I find myself completely and utterly taken over by Martha. Martha has reached the status of Chuck Norris, unicorns and espresso’s in my head. She is no longer a real person; she is an image and an ideal. I find myself conjuring up the spirit of Martha as I am just living my life and hearing myself saying things like, “Martha would never….” I am making jam, in a house that is filthy from last night calzones and burnt jam (more on that later) and I think Martha would never let her house get so messy, she would never eat while typing, she hates sugar in her coffee, and she never burns jam because she is chatting with friends while drinking a beer (a cheap, light beer at that). I am typing this while drinking my second cup of coffee of the day and planning on pouring the stale beer from last night into my hair (mixed with vinegar and lemon extract) for a nice hair rinse. These things I can be sure Martha is opposed to; I imagine her drinking one cup of espresso, wait I have googled this she does only drink one cup of coffee in the morning and she would never use beer in her hair-that is so uncouth.
And I wonder how did this women who I have never met, whose books I don’t own, whose television show I don’t watch and whose magazine can’t find it’s way to Armenia and my doorstep, lodge herself somewhere inside of me and who for better or worse till this month end do we part, we are joined. This month has been extravagant, I have made jam, cupcakes, cakes, calzones, buckles and delicious items everyday. I have been using face masks, drinking water, and doing morning yoga and evening stretches. I have been attempting to keep track of my finances, manage my emails and organize my spices. It is six days in and yet, my house is dirty, my bed isn’t made, my garbage is piling up and there is the smell of burnt plums-the Martha of my mind thinks-tisk, tisk. How is it that this certified bitch, perfectionist of a women is still such a dominating force-she has faced jail time and the scrutiny of the public eye and no one, no one! can live up to the image of this demigod. Yet, we (I) find myself looking to her, envying her and longing to be-like her.
At first I thought it was the facade that Martha allows for. Yes, my life is hectic and crazy and sometimes I am overworked, stressed out and tired-but hell, I just made the most beautiful presented dinner with desert to follow-the crust was flaky, the meat was moist, the vegetables were paired perfectly and the desert made me slip into oblivion and I touched the clouds of heaven, if only for a moment.
Now, I think that Martha is much more than that. She isn’t the facade of a perfect life. Martha is the internal longing, the internal expectations and the quite silent seeming voice of insecurity. As people subscribe to the powerhouse, they are embracing, cradling and nurturing those parts unknowingly. I love Martha, I love her so much. I am discovering that she is much more a reflection of that letter society wrote me when I was little that said.
Dear little girl,
You must be everything. You are a modern women who can get educated, work, have a family, and travel! Do it all. Work hard and be beautiful! All those ideals of the past, oh there still there- make your home as beautiful as you are, impress people with your abilities and put lip gloss on that smile. You are super! Look at you, you are a cook, maid, economist, mother, sister, daughter, student, employee, great friend! Manage that check book. You will make less than men and you will be alright with this because your hands will be busy and your heart will be full of the joy of working and proving yourself. You are never good enough so just keep on trying. You will find love through the eyes of others so look to men to validate you and to other people to affirm who you are. Know how to make a cake and how to properly apply eyeliner.
I write this after my mother telling me she is getting a face lift and how she used drugs since I was 3 years old (three years clean) and now, ready for a new life and a new pretty face.
I wonder when we are going to throw up our middle finger and tell society to stick that in it’s cake. This, written from a girl who loves pretty clothes, tea time and eyeshadow. I like to imagine, Virgin Woolf would applaud the contradictions while enjoying some peach cobbler and a rousing discussion.
I can’t wait to share the other delicious items and fun things that I embark on this month with you. I have a feeling that this month I will learn more than I did while meditating and standing in tree pose.
Get busy girls (sexist comment), cause we are going to get baked.