Do you remember back in the day during the ‘lovie dovie’ dating stage of your relationship when the random habits of your significant other were cute and endearing? Fast forward to present day where those same quirks now get on your last nerve. Every time your spouse does them it is like nails on a chalkboard, the emergency broadcast test popping up on the television or having to endure a Celine Dion concert.
Many would except this is the time where I would go into an extended rant on Jenn’s special quirks. Yet, I’ve learned a thing or two and realize to do so would be sealing my fate for a one-way ticket to the couch for the evening. Instead, here are a few of my nasty habits that bother Jenn to no end: (1) leaving the toilet seat up (2) putting my razor in the toothbrush holder (3) waking up last, but not making the bed (4) listening to sports talk radio while in the car (5) my tendency to mispronounce words like frustrated and umbilical chord (6) taking my shoes off wherever I want.
This last habit creates issues when either Jenn trips over my shoes in the middle of night as she tends to the girls or in the morning when my sandals are M.I.A. and I’m late for work. As corny as it might sound, while focusing on the cleaning and organizing aspect of my domestication process I’ve made an effort to make sure my shoes end up in the same place. Nothing glorious happened as a result of my attentiveness. That is until today when putting away my shoes provided some divine intervention in my quest to become completely domesticated.
The destination for my shoes is a little cubby in our powdered room (wow, that sounds a bit pretentious…it’s whatever you call the space between our bedroom and bathroom). Anyway, this serves as the same home to Jenn’s collection of Martha Stewart Living magazines. The light bulb went off and I finally realized who better to learn from on how to be the King of Cleaning, Cooking and Home Décor than the Queen of Domestication herself.
Flipping through the magazines, every house seemed picture perfect. Nothing was out of place. There was order, cleanliness and creativity. The meals that were pictured made me salivate and would appear to put Betty Crocker in her place. It seems like Martha has created a knick-knack for every holiday under the sun.
I began to wonder if before Martha hit the big time and had a staff to take care of all her needs, whether her real house was neat and tidy or a complete train wreck due to having to pull an all nighter trying to create a the perfect goose recipe just in time for Lame Duck Day (that’s on February 6th if you were curious). Did Martha freak out when unexpected guests stopped by to say hello? When she signed up to take meals to her friends who just had babies, did she stress over whether her dish would be devoured or be considered second rate compared to the “Casserole Surprise” made by the soccer mom with the mini van who bought all of her supplies at Wally World?
After all, she is Martha Stewart. The name brings with it some expectation of perfection. Now amp up that pressure a thousand and you’ll know how Martha felt the moment she stepped foot into West Virginia’s Alderson Prison to serve her five month sentence for lying to federal investigators. Knowing she had to impress Lil’ Mama, the Queen Bee of the yard, was almost too much for Martha to bear. Instantly, she went to work making commemorative Shiv & Shank sets, cigarette gift baskets, embossed license plates and decorative necklaces made out of teeth she found in the yard during exercise time. She somehow convinced the warden that those bright orange jumpsuits were blasé while black and white stripes made the ladies look slim. Martha struck fear in other prisoners when they noticed her berating the cafeteria workers because the pork & beans were not ‘spot on.’
It appeared that Martha was winning the inmates over especially after showing them the proper technique for scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush. Unfortunately not everything went according to plan. First, the cake she was trying to sneaky her roomie out of was so delicious that the prison guards ate the whole thing foiling the plot and causing her to spend a week in “The Hole.” Adding insult to injury, her team lost the holiday decoration contest.
Excusing this embarrassing lost as just as a blip on the radar, I decide to listen to Martha’s words of wisdom. She will serve as my Buddha to all things domesticated for April 2009. These three years of backdated Martha Stewart Living shall be considered the holy books guiding me towards the path of enlightenment. Hopefully, I will be able to achieve Zen while focusing on the gentle hum coming from the vacuum, dishwasher and laundry machine.