December 13, 2004
No holiday season would be complete without swatting the smug grin off of Martha Stewart's face. I give you the following:
When you read or listen to Martha Stewart's hints and advice, do you think to yourself "I could do that"? Then, you follow that thought with "What is wrong with me? Am I just a waste of good air?"
If this is you, then read on ...
MARTHA STEWART'S HOLIDAY CALENDAR
Blanch carcass from Thanksgiving turkey. Spray paint gold, turnupside
down and use as a sleigh to hold Christmas Cards.
Have Mormon Tabernacle Choir record outgoing Christmas message for
Using candlewick and handgilded miniature pine cones, fashion
cat-o-nine tails. Flog Gardener.
Repaint Sistine Chapel ceiling in ecru, with mocha trim.
Get new eyeglasses. Grind lenses myself.
Fax family Christmas newsletter to Pulitzer committee for
Debug Windows '98
Decorate homegrown Christmas tree with scented candles handmade with
beeswax from my backyard bee colony.
Record own Christmas album complete with 4 part harmony and all instrument
accompaniment performed by myself. Mail to all my friends and loved
Align carpets to adjust for curvature of Earth.
Lay Faberge egg.
Erect ice skating rink in front yard using spring water I bottled
Open for neighborhood children's use. Create festive mood by
handmaking snow and playing my Christmas album.
Collect Dentures. They make excellent pastry cutters, particularly
for decorative pie crusts.
Install plumbing in gingerbread house.
Replace air in mini-van tires with Glade "holiday scents" in case
tires are shot out at mall.
Child proof the Christmas tree with garland of razor wire.
Adjust legs of chairs so each Christmas dinner guest will be same
height when sitting at his or her assigned seat.
Dip sheep and cows in egg whites and roll in confectioner's sugar to
add a festive sparkle to the pasture.
Drain city reservoir; refill with mulled cider, orange slices and
Float votive candles in toilet tank.
Seed clouds for white Christmas.
Do my annual good deed. Go to several stores. Be seen engaged in last
minute Christmas shopping, thus making many people feel less
inadequate than they really are.
Bear son. Swaddle. Lay in color-coordinated manger scented with
Organize spice racks by genus and phylum.
Build snowman in exact likeness of God.
Take Dog apart. Disinfect. Reassemble.
Hand sew 365 quilts, each using 365 material squares I weaved myself
used to represent the 365 days of the year. Donate to local
Release flock of white doves, each individually decorated with olive
branches, to signify desire of world peace.
New Year's Eve! Give staff their resolutions. Call a friend in each
time zone of the world as the clock strikes midnight in that country.
And a special letter to Santa. It's so good that I wish I had written it.
I rarely ask for much. This year is no exception. I don't need diamond earrings, handy slicer-dicers or comfy slippers. I only want one little thing, and I want it deeply. I want to slap Martha Stewart.
Now, hear me out, Santa. I won't scar her or draw blood or anything. Just one good smack, right across her smug little cheek. I get all cozy inside just thinking about it. Don't grant this wish just for me, do it for thousands of women across the country. Through sheer vicarious satisfaction, you'll be giving a gift to us all. Those of us leading average, garden variety lives aren't concerned with gracious living. We feel pretty good about ourselves if our paper plates match when we stack them on the counter, buffet-style for dinner. We're tired of Martha showing us how to make centerpieces from hollyhock dipped in 18 carat gold. We're plumb out of liquid gold. Unless it's of the furniture polish variety. We can't whip up Martha's creamy holiday sauce, spiced with turmeric. Most of us can't even say turmeric, let alone figure out what to do with it.
OK, Santa, maybe you think I'm being a little harsh. But I'll bet with all the holiday rush you didn't catch that interview with Martha in last week's USA Weekend. I'm surprised there was enough room on the page for her ego.
We discovered that not only does Martha avoid take-out pizza (she's only ordered it once), she refuses to eat it cold (No cold pizza? Is Martha Stewart Living?) When it was pointed out that she could microwave it, she replied, "I don't have a microwave." The reporter, Jeffrey Zaslow, noted that she said this "in a tone that suggests you shouldn't either."
Well lah-dee-dah. Imagine that, Santa!
That lovely microwave you brought me years ago, in which I've learned to make complicated dishes like popcorn and hot chocolate, has been declared undesirable by Queen Martha. What next? The coffee maker?
In the article, we learned that Martha has 40 sets of dishes adorning an entire wall in her home. Forty sets. Can you spell "overkill"? And neatly put away, no less. If my dishes make it to the dishwasher, that qualifies as "put away" in my house!
Martha tells us she's already making homemade holiday gifts for friends. "Last year, I made amazing silk-lined scarves for everyone," she boasts. Not just scarves, mind you. Amazing scarves. Martha's obviously not shy about giving herself a little pat on the back. In fact, she does so with such frequency that one has to wonder if her back is black and blue.
She goes on to tell us that "homemaking is glamour for the 90s," and says her most glamorous friends are "interested in stain removal, how to iron a monogram, and how to fold a towel." I have one piece of advice, Martha: "Get new friends." Glamorous friends fly to Paris on a whim. They drift past the Greek Islands on yachts, sipping champagne from crystal goblets. They step out for the evening in shimmering satin gowns, whisked away by tuxedoed chauffeurs. They do not spend their days pondering the finer art of toilet bowl sanitation.
Zaslow notes that Martha was named one of America's 25 most influential people by Time magazine (nosing out Mother Theresa, Madeline Allbright and Maya Angelou, no doubt).
The proof of Martha's influence: after she bought white-fleshed peaches in the supermarket, Martha says, "People saw me buy them. In an instant, they were all gone." I hope Martha never decides to jump off a bridge!
A guest in Martha's home told Zaslow how Martha gets up early to rollerblade with her dogs to pick fresh wild blackberries for breakfast. This confirms what I've suspected about Martha all along: She's obviously got too much time on her hands. Teaching the dogs to rollerblade. What a show off.
If you think the dogs are spoiled, listen to how Martha treats her friends: She gave one friend all 272 books from the Knopf Everyman Library. It didn't cost much. Pocket change, really. Just $5,000. But what price friendship, right? When asked if others should envy her, Martha replies, "Don't envy me. I'm doing this because I'm a natural teacher. You shouldn't envy teachers. You should listen to them." Zaslow must have slit a seam in Martha's ego at this point, because once the hot air came hissing out, it couldn't be held back. "Being an overachiever is nothing despicable. It is only admirable. Never lower your standards," says Martha. And of her Web Page on the Internet, Martha declares herself an "important presence" as she graciously helps people organize their sad, tacky little lives.
There you have it, Santa. If there was ever someone who deserved a good smack, it's Martha Stewart. But I bet I won't get my gift this year. You probably want to smack her yourself.
A Hopeful "Child"
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