Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Great Expectations

I'm trying to figure out where I stand on Martha Stewart. Yes - this is a really important topic to have an opinion about. A few years ago, I absolutely adored her. I saw her for the first time on an Oprah show. She was telling the ever-clapping audience how to fold fitted sheets. It was amazing. Cos really - does anyone know how to do it properly? Apart from me, having been tutored by Ms Stewart? She also showed the adulating audience how to fold towels properly and that when people come to stay at your house, you should put a bale of towels in their room, tied up like a parcel, using a length of raffia or pretty ribbon.

After the show had finished, I tipped out my airing cupboard, and refolded all my towels and sheets. And the finished result was quite amazing. It was beautiful. A sight to behold. And I beheld it often, as every time I walked by the cupboard, I had to open it and take a peek at the folded gorgeousness of it all. Someone from work had come by, and even commented on my cupboard and array of beautifully folded towels... I had 'accidentally' forgotten to close it over...

Martha had truly shown me a thing of beauty. And it was all to be found in the fold of a towel.

So I became a fan. I started looking at her housekeeping 101 ideas, and started doing things round our home -'cos Martha said'. I started looking at recipes 'cos Martha said' and looked at beautiful craft ideas 'cos Martha said'. I was easily moulded and was willing to be nurtured by the stern hand that was Martha.

And then I had kids.

Not that I blame my kids for everything that's gone awry in my life, but let's face it - with kids running around, there's less time to decoupage that mirror and fold the towels neatly (at least they're washed!) and spin my own wool.

And now, I think I'm beginning to resent her. Because she makes me feel guilty and useless. I logged on to her homepage and was looking at the cupcake contest winners.

I found that after looking through all these cute cupcakes, I started to judge Martha, and her flying monkeys that had made all these cupcakes. She has been sent to test and to try me. They have been sent to make me feel like the cupcakes that I'd BOUGHT were not good enough. They have been sent to make me feel that it was wrong to convince my kids that they were princess fairy cakes because the cakes IN THE PACKET had a blob of pink icing on them. They have been sent to make me feel bad because I broke my Magimix in a fit one time, and so therefore if I were to make cakes, I'd have to make them by hand, and that's just not my idea of fun.

And my airing cupboard? Now when I look in it, I'm just glad that my towels are clean and smell fresh. They still get folded the Martha way - it's hard to escape her clutches completely, but it's not a cupboard that I would want anyone to see.

So I think I'll start my own uprising against Martha.

I want to live in a world where bought cupcakes ARE acceptable. I want to live in a world where I don't have to throw dinner parties every night where I'm worrying about my tarnished silver. I want to live in a world where I'm not worried about having to design my own tablecloths and napkins. Or, in fact, own them.

Who's with me? Please... someone. Someone tell me it's simply not natural to live a Martha-led life. Otherwise I'll need to go soothe myself in a packet of bought fairy cakes...