Smile Please or Being cheerful is a tough job, but someone has to do it


Chapter 9 of “Sposala e muori per lei” [“Marry her and die for her”],

by Costanza Miriano   –  traduzione  Caterina Poggi

The main problem, the reason why I cannot really blame too much my friend Cecilia for her complaining, is that she does have actual reasons to be unhappy. She works at a job she doesn’t like: she wanted to paint and be a photographer; instead she has to fill out forms in an office with a low fertility rate and female coworkers all wearing leopard-print and sequins already at eight in the morning, who grow more and more sour every year (I think that must be the local headquarters of the infamous Office for the Complication of Simple Affairs). To commute to and from this torture chamber, she drives for three hours every day at an average speed of seven miles per hour; when she finally gets home at night she has just the time to wipe the milk and cocoa spilled by her pre-adolescent kids who are playing video games, to open the door of the laundry closet and shut it again immediately, before the pile of clothes collapses, to put on those sad slippers that I have been scolding her about for years, before she eventually welcomes home a man whose eloquence, whose verve, whose sparkle would make Kim Jong-il pale in comparison.

Cecilia is a solid person; she knows what’s real and when she complains, she knows what she’s doing. She’s not like me. I sometimes develop deadly brain tumors because I think I am going blind, I rush to the eye-doctor for an urgent check and then, still missing a definite diagnosis on the rare condition that afflicts me, I realize that I just inverted my contact lenses, that I pointlessly bored my husband with my last will and testament and my final dispositions on who will take care of my offspring (that evil fat woman who will take my place in the heart of my children), and that cleverly inserting my right contact lens in my right eye has miraculously healed me.

Cecilia however, as I was saying, complains only about real problems. But she really complains a lot. And, to say the truth, in my opinion she contributes to making her husband dull, surly and incredibly strict (although somebody swears to having seen him laugh, apparently toward the end of the 1990s). Because nothing sinks a man more than a complaining woman, which by the way is the most prevalent model on the market.

There is not much else my friend can be reproached for. She is an excellent mom, and, besides being a little soft – because of the pathologic simple-mindedness that afflicts her, her kids have been able to fool her practically since when they could speak more than six or seven words -, she is generous and present. She is not even that kind of mom, so common in our days, who will not embark into any difficult situation with her children unless the adult-child ratio is of one to one, one to two at most. She has even been capable of heroic endeavors, such as going to the grocery store with two small children, or visiting the grandparents who live 125 miles away, when the average mom considers a daring exploit just to enter the highway with small children in tow without a man at her side. For some inexplicable reason, incapable moms are becoming an increasingly widespread phenomenon: you recognize them on the street by the grandma often accompanying them, who pushes the stroller and is ready to intervene in case the young mom should need to accomplish some feat, such as buying bread.

I believe this has to do with today’s incapacity to contain children, to make them endure terrible hardships, such as sitting on the stroller, or passing by an ice cream parlor without getting anything, or even the cruel torture of leaving the party when mom says it’s time to go. Personally, I took lessons from my friend, mother of six children, the one who, “since she already has so many”, is always being asked to watch somebody else’s kids too, and goes happily to the park with eight or nine young children. As for me, I never went out with more than six – that’s why I am equipped with a seven-seats vehicle, without even a trace of a sink to remove chocolate build-up from little chins – and I think that’s the maximum a mom like me can handle without superpowers.

Cecilia is also a good cook, another rare quality, and when you enter her home the delicious smell of homemade sauce, of stewed meat with aromatic herbs, invariably prevails over her eternal Amarige perfume, always giving you the feeling that someone is waiting for you. Women today underestimate this ability and cheerfully brag about being completely useless in the kitchen (even though in my case it’s not bragging: it is a lucid analysis of facts). Instead, being able to create entrées from basic ingredients – mixing together two store-bought sauces and a package of fresh egg pasta doesn’t count – is an incomparably effective way to tell somebody that we care about them, and that we are sacrificing our time to take care of them.

My wise friend Elisabetta for example always gives brides as a gift jars of aromatic herbs that she grows in her garden, but that stuff is too advanced for me: one would need to know the different herbs, then sow them, not let them die, harvest them and dry them. To this purpose, one should also have a place in one’s home that is safe from a ball: I once put an Easter egg on a cupboard and it committed suicide in the time it took me to get out of the room (“a sudden gust of wind”, my two hallway quarterbacks keep repeating. Apparently, dangerous air currents form in my house, which are responsible for mysterious phenomena whose author can never be found: Xbox on when it should be off, missing slices of cake. The only thing the wind is, unfortunately, unable to do is to pick up the infamous socks from the floor).

