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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Martha and Me

I recently did something I haven't done for awhile, I ordered a magazine. Thanks to the good people of I racked up enough points for several magazines. It seems drinking a great deal of diet coke has it own rewards, literally, and for me it comes in the form of a new magazine. I stopped buying them for awhile because basically they were piling up everywhere. I was waiting for the time I "could get to them," and since that time never came I just stopped buying them. Except at Christmas...and Thanksgiving, they are so beautiful during the holidays. And it is so heartwarming and authentic to look at pictures of carefully staged, extravagantly decorated rooms that are never lived in by a real family. These homes are certainly never dirty, messy or even vaguely inhabitable. I used to look at them and compare what I saw around me and cringe. As though I had done something wrong to have dogs and kids and crumbs...and disorganization, and dishes I may or may not do. And don't forget the laundry that was sometimes washed again because I left it in the washing machine for a couple of days and now it smells...

Anyway back to my thought, I ordered a Martha Stewart magazine. Isn't that insane? Every once in awhile I decide to torture myself and simply look at her calendar for the month. It is remarkable...she must sit down with someone name Ruth or Mildred at the first of the month and think of every thing possible she could do in 28, 30 or 31 days. She remembers birthdays, outdoor furniture and when it needs to be washed and there are several designation for her work outs. Some are even done with the dogs ( I hope they are alerted by Ruth or Mildred as to which days they get the nod - they better not show up on an uninvited workout day. And heaven forbid they come for yoga - dogs are not the least bit flexible, have you ever seen a shih tzu try to to get into the cobra position? Although they can do the corpse position really, really well)
Back to the calendar...she organizes closets without being told, or without the closet collapsing from the sheer weight of stuff. She of course goes on TV (funny I never see a place for 'crash diet for appearance on TV" on her calendar...that would definitely be on mine.hmmm) She airs out pillows, has her chimney inspected and harvests her herbs. She is giving a presentation in Sweden (probably in Swedish) and is having a wedding at her home. She is preparing the chicken coop for new chicks and is uploading pictures for her blog. She refills bird feeders, picks plums and vacuum and rotates all the mattresses.

That concludes what I do in a year...for Martha that is all done in one month.

Or that is what she and Ruth/Mildred want us to believe.

Remember when someone turned the cameras on Martha and revealed the one hundred migrant workers at Turkey Hill? Don't look behind the curtain.....For those of you without Martha speak Turkey Hill was her home in wherever New York. Known for it's perfection and beauty.....and when I found out she did have help, lots of help I slept for the first time in months. On an unrotated mattress.

Remember when Martha went to jail? I called a friend of mine and told her for at least 6 months we didn't have to use cloth napkins, spin any yarn or can a thing. It was like mom went out of town and left us kids home alone!!...suddenly we didn't have to do anything responsible! We could stay up late and eat cake for breakfast!! Nothing matched that should have, the outdoor furniture was mildewed and we bought candles instead of making them!! It was heaven! No soup from scratch, lots of take out and boxed macaroni and cheese!! She will never find out, no one told on us! enjoy I kept telling my friends enjoy it now because she will be back and we will have to once again hang pictures correctly, clean our garden tools and plant okra.

And then it happened, she got out of jail...wearing a little something she knitted while she in the big Martha. And once again I folded napkins, polished silver, and ate vegetables.

And so now you are wondering why in the world would I go back? Why would I get the magazine again? Why?

Because my closets won't close, my soup tastes bland and I need her fixes for stains, scratches and spills. And I don't know when to bring in the okra.

So even if Martha drives me crazy....I can use her as a condiment, just not the main course. And if every once in a while I put the soup in homemade bread bowls, or buy the size towels she says is most effective (hand size) If she helps me remember to use the good stuff more often, not eat standing at the stove or simply be more organized....then she has done her part.

I don't want to be Martha, I don't think Martha could be Martha without a lot of help. But I can be Martha-ish.....and that is good enough for me.