Friday, January 15, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Cara: Martha Wanna Be

(This is lengthy. Pull up a chair. Sorry, apparently I had a lot to say.)

My friend lovingly (?) calls me Martha. You know what Martha I mean. The Queen of all things domestic. Yeah her. I want to be Martha. Well, I don't want to be her. I want to be like her.

Another friend called me yesterday morning to tell me to put on her show 'cause they were talking about blogging. I haven't watched her show in I can't remember when. Well no, actually I do remember when. It was when she had recently gotten out of jail and did a segment about these shawls an inmate lady friend had shown her how to make. She showed a sample, talked about how they were made, and everyone in the audience got one. Bizarre. A little too bizarre for me. Now, I don't think she should have had to go to jail. I think she was made an example of. She is a woman, a quite bitchy, successful one at that, and someone decided she needed to be knocked down a few pegs. Yeah, well that didn't happen. But regardless, whether you love her or hate her, she has some amazing ideas. I wanted to see if she was going to give me now, some amazing blogging tip. Yeah not so much.

She had on her daughter (who has a HUGE stick up her ass by the way and I really felt the need to tell that to the TV as she spoke) and friend who have a cable show, radio show and blog (plug, plug, plug). Nothing they said that I already didn't know. Next was some Canadian blogger who has a borderline stalker obsession with her. And devotes his whole blog to her and what she does, how her stuff is displayed in Macy's, and how many back copies of "Living" he has archived. (Ummm red flag there fella!). Next, was a guy who makes it his life's goal to make everything in her cook book. (kinda like a Julia/Julia thing like the movie, except this is more like a Pathetic Guy/Martha thing).

So really it was just a "Martha Love Fest". You have to hand it to her though. She said over and over, how her craft tools are excellent, and how she frosts a cake perfectly, how delicious everything in her cook book is, basically how fabulous she and everything she does is. We listen. We believe. Even if we grumble about how annoying she can be, she makes us believe.

So, after I was done commenting out loud to an empty house about the girl who needs to have her stick surgically removed, Stalker and Pathetic Guy....I got that old Martha feeling. I kept trying to name it. Then it came to me. Inadequate. Why? I didn't feel inadequate before I tuned in. Actually I was feeling good, I had gotten a lot done that morning. I was progressing nicely.

It's really not her that I don't like, because like I said I want to be her. Uh, I mean like her. It's how she makes me feel that I don't like. I remember watching her shows on TV, taped at her lovely Connecticut home. I remember yearning for the big fluffy white bath sheets folded perfectly in rattan baskets in her bathroom. Or the perfectly arranged fresh cut hydrangea in the bone china vase.

Just looking at the set of her show yesterday made me want to take a sledge hammer to my kitchen. And that was just a tv set. Open cabinets with rows of perfectly stacked white dishes. Those dam rattan baskets again filled with rolled dish towels and cooking utensils. I could gush on an on. Some women like diamonds, some like shoes...I get weak in the knees at anything to do with home design/decor.

The left side of my brain knows....It knows that she has help. TONS of help. People. She has people. And more money than God to make or at least create the illusion of perfection. No one is perfect not even her. Even if she does speak slowly, articulating each letter in e-v-e-r-y word in a low, almost hypnotizing voice, (which is foreign to a NY gal who doesn't have the "r" in her alphabet) she has to freak out and yell sometimes. It knows she doesn't have three kids running in and throwing their crap from one end of the house to the other. (and from the looks of Stick Girl I don't think she ever threw her jacket on the floor, anyway) I know. I know. I know.

But the right side of my brain (the side I prefer...the other side does math and brings out the practical side of me...ick) wants that fabulous rotating cake stand to frost orange-almond layer cake with homemade butter cream icing, she and Pathetic man used yesterday to simultaneously frost cakes together. I really think he had a moment there. I did. Not because of Martha but because I want that thing to frost my cakes on!!!!!!

I want the fitted sheets folded in perfect squares in my linen closet (I learned how to do that once from her but I still get frustrated with them and end up rolling them up like a jellyroll) tied with ribbon in neat little stacks. I want to look cute out in the garden with my Sperry boots, button down shirt and wide brimmed hat, while I cut hydrangea for my dinner table, not ripped sweats, Crocs and my hair in a plastic clip, dammit.

But alas, perfection is not for the faint of heart. Striving for it is fine, as long as you know you will never achieve it.

