I have a love/hate thing for Martha Stewart. So you can imagine my horror when I realized I was becoming her.
I started small. Her magazine looked so pretty and I’d always wanted to learn how to make really good fried chicken. And wasn’t it fortunate that the issue had an informative article on linen closet organizing too? I made the fried chicken (delicious, really and it only took 4 hours and 10,000 ingredients). And, I organized the linen closet. That only took 10 days.
That issue taught me so much, I bought another. I learned how to make iced tea. You know, Martha doesn’t just set a jar full of bags in the sun, forget it, and then remember it a week later when it’s undrinkable. I also learned that Martha collects pressed glass and sews rows of ruffles on her tablecloths. I don’t even own a tablecloth. But I learned so much from Martha, I bought a subscription. My brain promptly filled with useful stuff like clarifying butter, collecting tea towels, when it is proper to name your house and how to make your own mustard.
I was soon addicted. I devoured anything Martha. I did everything she told me to do. I became obsessed with sheet folding. I baked bread without using the bread maker. I signed up for her emails. That way I wouldn’t miss another “good thing”.
I come by this obsession honestly. My mother could give Martha a run for her money. To mom, outdoor dining means using silverware with bamboo handles, special plates with matching glasses and placemats. I use everyday, mismatched silverware, plastic plates from Target and plastic glasses with built in sippy straws. No placemats. What’s the point? I’m just going to hose off the table after dinner.
But, thanks to Martha and mom, I finally have figured out how to really clean the house. I spent the first two years of my stay at home mommy hood dreaming of my old life, where I worked and someone else cleaned the house.
Oh, I knew the basics. Don’t mix bleach with ammonia. Clean up dog barf before it dries. Make your bed before you leave the house. That kind of thing. But did I know that I should fold my linens with little pieces of tissue paper between the folds so that they wouldn’t wrinkle? Did I know that the holes in crackers are called docking holes?
I learned so much and my obsession became so, well, obsessed that I moved on to Martha’s books. The first had wreaths for every season and holiday. Did you know you could pin one million, five hundred eighty-two thousand teeny, tiny cranberries to a styrofoam wreath for an elegant holiday decoration? And it only takes 3 weeks. Of course, by the time you’ve pinned the last cranberry on, the first one you pinned on is rotten, wrinkled and beginning to smell.
I moved on to Martha’s home color book. I learned how to choose colors for my house providing I only liked beige, green and sky blue. I guess those are the colors that bring out the natural beauty of pressed glass and old, wrinkled cranberry wreaths.
Then one day, I hit nirvana. I found Martha’s TV show. Oh what joy! In October I learned how to make chicken pot pie in sugar pumpkins. For Easter, I learned how to make hinged Easter eggs with fake jewels inside them. Okay, I confess; I did learn to make them, but I didn’t actually make them. Come on. We’re talking about hinged Easter eggs. I don’t think that would be easy. But I was happy. I was creative. I was becoming one with my hot glue gun (which incidentally was causing some burns).
Then one day I woke up and realized how Martha I had become. I got scared. Who really has time to put tissue paper between sheet folds? And why in the heck would I want to name my house? Although, if you care to know, it is considered proper to name any home, large or small. And who would hinge Easter eggs?
Not me. Not anymore. No, I will fold my sheets without tissue paper and shove them into the linen closet. I will not care that the pillowcases are not carefully folded in the center of the sheets so that I do not misplace them. I will buy plastic Easter eggs at Wal-Mart and stuff them with candy I did not spend a week making. But I think I will do one thing. I will name my house. Next time you are in the neighborhood stop by Casa de Rotten Cranberry Wreath. I have some sun tea for you. It’s only been outside brewing a week or so.Add me to your rss reader | Become a Fan on Facebook!