Have You Ever Hated Your Can Opener?

Hint: This post is about more than a broken can opener so hang  in here with me.

The other day I turned the twirl-y thing on my can opener around a can of green beans 42,000 times, but nothing happened.

So I bought a new can opener. Real modern-looking. I figured it would last longer. That afternoon, I tried to open the green beans again. I held the can opener every possible way, but I couldn’t get the stupid thing to work.

Wouldn’t even poke a hole in the can.

When my husband came home from work, I handed him the can opener. He’s a mechanical genius.

It took him about thirty minutes to open the green beans. “Yeah, it works. You just have to hold the can opener at a forty-five degree angle.”

“That’s crazy. I should just use my teeth.”

I’d already tossed the receipt. I was stuck with it.

Every time I saw the new can opener peeking at me from the drawer it annoyed me.

You’re not getting the best of me, Mr. Can Opener! I’ll show you who’s boss!

For the next few days, I cooked without any canned goods.

Then God slipped a truth into my heart. He’s so good at that. Especially when I’m being ridiculous.

Sometimes you do this with people. You shut them out and hold onto bitterness.


That takes a lot of energy.


I’d been pouting with people and can openers.

The next day, I picked out another can opener. The new one has a simple design, but it works beautifully.

I celebrated by making a big pot chili with lots of canned tomatoes.

I’m tossing the other can opener–along with my bad attitude.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice…” Eph 4:31 ESV






  1. Haha, what a great source of laughter you are this morning! I too have one of “those” can openers that takes several attempts EVERY time I use it. EACH time I question why this one was supposed to be one of those high end “pampered” varieties. If it is supposed to be such a great can opener the problem has to be me…Sometimes simple is better and certainly better than the clinching of our teeth. Glad God shows up to feed us in these situations too! Thank you Julie!

  2. My mother has one of “those” can openers too, Tom. When she laughed so hard with this post, I figured maybe I should use it. 🙂 Glad you got it too.

    Yep. Clinching our teeth–great point.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

  3. Tossing out the junk is always a good idea. I love how you turn everyday situations into life lessons. 🙂

    I was about ready to pitch an aggravating can opener, too, when my husband told me it worked if you twist the handle-thingy in the opposite direction than what was normal. It took some getting used to, but it works!

    • Marie–who knew! Just turn the handle-thingy in the opposite direction! Why do they make simple things so complicated….

      Thanks so much for letting me know this rather odd post makes sense to you, my friend. xo

  4. Patricia Martin says:

    Thanks Julie and mr. Can-opener, I am letting go and reaching out! (: I wanted to thank you, Julie, for praying for my math class last semester- I got an A thanks to all your prayers.(; I hope Gene is feeling better! Happy soon to be Spring!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, hallelujah!!! You can’t beat an A. Thrilled for you. Math was always my least favorite subject. There was only one right way to do it. :/

      Thanks for your sweet words and prayers for Gene. He’s getting better.

  5. Anna Haney says:

    Loved this. What is funny is my husband, who is usually so patient with tools and such, cannot use the electric can opener with any ease at all and he gets soooo frustrated. . But what he also tends to so when something pesters him like that, rather than let it fester, he just puts it aside and tells it, “you’ve bugged me enough, not gonna bug me any more.” I wish I could do that. I try to do that, but I am not nearly as successful.

    • Ha! I’m kinda jealous. I’ve never had an electric can opener. Maybe THAT’S the problem. 🙂 🙂

      Happy Thursday, my dear friend. Praying for you and yours ~

  6. Ahhh…those can openers are the pits! I have an electric one I love and a hand-held one I do not love. It’s funny though how you didn’t open any cans during the time you were mad. I do that too! I pout and stew and then finally figure out a way around the problem (which was there all the time). Hugs & love and blessings on your new bright orangy-red can opener.

    • I know. I actually pouted for a couple of days and didn’t use the can opener–how stubborn I can be.

      Love right back to you.

  7. Ruth says:

    I laughed out loud at this post. I have one of those annoying can openers too & just a few weeks ago picked up another one at a thrift store for 25 cents. It actually looks a lot like your annoying one. And glory be – it is the best little can opener! Thanks for the life lesson on not holding on to bitterness. Love your posts! God Bless!

    • Really, Ruth????? You found one for a quarter? That’s incredible.

      Letting go of bitterness. No other way, is there. 🙂


  8. I have a love-hate relationship with can openers. I’ve tossed electric ones and fancy hand ones. Now I’ve got one like your photo of the newest. It works fine. Good writer lesson too. Simple is best. 🙂

  9. Cindy says:

    LOL about the can opener. I’ve dealt with many of “those” can openers…both hand held and electric. Great analogy with people…I’m working on the “attitude adjustment thing” too!

