I want to live in Martha Stewart Living. The magazine — not the TV show. In Martha Stewart Living, nobody has to take the subway to work and back, and every night there is a well-balanced and delicious meal featuring seasonal farmer’s market produce that everyone actually has time to shop for.
Nobody ever gets food poisoning from the salmonella in the raw eggs in the homemade garlic aioli dipping sauce in Martha Stewart Living.
Also, there is always time to marinate the meat, and in Martha Stewart Living nobody’s partner-in-cohabitation leaves the leftovers out on the counter for six hours to rot, which she was planning to eat for dinner.
The only husbands in Martha Stewart Living are the partners of gay men. These husbands collect heirloom garden seeds, and they financed the house in Montauk.
Nobody in Martha Stewart Living pays child support.
Children in MSL are all so adorable, it’s a wonder why we all haven’t gone ape having them. According to MSL, children actually prefer a triple layer artisanal imported vanilla bean cake with buttercream frosting to a sheet cake from Safeway.
Aside: My mother is a top-notch baker. She makes marshmallow frosting in a double boiler. Don’t even get me started about her raspberry pies. Yet, given that kids are chumps, for my birthday I always requested a regular old white sheet cake from Stop & Shop. The biggest treat in the world for me as a kid was those huge frosting flowers on supermarket cakes. My mom thought that my gross taste in sweets was hysterical, so she indulged my preference for disgusting food once a year, on my birthday.
My mother is truly an impressive baker, but the one thing she can’t make is crap. When Martha Stewart Living suggests that moms make six-layer cakes with real nasturtiums on top for kids’ birthdays, it is the one area of life in which they are misguided. Kids want margarine and sugar frosting, and that is just the truth.
Kids’ cakes aside, I still want to live in Martha Stewart Living. In an effort to wedge my way into the pages of a fantasy, I furnished the bedroom that I share with my husband with matching blue and white patchwork quilts, coordinating navy blue cotton blankets, and light blue sheet sets. I would have been moving in the right direction if we would actually make our beds.
In Martha Stewart Living, nobody oversleeps and has to roll out of bed, throw on her wig, find a pair of clean tights and a shirt that isn’t too wrinkled, and hustle to the subway station to get to work. That just doesn’t happen in MSL.
Here is what people do in the morning in Martha Stewart Living: Wake up well-rested at the crack of dawn; do a tranquil hour of yoga out in the recently remodeled barn; eat fresh juice and bran muffins for breakfast (garnished with sliced berries from the garden); and then a bath in a huge claw foot tub with homemade bath salts that reek of home-grown lavender and sage which are stored in an antique Mason jar from a flea market in Rhinebeck. That is what they do. What I do is drink a paper cup of coffee on the 4-train after checking my phone for any overnight hate mail from work.
No one in MSL gets hate mail from work. This is in large part attributed to the fact that no one in MSL has a normal job. A job, in MSL, is something like making custom hats for ladies (one at a time) out of a recently remodeled-to-preserve-the-woodwork storefront in historic Charleston. Another job in MSL is professional horticulturist. Another job in MSL is working as an editor at MSL.
Although the editors live under the rumoredly autocratic thumb of Ms. Stewart herself, they still find time to go clamming in Rhode Island near their vacation homes, and they bring along MSL photographers while they dig for bottom feeders. Then they make fat-free clam chowder, because nobody is fat in Martha Stewart Living.
In Martha Stewart Living, there are many banquets and many brunches, at which not a single person can be seen reaching for seconds of the wild-rice stuffed pork loin.
And speaking of pork: Pork is not kosher. Pork is also full of parasites since pigs eat their own doody, but that is not related to being kosher. I just wanted to throw that out there for effect. One thing about Martha Stewart Living is that nobody is Jewish. Maybe they have a smattering of Jewish editors or production people, but inside “the book” (as they call it in the biz), Jews happen at Hanukkah and at Passover in the form of photo spreads of blue and white China plate sets, which in an actual Jewish home would have been broken by now by the youngest child.
And so I cannot live in Martha Stewart Living. In addition to being what I call a “professional Jew”, I also scramble dinner together and I don’t make my bed. It’s a sad truth, but you can’t always get what you want.
Author’s note: I have changed jobs since I wrote this. I don’t take the 4-train to work anymore, and my new job doesn’t send me email overnight thanks G-d. I still don’t make my bed.