You’ve probably heard of Martha Stewart. She is the host of a boring television program that is viewed by too many people with too much time on their hands. Stewart has been described by some as a cultural phenomenon, by others as an inspiration to homeowners everywhere. In my opinion, she is obsessive-compulsive and on the verge of “going postal,” if you know what I mean.
I’ve always been aware of Martha Stewart’s presence on my planet, and yet I never understood how popular this divorce-court gladiator was until I got assigned to report on the Martha Stewart Good Things Group, recently held at the Anchorage Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Of course, Stewart herself never comes to these meetings, as she is probably too busy killing stray cats in her garbage disposal. In fact, only four people attended this home-craft event—surprising, as the topic of the meeting was “baking pie.”
The leader of the Good Things Group is ████ █████, whom I had the pleasure of speaking with for a few minutes.
Me: How has Martha Stewart affected your life?
████: She has made a wonderful career out of making home-craft comfortable again. When I was growing up in the business age of the ’80s, I was taught that dinner came out of the freezer in a tinfoil wrapper. Now I’m an adult, and I think that making an elegant dinner is very, very nice.
Me: There are some Martha fans here, but no real Martha fanatics.
████: I am going to try to get more people to come in. If we could have a stir-fry night, I guarantee more people would come.
Me: Martha is divorced. As host of the Good Things Group, would you say that divorce is a good thing?
(Long, awkward silence.)
████: If you’re not happy in your marital situation, it might be the best thing for you.
I was very impressed with how ████ really listened to my questions and used her soft yet firm voice to convince me that the Martha Stewart way is the right way. The Good Things Group, which I went into with a cynical prejudice against because of its name, turned out to be an educational experience on the local Martha Stewart culture. Members of the Good Things Group seem to be very nice people (even though I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Stewart isn’t as nice as they are, because she makes Marilyn Manson seem like the tooth fairy).
Then again, maybe it’s wrong for me to judge. To her credit, Stewart has reached out and touched millions of lives, something that I admittedly don’t do very often. Now that I look at it, maybe Martha Stewart is a hero after all.
As Ms. █████ puts it, “I’m not in it for Martha—I’m in it for the Martha fans. I love cooking. I love decorating.”
Quite possibly, truer words have never been spoken.