  10. Brenda Greene says:

    Hey Julie Girl! Yep, just recently replaced our can opener with the first “new” one you bought and once hubby showed me the correct way to use it….loving it! What threw we off was the one handle…prior to that had only had two-handled ones…this one takes up less room!

    Great analogy about “pouting” and holding onto resentment!! So easy to do and hard to undo! Fortunately I was blessed by my late (3rd-grade-educated) Dad who was a master at machines and making tools he needed to do a specific job. (Sounds a lot like your Rick.) Dad taught me years ago that if I was frustrated by something to simply walk away and come back to it later. It works every time for me as over the years I have had many opportunities to practice it! When our daughters were in their teens, I made most of their party/prom dresses. (Even made our firstborn’s wedding dress, all eight attendants dresses, her rehearsal dinner dress, my dress, and her trousseau.) As dress patterns can be confusing in their written instructions, I would get “stumped” many times. Remembering Dad’s advice, I would “walk away”, go to bed (most times I was working late into the “wee hours” following a long day of work), to wake the next day and work out the problem. Life-long lesson in many areas, for sure!

    Thanks for your “life lessons” that keep on blessing us, Sweetie! Keep up the excellent work and we’ll keep reading!! Brenda

    • Oh, Brenda….I’m soooooooooooo impressed!!!! I never knew anyone who made prom dresses. I love that. What sweet memories your girls have.

      And Wise Advice from your daddy. How rarely I do that! I’m going to start though. I usually drive myself nuts trying, getting frustrated, feeling stupid.

      But seriously, I’m going to walk away, take a break, and ask for His Help next time I’m stumped.

      Hugs my precious friend.

  11. Love this analogy! It’s way too easy to get “caught” stuck- trapped in the pit of despair 🙂 Ok- that’s a bit dramatic- but I can’t believe how many times I let the little things- like can openers or a casual comment- mess up my day. Thank you for reminding me to LET IT GO! 🙂 hugs Julie!

    • Cindy, nope. I think you nailed it with despair. Maybe not with can openers but with….struggles.

      I always smile when I see your precious comments. Wish we lived closer. Would love to meet you and yours!

  12. Shelley Elaine says:

    So good! Love the illustration…can certainly relate-although I LOVE my Pampered Chef hand held can opener-no jagged edges! Highly recommend it

    • Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, a Pampered Chef can opener. Didn’t know they made them. Brilliant idea, Shelley!! Thank you. XOXOXO

  13. What is it with those things? I have a “designer brand” can opener and according to the demonstration at the home party it was the best thing since homemade soap. Right!!!! Love your application though. Also love how God gives us those object lessons. Thanks for sharing.

    • And I thought it was just me and can openers, Felicia?!

      At least we can get a life lesson from how annoying they can be. But no more! Like one commenter above said, if it happens again, I’ll just put the can opener down and walk away.


  14. OUCH! I just had a painful revelation about myself through your post. With people and things I not only get frustrated, (bitter?), I try to change them to make them work the way I think they should.

    • God talks to me all the time through your posts, Elizabeth. Love when He does that. Thanks for letting me know–and what a brilliant through too–that we try to change them and make them work our way. Big time ouch. You nailed me.

  15. marci says:

    Can openers. Seems we all have dealt with them. Thanks for sharing, and what good thoughts.
    I have one that I have not been able to use,.. I put it in the cabinet and just let it sit there.. I have not thrown it away because– after all I spent good money on it! But when I read where you tossed yours, I laughed at myself, and learned a life lesson along the way. Sure I spent money on it- but it isn’t suddenly going to turn into a good, usable can opener and it is just taking up space. There are times to Let Go.. Time to give my unusable can opener a nice send off the next time the trash pick up comes. I also agree- simple is often the best.

    • Amen, Marci!!! We’re getting freed up, aren’t we? Just tossing stuff that doesn’t work…which makes more room for stuff that DOES.

      Hugs to you today. Thanks for letting me know my silly (sort of) post made sense.

  16. This one caught me by surprise! Didn’t see it coming to compare the energy spent pouting w/ ppl! but yes! I do that too. I’ll think twice from now on though! ox

  17. Jan says:

    I have encountered frustrating can openers, and have two like your red-handled one that I think are quite fine. The Pampered Chef ones take off the whole lid, sides and all i believe (right?), which is pretty unique and leaves the cans ready to be washed and used for baking date nut bread, et al. Wondering if offering those frustrating openers to Goodwill would be a nasty trick or if someone else might get along better with them if not actually be glad to own them. What if the human “bad can opener” in your life cannot be so easily disposed of? What do you do then??

    • Hey, Jan. I’ve never heard of baking date nut bread inside a can, but I love the idea.