Cecilia can also make several different things with her hands: unfortunately she also produces dubious decoupage items, which she sometimes threatens to give me as a gift, but that is a forgivable sin. She also sews and embroiders, and is in general much more advanced than the average working mother, who is more ore less stuck at the “reattaching a button” level. I am at the ground level too, anyway, and I can say that it keeps me busy enough: actually, if we have a family style, the six of us, it is probably that all of us are almost always missing at least one button. It is nice to have a family style, – although I would prefer to be one of those blond and slightly tanned moms, in a white shirt, followed by my little men and women in a row, all in white shirts and Ralph Lauren pullovers, a family all in matching style going out together for the premiere of the musical, and who will always be for us an unattainable ideal of sleekness.

I mean, one really doesn’t know what to blame my friend for. When she watches a movie, she can remember the title well after stepping down the stairs of the theater and she is even capable of sustaining a pertinent conversation about it, because she didn’t fall asleep as I usually do. She remembers names of directors and authors, and formulates articulated opinions on them, as if in the past few years she hadn’t been reading only La Pimpa and Zio Colombino [children books], or those gossip websites debating on who wore better Stella McCartney’s colorblock dress (I vote for Kate Moss).

The only thing is that Cecilia is never in a good mood, never bright and smiling, and for a man the severity of this flaw greatly overcomes many good qualities. Indeed, it is up to the woman to keep up the morale of the troops, always. Not like the pin-up girls sent to the front – even though not being irreparably ugly and wearing more than a size-34A bra might help, I think -, but in a more profound sense.

Everyone knows that a woman, from the moment she has a family, will not be allowed to let herself go anymore, at least not every time she wants to, and give in to despair, because it’s from her mood that the moods of all her own depend. A woman will always need to have in herself a welcoming place, to fight the black pit into which her inner voice calls her sometimes (sometimes often), because if she falls into it, whom will the others hang on to? She will have to stop looking at what’s not there, and smile at everything that is there, and sometimes even pretend a little that something is there, not because she is false and a hypocrite, but because she hopes, she’s always hoping.

She will forget herself, not because she is good, but because she has to: when she will want to revive her hair that looks like a dried hydrangea, she will have to wash her children’s hair; when she will finally be able to sit down after who knows how many hours, the “butt-alarm” will immediately ring (this sophisticated device punctually emits the sound “mooooom” whenever the bottom of a female parent dangerously approaches any horizontal surface); when, late at night, she will open her newspaper, the news will have to wait another half hour (they are already old anyway), because there is always somebody who wants to hear Thumbelina. She will have to let go of her moods, of her moments of sadness, weariness, fear; and if they don’t go away, she will carry on all the same the best she can, because, like the immortal Buzz Lightyear says, if you cannot fly, try at least to fall in style.

“I will make him a help meet for him”, says God while creating the woman and, as Edith Stein glosses, the one who should become his partner can, with a free personal decision, choose to go help the man and enable him to become who he is meant to be. Saint Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians that has had people discussing, minute more minute less, for the last twenty centuries or so, invites women to be submissive. To me, as I racked my brain on this subject to the point of writing a book about it, it appears that submission may have something, indeed a lot to do also with cheerfulness, intended as an ability to support, to break even through the darkest days with one’s smiles, as a granitic will to never let evil have the last word. Submission literally means staying under, i.e. holding on when one would be tempted to give up, supporting the other when he lets himself go, enabling him, indeed encouraging him to be the best he can. As Joseph Ratzinger wrote when he was a cardinal, “a woman retains the profound intuition that the best of her life is made out of activities oriented to the reawakening the other, to the other’s growth and protection”. This is what our special ability to resist in difficult situations, to make life possible in extreme conditions, is for: it is to enable those who have been entrusted to us to live, certainly not just for ourselves.
For example, in order to be ready, I engage for my exclusive benefit in exercise drills of prêt-à-porter catastrophes. Indeed, from the moment I became a mom, the world has become an insidious place, full of dangers, such as planes producing sinister noises that I would never have noticed before giving birth; such as offspring’s blood tests and report cards, maps of my maternal efficiency, that I look over slowly with the mature serenity of a poker player who is gambling his house; such as foods slightly more toxic than cyanide, that I try to keep away from my kids’ jaws (even though they are those same menacing foods I carelessly splurged on during studying nights in college, and that, to be fair, did not lead me to a slow and painful death, but only to a significant increase in the size of my thighs).

