Forgetfulness: It's Not a "Good Thing"

There are two famous people in Charleston today: Martha Stewart and Dick Cheney. One I'd like to poke repeatedly in the eye with a sharp stick, the other I'd like to ask about fashioning cute placemats from leftover grosgrain ribbon. I'll leave it up to you to decide which is which.

Though I'm far more excited, of course, about the visitor coming to Charleston tomorrow---my dad! Bearing Swedish candy from the Ikea in Singapore!---I would still like to request that we hold a moment of silence for today, the Day I Almost Got To Meet Martha But Didn't. She's in town this weekend for the International Antiques Show, you see, and she was scheduled to give a lecture at lunchtime, a lecture which everyone attending either gave up their firstborn's college fund for, or perhaps just sold their firstborn entirely, depending on when they tried to get tickets. THREE people from my magazine were given media passes, just THREE---none of whom (obviously) were me, and one of whom HAS NOT MISSED A SINGLE OPPORTUNITY to crow about her good fortune since, ooh, early January. And as far as I know, this person did NOT sit through every episode of "Martha Stewart: The Apprentice" like I did, and that is JUST NOT FAIR. Screw seniority---the tickets should have been handed out based on who regularly turned down invitations every Wednesday night last fall just to stay in and watch that crap.

So there I was, resigned to the fact that there was to be no Martha for me. But! I would at least be happy just breathing the same Charleston air as her, right? Maybe some knowledge of how to bake the perfect chocolate soufflé would somehow be passed onto me via the stiff harbor breezes! Maybe by osmosis or something, I'd learn how to properly plant basil and keep it growing all summer! Maybe I could leave a note for her at the concierge of her hotel that said "Martha, can you tell me how to get candle wax out of a tablecloth that doesn't belong to me? Thanks! Call me!"

That was my plan. And then I got into work late today (no, it wasn't another hangover, this was a legitimate appointment) and one of my friends said, "oh hey, you know there's a press event for Martha at 11, and the magazine is invited. If we leave now, we could probably just about make it." And I said, "OH MY GOD ARE YOU SERIOUS? BUT WAIT, AM I WEARING THE RIGHT CLOTHES? MY SWEATER IS TOO PILLY TO MEET MARTHA! AND WHY AM I WEARING A SWEATER WHEN IT'S 70 DEGREES? MARTHA WILL DIE! I NEED A PEDICURE!" and my friend said, "okay, now we need to have left five minutes ago. Get your purse."

So we headed out to the parking lot ("SHOULD I BRUSH MY HAIR? ARE MY PANTS WRINKLED? DO YOU THINK SHE'LL SIGN MY BOOB?") and my friend suggested we take separate cars, because she, of course, was going to attend Martha's lecture at noon, whereas I would have to come back to the drudgery of the office. "Drive very fast!" my friend said. "Break the speed limit if you have to! This is Martha and we are going to be late. We really should have left ages ago."

So she drove off, and I got in my car. And my petrol light was on. And then I remembered that I'd pretty much driven all the way from my appointment with my petrol light on, because I really just couldn't be bothered to stop for gas. I figured I'd just do it later, in my lunch hour or something; I didn't know I'd be in a mad rush to see Martha! I debated trying to drive there anyway, and then I pictured breaking down on the eight-lane Cooper River Bridge. And then I slammed my fist on the steering wheel. And then I yelled, "Goddamnit, car! Can you not just run on excitement alone?"

I called my friend. My cell phone wasn't working. I tried her again. It didn't work again. I tried her again, but then she was calling me, and I accidentally hung up on her, because I couldn't figure out what was going on. I took a deep breath. I called her again. "I have to stop for gas," I said.
"Uh, you don't have time," she said. "I'm almost there. It started five minutes ago."
"I don't have any petrol," I said. "I totally forgot. Also, I don't have any cash for the parking garage. I may have to stop at the ATM."
"I don't think you're going to make it," my friend said. "But I'll ask Martha about the candle wax on the tablecloth for you."

And that was that, my briefest of dreams crushed forever. I went out for lunch with some other co-workers instead, and we all talked about how Martha would probably be really mean anyway, and maybe also a very poor orator. We decided her lecture would probably suck, and that we'd only feel bad about ourselves afterwards for not being able to operate a glue gun properly or monogram our towels, and we agreed that it really was for the best that we weren't going to meet her. I ordered an Orangina to cheer myself up. There was no liquor license.

Tomorrow, however, my dad will be here! I have many things planned for the weekend, most of which involve eating and none of which involve making placemats from grosgrain ribbon. We're going to have a grand old time. He may even know how to get candle wax out of a tablecloth. If not, maybe I'll run into Dick Cheney and I can ask him.

Irony Queen
Mar 17, 2006

Oh, the anguish! I'm sure Martha is beside herself that she didn't get to meet you. Have a great time with your dad!

Mar 17, 2006

I should email you my Martha Shrine! I think she is so deliciously evil and diabolically brilliant!

This may be very sad (and probably incriminating) but I have suffered many a glare while in Sherwin Williams stealing paint samples and swatches of Martha carpet samples. They say it's free (take one!) but I believe I am the sole reason they put a limit sign above the paint partition.

PS Martha says to put a piece of parchment paper over the wax and use a warm iron to transfer the wax to the parchment paper. I'm sure she means to use her brand of parchment paper, iron, ironing board, candles and tablecloth from either Sears or KMart.

