Faking It

A few Fridays ago, my wife and I got a call from our leasing agent to let us know she was coming by the following Monday to put a “for rent” sign in the yard and conduct an inspection so that we could end our lease early and be able to move to Hampton Roads. This meant one thing: I had three days to cram the piles of junk and dirty laundry underneath my bed.

There were positives to this undertaking, however, and I was able to glean some real treasures from this experience. For instance- I realized that underneath the rubble, there was actually a fairly decent carpet to walk on. “This would feel much better on my feet than clothes hangers and last week’s mail,” I told myself.

In addition, I also found several pairs of shoes for which I’d long ago called off the search. I felt like a kid who had just found the toy at the bottom of the Cracker Jacks box.

The truth is, I felt ridiculous for only wanting to clean up my mess for the purpose of making the realtor think I was some kind of modern day Danny Tanner / Mr. Clean mash-up – as opposed to the guy whose standards for picking out clothes in the morning is whether or not the dryer can take the wrinkles out in 10 minutes or less.

But it’s so much easier to fake it- to pretend like everything is shipshape on the outside, waiting to have to clean the inside until it’s absolutely necessary and putting on our brightest smiles when the realtor shows up for the inspection.

I’d be lying if I said this isn’t hard to avoid in so many areas of life. If there was a shortcut to looking great without eating healthy and working out (that won’t give you a coronary like Trimspa), I’d do it in a heartbeat. If there was a way I could look groomed without having to bathe and comb my beard, I’d be there. If it were possible to look like the most devoted and sold-out Christ-follower without actually having to sacrifice, I’m afraid I’d feel that temptation.

But facades fail when the veneer wears off. Jesus isn’t looking to hire commercial actors. He’s calling men and women who will put in the work, day in/day out, regardless of spotlight or acclaim.

Who do your cleaning habits more closely resemble: Danny Tanner or Joey Gladstone?

  • http://dancarman.blogspot.com/ Daniel Carman

    I was just having this discussion recently with an online friend. I don’t really have a facade for better or worse. I am the same insecure jerk regardless of who is around. The same goes for my faith. I’m the same regardless of who is watching. As for asking me about Danny Tanner and Uncle Joey, I am not sure who these folks are. I suppose, given your age and my presumption of your tastes, these are characters from some sparkly vampire movie. Your allusion fails on me as I don’t see such fare. But I get the gist of your nub. I will choose a fictional character with whom I am familiar that matches well with my cleaning style. How about Peg Bundy?

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Haha… I wasn’t allowed to watch the Bundy’s growing up. Was Peg a cleaner? And I’m ashamed that you’re not more familiar with ’80′s pop-culture. Danny and Uncle Joey are from Full House- only THE greatest show of its era.
      I like this quality about you, Dan. I think it’s great that you don’t have to wear pretense to feel comfortable. Most people couldn’t say that about themselves.

  • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

    I’m the same way, Stephen. I’ve found myself just doing enough for my house to look decent, but not really fully cleaned or fixed up. God’s been challenging me in the same way: it’s not enough to just have the appearance that something looks good. You actually have to put in the hard work to make it happen. Great post.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Thanks, Jason! Not many people embrace the hard work if there’s a way around it. Like you, I’m learning to embrace what’s not always glamorous and know that it’s right and its rewards are eternal.

  • http://billgrandi.com/ Bill (cycleguy)

    While I am way older than you, I had two girls who watched that show with those annoying twins on it. Hmmm it fails me to know the name. I am, however, fairly neat. I was raised in a not-too-well-off home so clothes had to be hung up or worn wrinkled later in the week. So I still have that same habit. I also tend to be a person who doesn’t like a lot of mess. I married one who does. :)

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I’m glad you and your wife balance each other out, Bill! :)
      Hopefully you can teach her your Danny Tanner-esque ways, like my wife TRIES to do with me.

  • Phil

    Very powerful illustration you made with this humorous post. I too am terrible about cleaning. I keep telling myself that it needs to be done, but myself never listens. Again, thank you for sharing this and challenging me today. Many blessings.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      “But myself never listens” – :) Nice. I feel you, Phil! I’m glad my spiritual condition isn’t reflected in my ability to stay tidy.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    I married Danny Tanner’s sister, so…….

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      That’s awesome. This technically makes you “Uncle Larry”, and kin to John Stamos and Dave Coulier. Autograph, please.

