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...


Jill said...

You have NO idea how much you are speaking to me, sister.

It's like you read some of the deepest parts of my soul.

My sister could give Martha a run for her money, though. And what's worse...seeing perfection on the screen, or going away for the weekend and coming home feeling completely kack.

I give you the choice.
As for me, I too loathe Martha. I cannot, however, loathe my sister. Her perfectness yes (and with 3 small children....) but her, no.

I am signing up for the uprising. Let me know when our first meeting is. I won't be inviting my sis.

in time out said...

This is hilarious. I get you totally. thanks for following me, btw. I came by to tell you Happy Valentines...come by for a valentine, right click copy, like an award...for you. Thanks for being my bloggie friend.

That Girl in Brazil said...

I like Martha-ing my home sometimes, but I don't want to be made to feel bad when I DON'T want to Martha.

Make sense?

Summers Family said...

My first intro to Martha was a couples get together for some people at my husbands work. The table decor and food must have taken hours. The women talked of Martha as an icon - although she was a lush- and I remember feeling overwhelmed because if this is what was expected of me, count me out. My husband laughed when I started watching Martha and trying some of her ideas.
Now I never think of her. My kids don't care about those things, so why should I. If I had a hundred people to do it all for me, and tell me what project to do next, and have everything organized and cut out, maybe I could be like Martha. But she isn't that great of a person, ie I have never done jail time, so why try to emulate her?
You rock Claire and could take Martha any day! so no worries!

Rachel said...

I want to go to there. . .
Totally know how you feel. I don't need the pressure, thank you very much! Keeping my children alive from day to day is enough of a challenge without having to be all cute doing it!

kiwibabee said...

Don't forget that Martha has gone to jail, so she can't be that perfect.

Carol said...

There is a proper method to folding fitted sheets?


Beeswax said...

I was a little disappointed to find Martha instead of Pip or Miss Haversham, but I'll get over it.

And starting and uprising is step 6 in the 12 steps of Martha grief.

Martha doesn't bug me anymore, except when she acts all anal while she's interviewing celebs.

You just can't let her get to you when she tells you you need to brush your dog for one hour every day, or you can't bake your cookies unless your chocolate has arrived from Belgium. You have to be strong.

You just have to appreciate that she has minions. That likely all hate her. And that she has sucked all the HOME out of HOMEMAKING. But you all must appreciate that she has MAD SKILLZ.

Her mustard/thyme chicken with rosemary potatoes is my favorite, and I have been known to make her tiny poinsettia gift toppers form red velvet ribbon at the holidays.

I think my husband summed it all up when I was watching Martha gloating and name dropping after Obama's Inauguration, and he said, "This is all very rich, coming from a woman who can't even VOTE, because she is a FELON!"

A note from Grandma K said...

Funny and True! Thank you.

I like that we all have different gifts. And mine is one that I am happy with: I know how to clap for others when they share their gifts!

Thanks for the smile today!

Cammie said...

It's love and annoyance for me. I loved her bridal ideas. . .she's so precise. . . but then I have to keep it real and vacuum the crumbs from my carpet.


PS. Thanks for crashing my party. It was getting old and ready for a new post. You put some excitement back into the spread. . .

Jen said...

Let's start a We-don't-let-Martha-tell-us-what-to-do club! Have you seen her yearly to-do calendar?? I'm supposed to be thinking about taking my mower in for maintenance right now!

I have never "maintained" my mower. As if I have time.

And let's face it - I have no desire to fold napkins anyway, so she can have them!

Cammie said...

PS. I'm thinking of a reality show where Martha has to do all her "Martha Thangs" with a few kids by her side that she has to care for. We'd get to see if she upholds her Martha standards and if the kids are happy and loved. . . but I'm over reality shows so trashed that. xo

Julie said...

My idea of folding a fitted sheet is to roll it into a tight wad and shove it in the closet. It works just great for me!

Lisha said...

I remember the sheet and towel folding episode too...but I have felt a failure as my towels are all out of shape and the corners don't meet and my cupboard's a mess, I'm lucky if the door even closes after I shove everything in.

I'm with you, not much craft (or towel folding) gets done around here by me since having children. I love her ideas, I hate that I never get around to do them. Dinner parties!! What are they?? I just have a party in my head if I make it through dinner. So I'm with you.

Heidi said...

Don't worry--the US Government took all of our guilty rage toward Martha and made her stay on house arrest for all of our benefits . . .

Anonymous said...

Haha! don't worry! Everyone from crazyland is with u! We're painting right now so our house kindof looks like it blew up... But thats ok! and we don't decorate for every holiday like martha says u should, i mean you're lucky if u get pumpkins on halloween and nativitys on xmas! not that im listening 2 her... cuz im not! :)

btw this is Thing 1... I'm glad I'm not the only 1 who's been MIA :) I haven't posted in 2 months!!!