Mar 17, 2006

I was really hoping that you wanted to ask Dick Cheney about the grosgrain and poke Martha repeatedly in the eye. I can't believe you like her!

She totally creeps me out.

Still, I'm sorry for the whole missing out on seeing her thing....and VERY glad that your Dad is in town have fun.

Martha Stewart? >Shudder

Mar 17, 2006

Yeah for Dad in town (+candy!) In my opinion, Martha was the Loser here. Don't feel bad, I hear she's a seriously crabby b*tch! (Even though I totally love her stuff and am a frequent visitor on her bulletin boards..)

Mar 17, 2006

Yeah, me too, Adele. . .I have the whole thing backwards. Holly -- enjoy dad's visit!!!

Mar 17, 2006

cheney may not know how to get wax off a tablecloth. better ask him how to get blood off of camoflauge instead.

Mar 17, 2006

Sorry that you didn't get to meet Martha. In a totally unrelated note, I forgot to mention how completely lovely the dress your sister picked is. And I thought I would mention that Urban Decay 'Baked' eyeshadow might match it perfectly. Or could even be used as eyeliner to go with it. And yes, these are the things I think about. That I have an eyeshadow that would look great with a total strangers sisters dress that I saw on the internet. I think it's time to seek therapy. :)

Mar 17, 2006

My very first thought was "Cheney does placemats?" And I'm sure Martha made the women's lockup a very perky place indeed.

My husband also runs the gas tank down to empty and has run out of gas on occasion. And on those occasions I look him square in the eye and say "YOU REAP WHAT YOU SEW, HONEY." I will refrain, however, from saying that to you. I mean, I owe you. You know, the Hol-Vac and all.

Thespian LLibby
Mar 17, 2006

I always adored Martha. I held her in the highest esteem. I subscribed to her magazine. And then....I found out (and really only quite recently) that Martha herself (NOT a mere Marth minion, mind you...) was horribly rude to a semi-colleague of mine. And in a cheap and tacky manner - the sort of bitchy behavior that Britney Spears would exhibit. And that wounded me to my very core.

Mar 17, 2006

Sorry, but I MUST repost: strike that and change to "You reap what you sow." Apparently the bit of my brain in charge of spelling has already left on vacation. Thank you.

Nothing But Bonfires
Mar 18, 2006

But Gretchen, "sew" goes so much better with our Martha Stewart theme today!

Mar 18, 2006

I am all woozy from your use of 'orator' in this post. Good work.

Mar 18, 2006

Use papertowels instead of parchment, they absorb better. :)

Mar 18, 2006

Martha probably would have just talked about how "posh" she decorated her cell-block. But who am I kidding? I probably would have listened to even that with a certain amount of Martha-induced fascination.

Mar 18, 2006

yep... place paper towels on both sides of the table cloth and iron it. good luck with that.

Ali G
Mar 19, 2006

did you get the wax out?

i also love the dress -- but i'm thinking the eye color should be more urban decay's midnight cowboy, because no one can have enough sparkle in a proper prom outfit. post a picture! and tell her not to worry about the date thing, i've always seen that as a secondary consideration to the outfit. (and honestly, with a dress like that, who could deserve her?!)

and in breaking news (or this week's In Touch) it was reported that the reason bachelor travis dropped sarah is that... he's actually in love with MOANA, and thinks he chose the wrong girl!! HOLLY!! WHERE IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS WORLD-ALTERING EVENT?!?!

Mar 20, 2006

My mother thought the sun rose and set according to the dictates of Martha Stewart.

I'm more of a MacGyver when it comes to home decorating. It's usually done in a burst of company-induced panic and inspiration and involves making assorted bits of trash look like something other than what they are, and everything's held together with clothespins and is quite impermanent.

I'm so pleased I found your blog (link from Appalachian Mermaid) and I'm looking forward to coming back and reading some more.

Mar 20, 2006

I actually have a secret love of Martha Stewart -- AND suffered through her entire note-writing, tagline-changing Apprentice. Serious bummer you didn't get to marvel at her prefect page-boy hair (I'm totally fascinated by it). So sorry about the gas! I understand too well: I haven't really driven in a couple years (since we moved to NYC) and during a road trip to Boston with friends, I seriously forgot that cars need fuel to run and RAN OUT OF GAS on the side of I-95. In my defense, it didn't "ding". Right? Aren't you supposed to get a warning instead of just, boom, no gas?

On the otherhand, I watched Dick Cheney on Face the Nation yesterday and kept hoping Bob Schieffer would ask about tablecloth stain tips. Hope your weekend with dad went swimmingly!

Mar 26, 2006

How to get candle wax out of any cloth item:

Find some brown paper bags - the kind you might still find in a grocery store if you're lucky. OR just get some brown butcher's paper on a roll.

Lay the brown paper over the spilled wax spots, and with your iron set on the LOWEST non-steam setting, gently iron over the brown paper.

Watch in amazement as the wax liquefies and soaks into the brown paper, creating greasy spots on the paper not unlike fish 'n chips from England, served in rolled up newspapers.

Keep moving the brown paper so a dry spot is over the wax, keep ironing until you see no more wax soaking into the paper.

This is so much fun, you might actually spill more wax on your tablecloth on purpose just so you can iron it out again.