A jealous, little article has been circulating recently in cyberspace. Here it is:
"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. " And the article finishes…."You probably want to smack her yourself. Sincerely…"
And its author signs her jerky name and as far as I'm concerned, they are signing their own craziness warrant. I don't include this boobie's signature because I don't want to embarass the writer for this embarassing fit of mean spirited pea-green jealousy the exact shade of which comes from an incredible withering within, and I will now describe its etiology. It is fear of the spectre of hard work.
Such fear and such masquerading of fear with the response of jealousy is not isolated. There is a pandemic of it in America today. Two of the most important, successful 'women' (I set it 'women' in quotes because they are really just men in skirts, ballbreakers of the first water,) but these two babes are tycoons in the television industry: Maria Shriver Schwartzeneggar and Jane Pauley, both of whom have eviserated the gorgeous goddess Martha and done it face to face, while interviewing her are prime detractors. This is NOT odd, as both ladies married CARTOONS. And both newhens got real pointed on 'how come Andy went and left you??' Amazingly enough, John TESH joined in the shark frenzy, the so called innocuous dimpled blonde baby stork who couldn't spear a whale if it were dead on a beach next to him.
I watched all three interviews which were embarassing for the PERSONAL vitriol these TV HAGS manifested, rounds of prurient, jealous, spiteful, insinuating questions aimed at Goddess Martha. The career journalists disgraced themselves and their profession. Tesh just didn't know better.
Now, I know my Martha territory. I'm up on Martha. I've even read JUST DESSERTS cover to cover which is the ultimate, dripping, bloodied MARTHA harpoon.
JUST DESSERTS is as if the most talented, long-legged, patient, tabloid journalist on the planet had drugged EVERYONE Martha had ever known into being loose-lipped, and raked out all the smut and ego-busting data and gathered it into a pile and then sorted out the jewels.
JUST DESSERTS PILLORIZES Goddess Martha in CINERAMA BUT, the true mark of a goddess, is that even though everything in that book is true, Goddess Martha still shows up in the book as more glowing and jewel-like than any woman who ever lived BECAUSE those things are true, not in spite of them.
Martha is simply better and more worthy than any female walking on the planet, now that Diana and Mother Teresa are gone. She is the sole candidate for canonization that remains.
Martha's World, adapted to your life or mine, could save any woman from being a disaster, from being worthless, meaningless, stupid, lazy and a jerk. The proof of any pudding is in its eating, its final effect on one. Martha Stewart offers the ultimate magic wand that makes the universe zing with reason, meaning and beauty. Any woman spending a few minutes extra in the garden and then the kitchen to make that dish tastier AND cheaper, would resonate with me.
and celery, pale green walls, using her hens' eggshells as colors, her
use of antique junk available for dimes at yard sales, her reclaiming the
land on Turkey Hill and giving it beauty with her budget plant cuttings,
her chicken coop-poop and her little Dutch clogs and talented hands, makes
tears of admiration rise in my eyes and makes me proud to be the fair sex.
Martha Stewart is a gateway to the transcendental feminine life. Earthly existence is POTENTIALLY a thing of grandeur and beauty. Martha is the de-coder of the instructions that we weren't given at birth (by lazy mothers), the possesor of the Secret Bible for all women. Martha is the last, great white hope for any of us figuring out which end is up.
In JUST DESSERTS we read of her aliveness: ripe, bawdy, laughing sexual flirtatiousness with men, her irritation and barking if an assistant didn't show up on time, or beat the batter to just the right froth. We hear of her price-gadging hagglng with merchants. We hear of her getting a good idea which someone else had first, and making it better, enraging the first guy to the point of murder.
To me, these are all the hallmarks of someone smart, beautiful, terrific. In our urge to be boring Pilgrims are we going to trash such signs of glowing humanity?
