The day Martha Stewart went to jail was one of the most hopeful in my young life. A little Shadenfreude, I know, but with Martha in the slammer the world was left with room for another domestic goddess.
Now I never claimed to have interest in all that Martha could do. You won’t hear me saying, “It’s a good thing” over a pile of dirty dishes or laundry but I have always been quite crafty and taken pride in being the consummate hostess - a trait I acquired from my mother.
So when it come time to plan the holiday get together with the girls, I insisted on hosting the event, mainly so I could use my Christmas dishes that my mother gave me, which I have shlepped all across this great country only to use once.
I had chargers and tapered candles around my center piece, a table runner and a five course meal, which I described in artfully decorated menus, which I accidentally left sitting on my desk at work.
Truthfully there is a reason why women like me have a hard time being comfortable with a simple potluck and it is not just the OCD. It is the need for praise and validation. For someone to gush over the homemade christmas ornaments filled with perfectly even numbers of red and silver gems.
During the holiday season, it is easy to feel lonely, to be overwhelmed by the pressures to give and do and be the best. To fret over not living out the story of a Christmas made-for-TV movie.
But in my crowded apartment, with my friends, who also seemed worn from the season, I found my little piece of peace, listening to them lament over work and life and family, hugging them, watching them wipe away their tears, trusting them enough to let them into my not so perfect world and hoping they will like me just the same.
In the end I put far too much Cayan in the shrimp and my gravy boat didn't match and Trish brought out the not so fancy wine glasses, for which I chastised her immediately. Martha would have been disgusted at my paper napkins but I bet we had more fun than she did knitting that damn poncho and I can't wait to do it again ... in another year.