As for you, Cecilia, you tell me that you are so tired that, when you arrive home to Massimo at night, after work and the children, rush hour, grocery shopping and the children again, you have used up all your supplies of smiles and common sense and patience, and he rightly points out that you keep those for everyone except him. Now I am going to spare you the little sermon about not taking each other for granted, because we are all extremely prepared on the theory (I bought tons of books about marriage, even though some have been usefully repurposed as kitchen paper rolls), but you know that he has a point.

Even if you cannot find the strength to show up in front of him in 5-inches stiletto heels and a wineglass in your hand, pretending to have found very exciting that article on executive order nr. 11110 and Kennedy’s financial policies in the Sixties that he sent you at the office to spice up your day, try at least not to crawl to the couch and not to fall asleep on the spot, even though you hadn’t slept for nineteen hours. You know well that a woman gives what she herself doesn’t have, and by taking care of others she cures herself (a hungry mom doles out sandwiches to whomever is close at hand, and when she is cold she starts forcing sweaters on innocent children).

You also know that when, at night, we wish we could just sit down still, barefooted, rapturously contemplating in devout meditation our big toes finally free, it is up to us to stop fights, calm down tantrums, soften, tone down, smile to the point of facial paresis, see the glimmer of light, reduce hassles, hide them if at all possible, or find them a marvelous opportunity, avoid to share all of one’s problems with one’s husband, except those where he can actually help: quick educational decisions, ending tantrums or negotiations, offering firm opinions, as well as solving all problems related to the functioning of any object more complex than a mocha pot. However, when it comes to the temperature, the warmth, the light that must always be on in the house, it’s us: we stagger but hold on, as they say at the stadium. I know that my husband pulls the wagon, but I am very good at encouraging him (easy, I know). It’s the woman who carries hope, a hope that is not a vague positive feeling, but is based only on one piece of news: that Jesus is truly risen, because in the end fear of death is the fear of all fears.

Smiling makes sense truly, deeply, only when it is rooted in the hope of winning over death. What other hope can we talk about if not this? Indeed in the Gospel it’s the women who are first given the news of the Resurrection, a message to send to the furthest borders of the Earth (by the way, if you want a news to spread fast, everyone knows that you just need to tell it to a woman).

It is true, I admit it, that your husband does not encourage cheerfulness, his liveliest contributions to a conversation being usually brief interventions like “I’d really like to know where you hid the Malox”, “Make up an excuse but Saturday night absolutely no, tell them I’ll have a headache”, “I lost another coat button, one more and I’m going to use it as a bathrobe”, or, grand finale: “I’m done, I’m going to bed”. Just one final lash of wit and cheerfulness and energy before you face the last part of your day: preparing the children’s clothes, matching socks together, locating chicken breasts to thaw hiding amid plastic cups with frozen dinosaur eggs inside and, finally, trying to remember for what reason one day you decided to marry him (you have the pictures, so it did actually happen).

However, if you don’t find the strength, you know he’s not going to do it first. Why it is so I don’t know, but it’s our job to open the track. Why doing it, instead, I know: because it’s worth it. On you depends the happiness of those you love, and yours as well. When you ignore your weariness, your sadness, the sulks, that “relaxing” sensation of carrying the world on your shoulders, when you pretend it’s not there because you have others to look after, then it goes away.

For me it’s essential learning to do as if. Doing as if is for me one of the basic rules of marriage. When you feel like you can’t stand him, when everything he does gets on your nerves – it may happen – or when he criticizes you all the time and you think that even the aphasic boy who arrives to make you sign a registered mail, and stares into the void with piercings and headphones in his ears, would be a more desirable companion for a cocktail (on the other hand, even your husband sometimes may happen to find the lady of the GPS navigator – the one who says “turn left, then, turn left” – more exciting than yourself), then it is the moment to do as if. As if you loved him even though your supplies seem to have run out. Love is a strange practice, where sometimes feelings happen to follow, meek as lambs, our words, gestures, hands, arms. Sometimes it happens, yes, it happens that an effort of the will becomes necessary. However, this is followed by a spontaneous and abundant bloom.

