Yesterday was one big step away from any hopes I had of achieving Martha Stewart status. I had a day off and what did I do? I didn’t make homemade guest soap or whitewash my fence. I didn’t prepare a roast or weave my own linen napkins. Nope. I met up with a few friends I hadn’t seen in a while, laid out on my unswept back patio and listened to music. Also on the list were quality time with my dog and some extremely successful attempts to avoid vacuuming and the grocery store.
I feel like Martha judges me when I choose to bake in the sun for an hour instead of vacuuming up the massive dog hair tumbleweeds in my living room. She hovers above me in an all-knowing cloud of productivity, wondering why I didn’t vacuum and weed the garden. I wish I could convey to this hovering, imaginary Martha that the unproductivity of that time was the very best thing about it. Finding songs from the deep recesses of my iPod and rocking out to the best of 2001 was exactly what Friday, April 30 needed. Sometimes squandering time is the best thing you can do. Okay, that’s arguable.
Maybe the fact that I have an imaginary Martha in my head is why she’s so incredibly successful. She’s the human equivalent of my domestic conscience, and she tells me what to do via daytime TV, a magazine, and a website. If I miss all of those, she can still suggest a few things to me through her product lines at places like Home Depot. I may not like her, but who truly enjoys their conscience? You have this sense that she never really takes a day off or goes out to coffee in an old t-shirt and wrinkled pants. She most certainly doesn’t choose to leave her bed unmade, and she knows all of the answers about what’s right and proper and how much confectioner’s sugar you need to make a paste that could help MacGyver in his next moment of need.
I wonder if you can choose to change the personification of your conscience. If so, I want mine to be Lorelei Gilmore instead of Martha Stewart. Lorelei would get mad if I didn’t take a second helping of ice cream or if I decided to make that guest soap that Martha’s trying to talk me into. Now there’s a domestic model I wouldn’t mind being held to! I’ll work on that. If you come by the house and Peanut is hiding in piles of laundry on the couch, you’ll know who won the battle.