      Good question about the human bad can opener. For me, it was just a matter of me letting go of my attitude. :/


      • marci says:

        How interesting. First the use of cans to make bread. I saw many many years ago – with my first crock pot/ slow cooker, to make breads and cakes in cans. I have not tried it, sounds good! (thankfully) I have a long slow cooker that I can put a small loaf pan in. Slow cookers made great cakes, and I would assume bread? BTW Julie, my daughter also suffers – so amoung other things she cannot eat anything with gluten, wheat, etc–she can have oatmeal, and cornmeal. so I feel for you as I do for her. … Human Can-openers.. I admit I did think of that, about the ones that we have in our lives. Some can be a challenge– and I as I have gotten older have started looking up to God, and asking, OK, what lesson do you have for me by putting this person in my life? It seems to help. And Julie, that was such a great lesson- to change our attitude. We may not be able to always chance circumstances but we can change our attitude. I so enjoy all the comments here. It is getting to where it is a highlight of my week. 🙂

        • Marci–I haven’t tried to make breads or cakes in my crock pot either. But I’ve also heard it’s possible.

          I’m so glad your daughter can have oatmeal! Some people with Celiac can. For six months, I tried it–even used certified GF oats. Then I got severely anemic. I have a feeling it was the oats. So I cut them out. I can have cornmeal if there’s no wheat mixed in.

          Human Can Openers. Love how you put that. 🙂

          Soooooooooooo true about asking God, “Why is this person in my life? What’s the lesson for me?” Took me years to finally do this.

          Great thoughts, as always, my friend. And thank you. Just honored beyond words (ha! imagine that!) to be considered to be a highlight of your week. Wow. Humbled and honored. Thank You, Lord.

  18. Jan says:

    PS I remember learning at some time that steel cans were invented a number of years before the first official can opener. The years between must have been REALLY frustrating!

  19. Sandra Walker says:

    I, too, have had bad can openers, both electric and manual. I have had a simple manual for several years now and like it very much. Good lessons on letting go and not spending all that energy on negative stuff! I think God whispers in your ear when you are writing what has been going on with me! LOVE IT!!!

    • Sandra, that’s EXACTLY how I pray as I write each week–that He would stir my heart to write what others will relate to.

      Thank you. You let me know He’s speaking to me. To US. 🙂

  20. Julie Gilleand says:

    Hi Julie,

    Only just this morning had a chance to read your blog from last week. I sure can related to can opener frustration! My kids bewail the fact we no longer have an automatic one. We enjoyed it for many years, even after having bought it used, but finally it was time for it to be tossed. I opted for a hand-held, exactly like the red one in your picture, just to save counter space and to not have to use electricity for something so easy to do without it! But now my trusty little red one is showing signs of age. I have figured out how to still make it work, but my son Andy, who likes everything to be just so, complains about how useless the device is. I want to go into my rant about how we at least have cans of food to open when many do not! But alas, I think it’s coming to that time to make another exchange. It has served us well, though. Change is hard, though, isn’t it? Not so much can openers, bu just anything we seem to want to cling to, whether stuff, or attitudes, habits (good or bad). Lessons from a can opener — I love it!

    Take care leaf sister!

  21. Amen, Leaf Sister, Julie! XOXOXO

  22. Mariz says:

    I know how that feels! the bitterness I mean. haha! I recently switched to a manual can opener after using an electric one. it takes a while to find a good can opener (one that feels reliable and sturdy). The one I’m using now is a Keetzen manual can opener I got from Amazon. It’s fantastic! It doesn’t leave sharp edges and it’s pretty stable. I let my 7 year old daughter use it to help me around the kitchen. what I love about it is that it’s dishwasher safe! I wont have to worry about all that junk between the blades. Lol. If you’re keen on checking it out, I bought it here amzn.to/1oqddQq 🙂

    • Thanks, Mariz! Great tip. 🙂 🙂 And thanks for letting me know you’re reading. Blessings to you and your family.

  23. I got an electric one from Black & Decker inherited from my grandparents. I think it’s about 50 years old lol, but still runs like it was brand new. It’s a little loud for today’s standards, but I won’t complain. 🙂

    • Wow–Matt. Sounds like you have a jewel there. 🙂 Maybe you can’t go wrong with Black & Decker–bet my husband would say so.

      Thanks for commenting. Let’s me know you’re reading!

  24. You know honestly I bought a hamilton beach electric can opener and it wasn’t all that, i’m reverting back to hand operated. No plugging un plugging or hassle. Maybe when I get older and need it yeah, but for now the standard one suits me fine.

  25. The other day I turned the twirl-y thing on my can opener around a can of green beans 42,000 times

    • Julie says:

      I know what you mean, Nicole. :/ So frustrating! Thanks for reading and understanding!


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