You ask me where to find the strength. Well, I admit it’s not easy. Work and children, children and work, you never take anything for yourself, essentially because you are guilt on two legs. In addition you are even on a diet, admit it, and I know, your idea of fat intake consists in placing a stick of butter in the fridge and pacing nervously around it for half an hour. This doesn’t help with good mood. The truth is that the only thing that really helps is having a relationship as lively as possible with Jesus Christ, the Archimedes’ point of history, the only bridge toward the holy and inaccessible presence of God. He knows everything about yokes: He is the only one who can lift up yours and make you truly smile. A smile that is not a mask, not a psychological technique, nor the fruit of some Eastern meditation. For us Christians it does not come from our goodness, from an effort of self-discipline: it comes from the joy of someone who has been loved so much, forgiven so much, that then he cannot but live on the crest of the wave, with the overwhelming gladness of doing something to give back around that abundance of which he has been satiated.

Your husband works even more than you, but, being a male, he ignores the torment we know so well and can happily get home, say hello, throw away his coat, grab is soccer bag and go out again without feeling a degenerate father. As you know, I think he’s right, because the presence required of a father is very different from that of the mother: it is not necessary for him to be always there to take care of the children. What is needed is for him to say the important things when they need to be said, to give the guidelines, to find the time to stay exclusively with the kids, without doing anything else in the meantime, talking with them, playing, doing “guy things” together. You know that he is present far beyond these moments, and therefore he is right in going out when he needs to. Your husband knows what he needs, he knows he needs some sport activity to feel well, so, being a simple creature like all males, he tries to satisfy his needs, because he knows that afterwards everybody will benefit from it.

If you can’t do the same yourself – I do not insist because I too am an Olympic champion of guilt – then all that is left to you is to joyfully embrace your little daily dying, one tiny slice at a time, but still dying. Convince yourself and fall in love with the fact that you are working an obscure job, whose results you might never see. What you are building, your family, is a cathedral, an eternal opus that will remain for generations to come, for eternity, and only you can do it. Without you, it will remain unfinished.

Of course there are days, months, maybe years that you will spend carving a statue under a vault, something that people entering the church cannot even see from below. Even less does your husband see it, and he will therefore systematically forget to thank you, but you cannot get upset. You know that men have a reduced visual field, a limitation that will prevent them from noticing shirts in the closets and bottles in the fridge, not to speak of flowers on tables or garments worn by their wife. Even less can they see all that we do during the day, especially when they are not there (only moms have detectors enabling them to see from three rooms away; indeed, sometimes I say, completely at random: “Lavinia, pick up what you just dropped”, and the funny thing is, I am always right).

This is a huge complication, because, much more than men, a woman is sensitive to the way she is looked at. She needs to be acknowledged, to be liked, to be admired. It is a profound need; it is like a nostalgia of that first gaze received at the moment of Creation. It is as if Eternity had laid eyes on her, leaving an indelible mark on her forever. A nostalgia that will always awaken in her the desire to open the door, to welcome, to give. The problem is being able to give without reserve, without losing oneself.

This need for love, in fact, may become the grace of being welcoming, generous, lovable; however, original sin has turned this grace into fragility. Woman, detached by God, lost what truly fulfilled her, and entered into a logic of dominion with man. “Your yearning will be for your husband, and he will dominate you”, it says in Genesis; so the woman has poured all her expectations over him, and then has started frantically desiring to be liked, and here I need to open a parenthesis on the investments one makes to fight aging. To the wind. I mean, all it takes is to see a 16-year-old girl wearing shorts on a field trip to feel the impulse of going into one’s bathroom, grabbing the Crème de la Mer or whatever item the saleslady convinced us to buy for an outrageous sum of money, and decide to use it on the cat. Then one forgets, and the next day she is ready again to believe in any promise (“Watch out, they say it causes cancer!” “Right, but won’t it make me skinnier?”)

Being dependent on the other’s gaze opens us up to the possibility of being wounded, exposes us to unhappiness, can be humiliating, it’s true. We are all defined by a gaze, but only God truly knows us and only He loves us in all our infinite mystery. And only if we have Him in our hearts, are we able to see the good in the mystery of those close to us.

Once I called my friend Giovanni [John] to wish him happy name day: it was the feast of Saint John the Evangelist, “the disciple whom Jesus loved best”, and I was sure that he considered that his feast. I had forgotten that my friend, being decidedly male, celebrates also Saint John the Baptist, because in the Gospel he is referred to as “the greatest among those born of women”. “Why should I pick one?” he replied. I would have no doubts if I could choose among all the Saint Johns in the calendar. I would undoubtedly want to be the most loved.

When her thirst is not quenched in its depth, a woman starts seeking other kinds of validation: she would like to be the fairest of them all, the smartest, the most something, a desire that a man experiences in a completely different way. He needs to feel powerful, because at the bottom of his heart he needs to know that his existence is useful.

