me about my pride that sometimes raises its ugly head.

Shortly after that, however, we were in his car heading out on an errand and I warned him to watch out for another car that was off in the distance.  And then it dawned on me!  My brother was absolutely right!  I am Hyacinth!  More often than I care to admit.  Dare I say it?  I’m bossy!  And a control freak!  Oh dear.  Well, at home and with family I am.  The real me that the world at large doesn’t see.  I suppose it’s because I can get away with it at home, and my loving family tolerates it.

Disastrous as some of her outcomes may be, however, Hyacinth is a leader.  That's good because we need leaders, or much that needs doing wouldn't be done.  But I think Hyacinth is also a prime example of a worrier.  She worries about what people think of her and her family; she worries she's not good enough; and she worries about keeping her world and her family safe.  And all that worry makes her the ultimate control freak.

As I get older, time and experience have helped me to worry less about what people think about me and being "good enough," although once in awhile those types of worries will still try to emerge.  These days my worries are mostly for the well-being and safety of my extended family, friends, neighbors, and myself.  But as I said here, I do my best to turn those worries over to God ASAP.

And I pray I can be a little less like Hyacinth is portrayed (especially when I'm a passenger in a car!), holding my tongue, and always remembering to give even the little daily concerns and frustrations of life into His care.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough
trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:33,34

Enjoying a rare Snow Day!

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