So when I turned off my TV, I finished sweeping up the last of the pine needles lying around the living room, rearranged stuff to new places to switch it up a little. (I walk on the wild side I know), I moved some furniture from another room in there to cozy it up a bit. It's warm, it's inviting. There's probably some random pet hair somewhere but it's OK. And then I thanked Martha. She lit a fire under me yesterday. Time to let my inner Martha out some more.

My next focus is my foyer. In a book I am reading it said " the foyer means where one enters the home and the pleasures of the hearth". I like that. I want to create that feeling when you walk in. It may take me awhile to finish. I have already begun my list and planted seeds in "my painters" head. I will remember to take pictures along the way. Martha's home decorating pictures are awesome. Alright, alright I know she doesn't take them. I know. I know. Anyway at least I blog myself and I don't have a staff to do it. I blog better than she does...I think. lol
Jenn's two cents: WOW - that is a lot to say. Not a fan of Martha- mostly for the condescending way she speaks but also because I always felt she was just a bit out of touch with the realities of moms and families. I do like many of her ideas but find them almost impossible to achieve with three children and their stuff underfoot as well as how much everything costs - no budget cutting at Martha's. I think Martha could learn a few things from Cara - she manages to do it all graciously - with kids, moms, dads, teenagers hanging out at her house - betcha no one stops by Martha's to hang out.
Cara's two cents again: Well thank you pal. That was very nice to say. Between you and my hubby's comments I feel like I am having my own Martha Love Fest. A lot of my managing though comes from leaning and getting help from people like you. Hey do I have people??? xo


Jennifer said...

I don't think that "woefully inadequate" would be too strong of a term for comparing myself to Martha. Oh yeah, I would love to be her, or to at least have the resources she has. I'm sure if I had the people and the money I would be able to do that stuff too.

Stopping by from Sits.

Judy said...

Wow, feel better now? Hahaha. I don't watch Martha or listen to Martha, but if it's in the Drs office, I will occasionally read Martha and love what I see. Want another rant? How about Oprah? She lost me when she said she has to have clean bedding every night. Guess who isn't changing them!

Anonymous said...

To my darling wife....reading your post on Martha, I feel you have done yourself wrong my even considering you are inadequate to Her...when I look at you I see a confident woman who can handle the many obstacles life throws at you with ease and most times grace (we all have our occassional flip out) . On our limited budget you manage to keep our home brimming with love and affection which no amount of money can create. So we don't use our Bone China on a regular occassion (if we did we would have to hand wash them). So the kids toss things from one end of the house to the other, this only means that we are living life and not conforming to some pre set notion that life is to be orderly and sterile. Life is not sterile its about get messy and enjoying it or else why live it. Martha has nothing on you and I love you because of who you are not what someone else thinks is the perfect scenario.

Love You
Martha 2's hubby

P.S. my goal today is to find a spinning cake stand.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I still can't get my sheets right! Stopping by from SITS!

Cara and Jenn said...

well thank you Martha's hubby... you rock. I would love to sleep on just washed clean sheets every night...hmmm wonder where I can get some one to do it for me???

Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking up at Friday Follow. I am already following you or else I would follow! Happy escapes!

~ Lynn

Felissa Hadas said...

Just stopping by to follow and say hello from Friday Follow. What a great way to meet new people.


Becca said...

I think Martha Stewart is okay but I would never strive to be anything like her lol

Here following from Friday Follow :)

Holly said...

Stopping by from Friday Follow.

This post hooked me. Oh Martha...I respect her success and drive, but gave up n her long ago...too much money spent on rally bad recipes (they have improved since) and on crafts that have supplies that are nearly impossible or too expensive to complete...UGH!

Holly @ 504 Main

Joe @ 20 To Life said...

I've met people like this. "Smoothly insecure" is what I dubb them. They manage to make people around them feel less than, they never really compliment YOU, everything THEY do is fantastic, while if I were to do it, it's always "ok" or "so, so". But I really think deep down they are insecure, which is the difference between us and them.
We don't need to flash around constantly how super fabulous we are, our lives are & all that jazz. Which makes you able to take a serious knock, & keep walking, whilst those type of people, fall to the ground and wait for others to pick them back up. Strength, its a virtue, & as your Husband left you a comment, you obviously have it :)
AND, I'm stopping by from Friday Follow to follow you, lol.
Nice to meet you :D

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