It’s different for a woman. For example, if you tell your girlfriend that you saw her ex with another woman, she will storm you with questions about the looks, gestures, general appearance… But she won’t be talking about him. It’s her she’ll want to know everything about. What was she wearing, how old was she, whether she looked happy or, maybe, hopefully, she had in her eyes that strange light of someone who is not truly loved. Obviously, at this point it is absolutely prohibited to tell her anything nice about the other woman, that no-good whom we will always describe as ugly, short, fat and very sad, probably because she was going to be ditched at any moment, if you really want to know our honest opinion.

It is because of this ancestral hunger for love, dear Cecilia, that you felt completely disoriented at the beginning of your marriage, when the impact with reality turned out to be completely different from what you had imagined. This is why you cried yourself to sleep so many nights, hoping that he would notice (although probably, when one snores, it is hard to notice something that is going on quietly, even if it’s next to your pillow). This is why you felt disappointed countless times, and you still do, although the years go by and theoretically people should learn to know each other, but unfortunately one never gets used to certain things.

The real turning point happens when we accept this wound in our heart. Let us convince ourselves that it is originated not only by the alleged “wickedness” of men, but by our fragility, and then we will offer it and, honestly, loyally, we will no longer demand to change the man who is with us. Then he will be able to fulfill his true self, free from our pressure, yet at the same time seeing himself like in a mirror in our loyalty, which never accuses him, because it always originates from a true, profound, sincere acceptance. This is not a passive acceptance that in the end is narcissism, stopping to fight for the other, for his true good, because excessive patience – passive acceptance, as I was saying –may also mean that one has given up believing that he may be capable of a greater good: it is a particular kind of non-love, very close to endurance, that has nothing to do with a profound esteem.

The fact is that, if God the shepherd loves you and fulfills you, you leave your husband alone. You are satiated, you may go in and out of the sheepfold, and let him do the same. This is the docility that moves God, and also conquers man. A “cheerful” woman allows a man to give his best, makes his virile strength fruitful, stimulates him by example, almost provokes him.

This is why, dear Cecilia, you don’t know what miracles would happen if you let your cheerfulness ring in your husband’s ear. I beg you! I know that if one doesn’t have a sense of humor, he cannot give it to himself (some time ago my daughter Lavinia was getting dressed in her bedroom and I heard her with my ears saying: “So, let’s put on the undelshilt, the socks, the sense of humol…”) but whatever, do something unwise sometimes, something silly, something nonsensical. And if your idea of a jolly afternoon is to go to a flowery field and pick up flowers to dry, that doesn’t count. You may as well fill in the tax report, at least the inner accountant inside your husband will be happy. You are too limp! I am not expecting you to plan a surprise trip to New York to see Betsey Johnson’s fashion show, or to attend an improv class. It would be enough to just go out with him every once in a while, go around the town, just the two of you, without a couch or a relative or a junior league game to watch: pretend to be inside a song by Sergio Caputo, “maybe I am sad but my heart doesn’t know”, and learn that “spoiling his evening is not chic”.

Yet, it is not just a problem of lightness, of soundtrack, of the right accessories: the problem is that an abyss of difference divides us. A woman incessantly asks a man a question of generosity and dedication, which is often disappointed and wounded. It is because he is selfish, but it is also because she is demanding. Which, when you look into it, is a different sort of selfishness, i.e. lack of love: it is the selfishness of the woman who can never forget herself, her inner world. It is hard to be light and carefree with this wound inside, which sometimes is reopened several times a day. It is hard to be able to say, like Saint Theresa of Lisieux: “Great is my joy in being without joy”.

In many cases all is needed is to switch the automatic translator on, to make sense of a man’s actions, concerned as he is about concrete things, about managing, about [bringing home] the bacon, about his action in the world. This, for example, is the average conversation in my home:

“Did you want to talk to me, dear?”
“I pruned the lemon trees.”
“Yes, dear, I love you very much too” (by now I have learned that he tells me through concrete actions).

On the other hand, man too is frustrated in his desire for the perfect woman who welcomes him and is great, grown-up in her beauty. My spiritual father insists that every woman, even the most spiritually mature, suffers from occasional seizures. If she is loyal, if she is good. If on the other hand she is malicious, or problematic, she also suffers from hysterics attacks. In those moments she goes out of her mind, she kicks, goes crazy, gets mad, however you like to put it.

