Joan of Arcadia
Spring Cleaning

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Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

The Girardis are all getting their breakfasts as Helen asks how many will be around for dinner. She's got lamb chops. Will's all excited; he's going to grill them. Luke's in. Kevin says he's got a date: "Unless I can bring her…?" Helen chirps, "Lily? Of course!" Kevin: "Maybe I'll wait until you stop saying her name in a voice only dogs can hear." In the same hollow, chirpy way, she replies, "Up to you." She asks about Joan's plans. Joan says she's passing on "Bambi" tonight. Her know-it-all brother (er, the younger one) says, "Bambi was venison." Joan: "Thumper, then." Kevin: "Uh, rabbit." As she puts Pop-Tarts in the toaster, she says, "Whatever! I'm skipping dinner." Helen hustles over to Joan to tell her not to isolate herself "at a time like this" and that she has to eat. Will: "Time like what?" Helen: "She and Adam…" Luke: "She dumped Rove." Joan says she had a very good reason. Helen wouldn't have already told Will this? Come on. Not credible. Joan adds, "A very good reason I can't disclose." Wow, that shouldn't provoke the curiosity of a nosy family at all. Kevin asks, "Did it involve a wardrobe malfunction?" Well, technically…sort of. But not Joan's. I believe Adam and Bonnie found themselves the victims of a syndrome known as "All Our Clothes Were Chafing Us And We Just Couldn't Stand It One More Minute." Joan snipes, "Well, it didn't involve a member of the clergy." Will, slightly baffled as always regarding what is going on in his family: "What does that mean?" Luke, helpful as always: "Kevin's cavorting with a nun." Kevin: "Ex-nun!" Will: "I don't like the dating years." Perhaps you could look into arranging marriages for your children upon puberty. That ought to work out well in this cultural setting. The doorbell rings, and Joan volunteers to answer it: "Why not? Maybe I'll get kidnapped." Well, keep a good thought. As she heads for the door, Will assails her with platitudes: "He's not the only fish in the sea." Joan waves her hand dismissively. Will: "Someday you'll look back at this and laugh." Chah, whatever, Will. I got a long list of moments like that in my life that I'm still waiting to laugh about. Newsflash: some shit never gets funny. Lots does, but not all of it. She makes a sort of "right, Dad" gesture with her fingers. He yells out, "He doesn't deserve you!" Helen asks him to just stop. Can't wait to find out what kind of mincemeat Adam will be when her father and brothers find out exactly what he did. I do think that's a large part of the reason she's keeping it herself; it's not just the humiliation factor. If anyone's used to humiliation, it's Joan. And it does seem to be part and parcel of the whole close relationship with God thing. Look at many of the saints and prophets throughout history, and the holy humility heaped upon their heads (by either God or themselves). Or…maybe don't, because you're gonna see stuff like St. Catherine of Siena drinking bowls of pus, and that's just gonna put you off your lunch.

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Joan of Arcadia

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