My feelings of inadequacy are sturdy enough on their own, thank you.
Every month, Martha Stewart's magical elves delivered a mailbox-choking doorstop of a publication, chock full of ads and beautiful pictures. Every time I would sit down with a copy, I let myself be lulled into a fantasy of infinite time and funds.
Martha Stewart has a reputation for exacting, time-consuming crafts, and there are certainly plenty of those to be had. The last issue featured tiny snowmen, crafted by meticulously slicing up marshmallows and coloring them with edible sprinkles. Then you stick them on a straw, and then you stick them in a mug of hot cocoa, and then you give the hot cocoa to your kid. I can only imagine the sinking feeling of dismay when your kid eats your afternoon's work in one quick slurp, then wanders off to drink the hot cocoa in peace with barely a "Thanks, mom."
These projects, and the recipes that involve eighty different ingredients (each of which has to be prepped all to hell and gone) are what made me realize that NO ONE CARES. Your kid doesn't care if you spend three hours making a marshmallow snowman, or if you just drop the dang marshmallows in the cocoa, un-snowmanned. These crafts and recipes seem to be custom designed for the martyr who just wants to feel under-appreciated. If you want your work under-valued, then by all means, make one of these stupid crafts. (Show-off.)
The other part of the equation is the money. Martha urges you to collect a lot of stuff, and it's expensive. Where are you supposed to put your collection of $300 painted milk cans? I don't know, but Martha has twelve to recommend. Martha apparently has an entire room decorated with gold chargers (those fake plates that you set plates on) and serving trays. Well, good for Martha. She has a lot of rooms. I, however, do not.
And I still vividly recall the burn of envy when I learned that Martha has a Friesian named Rutger. I WANT THAT.
If you want to feel bad about yourself, read Martha Stewart Living. I guarantee you will find at least five different ways in which you fall short of the ideal. And you don't want to disappoint Martha Stewart, do you?