  • Meara

    I am most definetly Danny Tanner! I married Joey Gladstone’s twin, however I still love him!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Haha… That a’ boy, O! :) Glad one of you is able to keep things tidy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cliff.dunaway Cliff Dunaway

    I have to invite people over just to give me incentive to clean up. :)

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      :) Thanks for relating… I know this feeling all too well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jebatthebeach Joan Penn-Bastian

    Joey was Danny’s best friend, not “Uncle Joey”. Uncle Jesse was Pam’s (Danny’s dead wife) brother. Worthless information right? I love trivial. My cleaning habits are more like Danny’s.
    Great post Stephen. One of the topics on my list of blog ideas.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I stand corrected! Good call, Joan. I had no idea you were such a trivia buff!
      What is the url for your blog? I haven’t had a chance to check that out yet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/april.garlochstalls April Garloch Stalls

    Love, love, LOVE it!!!!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      :) Thanks, April! And thanks for always being so real. Miss you guys!

  • http://www.endlessimpact.com jasonS

    I’m a bit OCD about having things in order, but I have 4 kids so I adjust accordingly. As for faking it, I do think it’s easier–at first. After a while though, you expend a lot of energy hiding and running away from relationships that threaten any kind of exposing. God obviously doesn’t want to live that way, but even with all the energy expended, we can get comfortable in the habit. He wants rest for us! Good stuff, Stephen. Thanks.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      You’re dead on, Jason! Faking it is only easier in the now, definitely not in the long run. I like your thoughts on this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1668295865 Sharon Wilhite

    I have to move out of a house where we’ve lived 25 years. That’s 25 YEARS of enough stuff in the attic that it’s a miracle the roof hasn’t collapsed. Not to mention the shed, the barn, the old camper, etc..I’m looking forward to hopefully finding some stuff that’s been missing for a while, or that I’ve actually forgotten about…

    I find that the older I get, the easier it is to let go of the veneer. I’m getting to the point where I only really care about what God thinks, one step at a time. It’s actually very very freeing to release the “what do the neighbors/friends/extended family/casual acquaintances think” mentality. That doesn’t mean I just let it all hang out, as the saying goes, but I’m slowly learning to set my efforts on things that have value and meaning. So there IS an advantage to getting old, ha.

    Great post!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I’m excited for you and Danny’s upcoming move! Pretty cool stuff.

      You both are pretty great about “what you see is what you get”, and I love that about you both! Thanks for being such genuine people.

  • pats0

    I’m much more like Danny Tanner than Uncle Joey (by the by I’m a sucker for Lord of the Ring references…keep ‘em coming), this was a result of finding out how much easier it is to clean up a crime-scene (or bedroom) when it is fresh…you know BEFORE the blood dries…anyhoo, good stuff on sacrifice vs. shortcuts…the challenge often becomes our motives (was Danny motivated by a fear of man, a fear of germs, or a deep-seeded conviction that he was living out God’s story in his life to the best of his abilities)(oh dear…I fear I’ve stretched this metaphor to its breaking-point) whether we have it together, look like we have it together, or we are a complete and utter mess…

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Totally with you on the motives part. Clean because we love Jesus and it’s our response knowing him, as opposed to clean because we fear what might happen if we’re dirty.
      PS- I’m a little slow and am not sure where LOTR tied in…

      • pats0

        whoops I just realized Danny Tanner and Uncle Joey weren’t characters in LOTR, they were informants on T.V.’s The Wire…what you must think of me…

        • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

          You whilin’ now…

  • http://asmithblog.com/ asmithblog

    I’m more like Danny Tanner. :) Love the references.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Nice, Adam! Though I’d almost have you pegged for more of a Jesse. ;)

  • http://www.ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman

    In our latest move I determined we need more furniture even though the house is dramatically smaller. Why? I need things to kick stuff under. Not to mention, there would be less floor to lament not sweeping/mopping. Ideally I would live in a strip mall between 2 goodwill stores. One I could access through my closet in the morning and the other I could access through a hole under my bed where I kick the days used laundry. RECYCLE my friend.

    AS for faking, I act like I know what I’m doing everyday. I even convince myself I can handle my life better than God can. BOO me.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Ha… Your plan does sound quite brilliant- worth a try! You are truly reducing and reusing in this plan. I love it.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    I’m all about cleaning and having a clean house. I start to go crazy if their are close on the floor, or dishes in the sink, or a room needs to be cleaned. Just ask my wife, no please don’t ask her:) My wife is the opposite of me and we have had many family meeting about this topic.

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I’m not messy. I just have a high mess tolerance. I have the ability to still keep functioning even with high mess levels around me. It’s a gift.

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