Welcome to my world
Martha Stewart oppresses me. In fact, she makes my ass ache. The craft projects, the centerpieces, the menus, the soul destroying detail, the designer chicken coops, the unrelenting tastefulness of it all -- they conspire to suck every bit of fun out of cooking and socializing.
Put simply, would you enjoy having Martha over for a cup of coffee? Can you imagine sitting with her in a crappy bar and having an increasingly drunken debate about whether the Beatles are more important than the Stones (they are not), the best champagne for under $20 (Gruet) and whether it is realistic to demand that your in-laws leave after a week? (Not if they’re European.) I thought not. Well neither could I.
So why are you looking for lifestyle advice from her and her ilk? I don’t know either.
OK, I’ll admit it. In the early 90s I bought a hot glue gun. Enthralled with the pristine spreads and glacially clear prose of Martha Stewart Living, I believed. Believed I could reupholster furniture in my miniscule city apartment, turn pipe fittings into works of art at the dining table, and whip up elegant four course dinners for ten, sober and in a galley kitchen that barely accommodated my own ass. All of this and more – much, MUCH more – I believed I could do with a job, a husband, a mortgage and eventually a child, without losing my mind. I wasn’t laughing then, but I am now.
I’m laughing because I’m slightly drunk. I often am. But I’m also laughing because I am free, free from the tyranny of rigid perfectionism; I have embraced my inner slattern. By that I mean I have found the easy way to do anything that needs doing around the house, and whenever possible with a drink in my hand. With far less effort and anxiety, my parties are more fun, my husband is still around, my child is still alive and reasonably healthy, and that fucking hot glue gun is lying in a landfill.
I don’t have to endure Rachel Ray or Emeril or that emaciated blond chick who makes lasagne with tomato soup. Gone are the days of being mesmerized by Nigella and Giada and Ina. I have become a boozy floozy with a bad attitude and am infinitely happier – and more productive – for lowering both my expectations and my horizons.
So why not throw off your shackles and give the slatternly approach a try?
Party over here!
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Kitchen Slattern (c) copyright 2011 Wendie Winslow. The Slattern Speaks (c) copyright 2012 Wendie Winslow. All rights reserved. No reproduction in any medium without prior written consent of the author is permitted.
Because I said so, that's why.