No, I’m NOT feeling inadequate…much.

dear-martha

Dear Martha,

You have no idea who in the world I am. We don’t live in the same area, run in the same circles, or really have much of anything in common.

It’s probably best that way, since I have less than zero chance of accidentally bumping into you after I send this and having to face that awkward moment where we both have a million snide comments we wanna make, but manners dictate we instead slap on out best perma-smiles and make pleasant small-talk about every topic under the sun, besides how much we really wanna call each other a bitch.

What could I possibly have to say that would elicit such a response from your impeccably mild-mannered self? Only that you ruined my life!

Oh, you didn’t just ruin my life, but also the those of countless others.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve stood in the Dried Flowers aisle at the local craft store, only to bare witness to some poor woman shaking her head in tears while whimpering under her breath, “But it looked so easy when Martha did it!”

I’m here to tell you, there is nothing sadder in this world, than a broken woman watering a silk sunflower with her own tears of shame.

Because of you, I have become a life-long embarrassment to my children. Gone are the days when all you needed for a Birthday Party to be a success were paper hats, pin-the-tail on the Donkey, and a stinkin’ cake. Now? Everything must have a THEME!

The party itself must take place in a beautiful, herb garden setting with handmade Princess Crowns for the girls and Pirate Hats for the boys. All the children should be dressed as if they were attending a meeting with the President, remain perfectly clean, and be forced to hold a series of picture-perfect poses, so the entire event can be professionally documented to later prove what a GOOD Mother you were.

Because of you, I am a thorn in the heel of my Husband’s social life, bringing him nights of grief watching TV with me instead of making pleasant chit-chat in the company of friends.

Whatever happened to the time when fried chicken and mashed potatoes with a Jello cake for dessert were good enough for company? Wine in a box and beer with a pull-tab are now and forever more a social faux pas.

Now? Dinners must be in formal dining rooms with place settings containing more plates and forks at every seat, than numbers of days in the week. (Can someone please tell me what the hell a shrimp fork even looks like and why we need bread plates anyway?) The wine should be a vintage featured in Wine Connoisseur Magazine and the beer ( if you’re going to debase yourself by serving any) simply MUST be a specialty microbrew.

And do NOT even get me started on the food. The recipes from the glossy pages of your books and magazines that pass for dinner-party worthy, require a Master Chef degree from the Culinary Institute of WTF to prepare.

Martha Stewart at 2011 Tribeca Film Festival  source

Martha Stewart at 2011 Tribeca Film Festival
source

I am a failure because I’ve never been able to make my home “sparkle” with handmade whimsy for the Holidays, my backyard is filled with chickens instead of the mandatory outdoor living room for relaxing with friends and family, and my home smells of dogs and teenage foot odor instead of homemade potpourri.

I am a failure because I find myself incapable of managing my time wisely enough to bake bread infused with fresh herbs from the European Herb Garden that I planted outside my kitchen door (a door upon which I hand painted a storybook, woodland scene to make any guest feel simultaneously welcome and intimidated by my mad home-making skills), prepare homemade wood cleaners that are both “inexpensive” and environmentally friendly so I can clean every surface in my home (because a spotless home is a home filled with love) before I move on to the yard where I happily weed, mow, trim, and sculpt all 1.5 acres before it’s time to pick the kids up at school and chauffeur them to their Dance class and Soccer practice, before rounding out the afternoon with some light shopping at my local Green Grocer (because EVERYONE knows ya gotta keep it fresh and local, otherwise it’s just shit).

I then rush home and start preparing a dinner that includes fresh veggies from my organic garden and a cobbler I make from blackberries I picked from a delightful little patch I randomly found growing in a secluded woodland glade.

I place the oven on low so my hand-glazed honey ham won’t dry out and rush to pick up the children. (Wouldn‘t want Hubby to pick them up on his way home, since he works so hard and all I do is “putter“)

Once back home, I set the table with impeccably matching dinnerware, cut a fresh bouquet for the centerpiece from the Rose and French Lavender that frames the front yard, and still have time to dress for dinner before Hubby arrives home and needs to be greeted at the door with a peck on the cheek and a pleasant mixed drink.

I’d continue telling you about all the things I didn’t have time to do, but the truth is I probably started drinking at Noon to offset the stress and by this point I’m so totally soused that I actually forgot to pick the kids up at school, burned the damn ham, and hubby arrived home from work to find me sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor with the empty wine box crying, “But if SHE can do it, why can’t I!?!”

So you see, thanks to your unrealistic expectations, my family will forever be tainted by the stench of my failure and my children will grow up having never known the joys of an “elegant” anything or a shabby chic house where the antique area rug “ties the whole room together.”

And I? Just need to find another box of wine to cry into.

Sincerely yours,

Chris

PS This letter was NOT written on paper handmade from pressed wildflower petals I harvested from a pesticide-free meadow, while we were having a family weekend in New England.


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