I am very good at noticing such moments in my girlfriends, but when it comes to me, I always appear to myself provided with admirable balance. Except when, well beyond the time when firmer mothers than myself turn off the bedroom lights, Lavinia announces that she cannot pick up the Lego because she had “an uccident” and her hand hurts, and on the other side Livia, not to be left behind, emerges from a wrestling match (“I’m not dead, I’m just a little beaten”) and wants me to professionally bandage her imaginary wound inflicted by Bernardo, who at that moment remembers that he needs to bring a jar and some beads to school for the Christmas craft, but it’s ten at night and for me it would be a satisfying result if I just were able to find all their pajamas, not necessarily in matching pieces, but at least in reasonable sizes, never mind the beads. While I rummage into the basket, Tommaso begins with an analysis of the Middle-Eastern chessboard and a torrent of questions about the situation of Turkey, and I regret having had him play all those brain-stimulating games when he was little: these are not the kind of questions you may ask a housewife. So, there, in those cases, in order to have someone at least pick up a Barbie or a book from the floor, it may actually happen that my voice does not sound composed, firm and authoritative as a mother’s should be. It may be, I do not deny it, that sometimes I may have chanced to throw the Rubik cube against a wall (only to spend the rest of the evening trying to put it back together again), or to say something cowardly and false on how well-behaved children were in my days, offering a description inspired more to Little Women, and full of woolen half-gloves and sick sisters, than to my actual childhood, full of a very healthy brother and sister to fight with (exactly like my kids) and of meat left on the plate because of fat bits (exactly like my kids). As for putting caps back on markers, I cannot swear to have always been as unexceptionable as I tell my children, but who is ever going to find out anyway?

So, Cecilia, I am sorry but I need to tell Massimo that now it’s his turn. Sometimes it’s he who should leave you alone a bit when you lose touch with reality. When you tune in your complain-channel, your why-me-channel, your everywhere-but-here-channel, when you air the special “Nobody understands me” on your inner screen, and one of your most successful shows: “Everyone is against me”. He should not tune in with you, he should not answer. A really noble man can take care of and hold in his arms one who, in those moments, is his little girl. He holds her, but he does not give in to her: he disconnects the audio, he does not let himself be dragged by her.

Of course, it takes a stable, solid, rocky man to do this. Yet I am sure that our husbands are much more capable of holding us than we give them credit for. When my girlfriends tell me of their small fights or even marital disagreements and the firm, curt answers they get from their husbands – can I be honest? – I often notice the profound male wisdom of truncating “whims”, complaints, bewilderments, recriminations.

This way of doing each his or her own part, listening to the other without being conditioned, is essential, and in order to do it one needs to be truly, completely man and woman. If we look at the dynamic between Adam and Eve, Adam allows Eve to lead him, whereas Jesus, the new Adam according to John’s and Paul’s parallelism, tells Mary Magdalene: “Do not cling to me”. Jesus never allows women to lead the relationship with Him: it is always He who holds the reins of the relationship.


Dear Massimo, I would like to give you as a gift a one-year subscription to one of those channels that transmit humorous movies in black-and-white, Totò and Peppino, funny American comedies from the Fifties, Laurel and Hardy. The ones that put you in a good mood (I know, you are an old-fashioned husband), especially when they come up on a Sunday morning and you can lay back on the couch, wasting a lot of time in a healthily irrational way. I promise that I will no longer try to make you get up and do productive things, and that I will build a barrier around the couch, so the kids will leave you alone.

I will also try to cancel the subscription to my personal satellite channel Hysteric Crisis. When I tune in on it, however, you need to promise that you will hold me and turn off the TV for me, as you would do with a small, fussy child. I will try to trust you, and please don’t mind me even if I kick.

With love (and maybe a smile), Cecilia



5 pensieri su “Smile Please or Being cheerful is a tough job, but someone has to do it

  1. Mi pento e mi dolgo di non aver mai imparato l’inglese! Ma non era annunciata la traduzione?…
    Costanza, anche dal Santuario Beata Vergine del Rosario di Fontanellato molti pregano per te e ti ringraziano per la tua bella testimonianza. Padre Giuliano

  2. Karmell

    Anch’io mi auguro che venga inserita la traduzione (com’è avvenuto ne “La sottomissione”)…


  3. Emmanuela

    A real eye opener! Boy am i proud to be a woman! Thank You Costanza for sharing your God given gift with us. May God bless you. I am bilingual and i thank God for this precious gift that i often take for granted. Costanza derseves really to go worlwide and English is (unfortunately) the only language that will permit this.

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