I spotted the Pilgrim Agenda when I saw those three harpies of journalism dare try to harpoon Goddess Martha's royal equanim. The worst gossip and speculation they threw at her brought not a frown to that peaceful face. Her face was in total repose and gentle peace. KLEIGS on her and not a flicker of hostility. Who of us could have managed that during a turkey roast? They speared and trussed her, dragged out the worst allegations and lit the fires and Martha answered with the simplicity of St. Joan before the Court of the English Infidels, bringing tears to my eyes.
Goddess Martha's hopes for us, --her students as she calls us, always reminding her harpooners that she is but a teacher, are based on our getting a grasp of such intrinsically simple things: the grace of living, the look of a well set table, the taste of well grown, freshly picked, well cooked foods, the feng shui of the rooms where we interact with our loved ones, the color and taste and aroma of each season. How poignantly generous is Life. How opulently She hands us her seasonal foods, How fragile, how beautiful. Yet none seem to know it but Goddess Martha.
And do we need reminding?? SISTERS! What if you, today, were transported to the 'other side,' and had to look back at yourself sitting right now at your PC in your little dank living space judge your house and life. Go look at what's in the fridge. Go look at the smell and look of your 'harvest kitchen.' Go look at who's sitting at your table, laughing with you, drinking a fine Merlot, eating a steaming entree. NOBODY. Your miserable life could be SAVED by a dame like Martha Stewart. Get on your knees, miserable jealous judges of this Princess from Heaven. YOU are the ones who most need her message. You who are snide, you who reject, you who do not grow the vegetables that you cook with love. You who do not bother to grow, then slice, then stack the sliced turnips, apples and hubbard squash just so before you bake them together so that their flavors melt. You freeze-dried bitches, you lazy bums, sleeping a full eight while Marta after 4 hrs of sleep, is roller-blading with her chows. Then weeding the mache, arugula garden while most of you gals could't spell arugula much less grow or eat it. OR RECOGNIZE it!
Ladies, reckon with greatness. It's OK to know you sinned in the past if you can forgive yourself for that ignorance, but now get on your knees and VOW: I will Martha-ize myself. I will daily add a Martha to my life. I will say my Hail Marthas in total humility. And I will realize that JEALOUSY, ENVY AND HATRED are but the dark side of wanting to be like that thing and fear you can't be and craving to follow her, wishing you could get one tureen of pumpkin soup into your life, one floral center piece you grew yourself.
THE ULTIMATE proof of the pudding is what the eating of it would do to you and your life and your family and your loved ones if you could manage a soup from scratch? Plus an entrée? Plus a floral table decoration.
This century, the 21st, start on the Martha Path. If you have ever had a jealous, contemptuous, uneasy feeling when you saw Martha, read her, or felt a HEATED ENJOYMENT when you heard her harpoonists deride her, forgive yourself. Know that it was ignorance, the inert, tamasic laziness and the fear of hearing the GOSPEL from one who'd make us follow her into actual WORK, ---follow her to dig in gardens, wash dishes, clean up after a chicken, cook multi-courses in steaming kitchens. We 20th century twirps don't want that! Jane Palsied doesn't want it! Maria the Shrike doesn't want it! (Unless maids and caterers do the actual work) But you do want a hands on home presence without those huge bills.
ADMIT you want to be a great female! And then, just turn on your Martha channel daily for a minute. TUNE IN. Turn On. DROP OUT. Drop out of processed foods, frozen, canned. Page thru your Martha Stewart Magazine in a daily supermarket checkout line dose. Vow to incorporate whatever you see (in that ten- second flash before your groceries come up to the register) into your LIFE. And if you feel the spirit flood you, get out of line, go back to the produce department and try some arugula or pumpkin.
From now on. Start the Martha habits. Forsake your tamasic, inert, lazy, canned, freeze-dried ways, forevermore. Say it now, the new Mantra :HAIL MARTHA, FULL OF GRACE THE LORD IS WITH YOU. BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN AND BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF YOUR GARDEN, KITCHEN and HOME. FORGIVE US OUR SINS, MAKE US LIKE YOU, AMEN. "
Signed a Martha
fan from muddy clog soles to the chicken feathers in her tousled crown.
Anita Sands, Astrology@earthlink.net