All I want
By Debra LoGuercio
©Copyright 1999, Debra Lo Guercio, all rights reserved
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
I get all cozy inside just thinking about
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
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.
Okay, 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."
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" at 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, how to fold a towel."
I have one piece of advice, Martha: get new
Glamorous friends fly to Paris on a whim.
They drift past the Greek Islands on yachts, sipping champagne from crsytal
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
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 dogs to Rollerblade. What
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's 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 on 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 slap her yourself.