Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote, and the woman from Proverbs 31 give me a headache. Like M.C. Hammer, I can’t touch that.
Jessica Fletcher jogs and bikes and fishes. She doesn’t drive a car. She is an excellent writer, and world-renowned. She travels everywhere, and gets invited to nearly every kind of event imaginable. She is educated and educates. She knows someone from nearly every walk of life, and can schmooze comfortably with the locals as well as the rich and the famous. She is a gracious host to all guests. She is polite in the face of rudeness, determined in the face of impossibility, tenacious in the face of dead-ends, and witty in all situations. She is erudite, educated, approachable, caring, reasonable, and sure-footed in her dealings with people. She is fair, honest, and of good reputation. And, to top it all off, she nearly always has a thickly frosted layer cake on her kitchen table. The only crack in the glass that I can see is her stupid nephew, who regularly seems to find himself as a suspect in a murder case.
She’s fictional, of course, which she should be. I would have to slap her otherwise.
A friend and I have gotten into the habit of watching an episode of Murder, She Wrote on Friday nights after coffee. I joked about how, during the introduction, I almost wished that the part where she is shown riding bike would continue about two seconds longer, where I imagine it would show her running into a mailbox or parked car. She would go flying over the handle bars and I would at last be able to exhale and accept my own imperfections. Instead, it merely shows her smiling and waving to off-screen neighbors as she rides home to write another bestseller while the music plays.
“It would be funny,” I said, “If someone came up with the Murder, She Wrote alternate universe episodes. Instead of her solving the crimes and going home successful, she would be sort of like Kenny from South Park. She would get taken out at the end of each episode by the murderer, only to come back for the next episode. Or a kind of Mystery Science 3000 version of the show.”
I have a love-hate relationship with Jessica Fletcher. I don’t know why I harbor wishful thinking of her receiving bodily harm, either on bike or by a nefarious murderer in 1980’s styled clothing. I regularly find myself wishing I was her.
Like that woman from Proverbs 31, a frightful chunk of scripture which is the women’s equivalent to Jesus’ more general admonition to be perfect like him. I get exhausted thinking about it. Proverbs 31:10-31 (the section that describes the perfect woman) is an acrostic poem. Each verse starts with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Basically, she’s got it all down from A-Z.
And probably bakes perfect layer cakes, too.