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Living Like Erma in a Martha World

January 30, 2011

Once upon a time I wanted to be Martha Stewart.  I envisioned the best birthday parties, Halloween decor to make you scream, Thanksgivings where I cooked the turkey to perfection and then turned around the following day and mailed handmade Christmas cards to all our friends.

Then I got married and had children.

And I discovered that despite all my Martha visions, I was an Erma Bombeck.

I am the sort of woman who can find humor in her kid peeing in the aisle of a Wal-Mart, who shrugs when the volunteer firefighters show up because she’s tried to cook again, who would buy climbing spikes if she thought it would help her scale Mount Washmore and discover the dryer she knows she and her husband purchased ten years ago.

I live in chaos and clutter, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am genetically incapable of organizing anything…including my thoughts.

Short of a brain transplant, I’ve tried just about everything to create a Martha home.  I tried a system that suggested I put on lace-up shoes every morning, but I’m a country girl at heart and my ideal shoes have calluses on the bottom.  I’ve purchased countless organizational books, but inevitably they get swallowed by the living, breathing pile of stuff that makes up my office space and are never found again. I’ve studied my friends who have carefully controlled homes but it’s like studying a foreign language…I thought I asked for another cup of coffee but what I really asked for was a cheap goat.

I don’t mind being an Erma.  I don’t mind finding humor in the details that might have other more neurotic and OCD more organized women pulling their hair out by fistfuls.  I know that she who laughs…lasts.

But I’d like to laugh in a house with a bathroom that won’t give me syphillis, fill the coffee pot in a sink doesn’t contain the dishes from the Christmas dinner we ate three years ago, and drive a car doesn’t look like we’ve been living in it since 1962.

Yeah, I want to live like Erma, but I want to do it in Martha’s world.

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