Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sex and Suburbia, Domestic Goddesses

Sex and Suburbia, Domestic Goddesses
By Julie Stankowski

Are you a domestic goddess? Do you want to be? Are you jealous of your friends who seem to be related to Martha Stewart? Or do you just hate them?

The year is 1998 in New York City. What we know for sure: Carrie Bradshaw is no domestic goddess. Yes, she can help you find the perfect outfit and perfect accessories for the perfect holiday party being hosted by Charlotte in her perfect apartment, but she will not be bringing a professionally plated canapé of petit homemade phyllo cups filled with crème fraiche and caviar. She will probably spend the days leading up to Christmas (or Chanukah) window shopping on Madison Avenue, buying fabulous cashmere sweaters at Barneys and hitting the sack with Big, wearing her adorable, yet sexy Santa Claus lingerie, including the matching “F” me pumps designed especially for her by Christian Soriano of Project Runway. Miranda is no domestic goddess either. From now until December 24th, she will probably be in her office stressing over the mediation brief due in two weeks on the Big v. Aiden file and cursing Magda for having walked in on her and Steve having sex on the washing machine. She too will not be bringing a homemade cherry pie to Charlotte’s holiday party. And, I think it goes without saying that on the days leading up to Christmas, Samantha will be neither cooking nor shopping. She, instead, will be having incredible sex with an incredible array of men all over New York City.

Domestic Goddess Charlotte, on the other hand, will be spending the next three weeks in her kitchen or at ABC Home and Carpet (if you’ve never been there, you must go!) preparing for her annual Sparkles of the Season holiday bash. In her kitchen, she will be slaving over homemade pate brisee (pie crust, for you lay people), fiddling with the perfect combination of fruits and spices for her one of a kind dazzleberry pie filling and tasting each batch of her braised beef main course so it will have just the right amount of seasoning to rival Emeril Laggasse’s recipe. When she is not in her kitchen, she will be at ABC shopping for the perfect holiday décor. No holiday home is complete without a set of Waterford crystal Christmas present candle holders to display the glowing tea lights on one’s entry way table. And because she doesn’t have time to go clothes shopping right now, she will call Jackie O’s personal shopper (who is still alive) and have him bring her an elegant St. John knit with matching pearls for her star-studded entrance to Sparkles of the Season, THE party of the year according to the NYC elite, hosted by the one and only Charlotte York Goldenblatt and her wonderful, nebbish husband, Harry.

The year is 2008 in the Los Angeles suburbs. We know nothing for sure. What do your next three weeks entail? Are you going to be shopping, having sex or baking? Actually, all three sound good to me. But in suburbia, you typically are not doing all three. You are struggling to keep your head above water having just completed the 2nd grade Turkey Pageant, the 3-D turkey project, the Thanksgiving party (at two different schools), the Thanksgiving play (at two different schools) and the Thanksgiving dinner you prepared for 21 of your closest friends and family. You feel like you need to sleep for three days, but . . . no can do. You must get ready for the holidays. So, will you suck it up and be the Martha Stewart of December or will you order your presents on line, accept other’s invitations to dine and party at their homes and not cook another thing until 2009?

Some people think I’m a domestic goddess. Hahhh. They’ve been fooled. I bake, cook and entertain in November and December only. It is my favorite time of year. The cooling temperatures along with the NFL season inspire me. What’s better than staying in your pajamas all day long, cooking a big pot of chili and some cornbread and sitting on the couch with a couple of beers watching hard-as-rock tushes running up and down a long field and gazing at a roaring fire in the background? I love those days. I also love Thanksgiving and for that day, I also go all out. I bake my own pies, cook all of the food, decorate my house and even bake individual banana and pumpkin breads that I wrap like gifts from Saks and give out as favors. I celebrate Chanukah, but my husband celebrates Christmas. He alone decorates our home like it is a wonderland. I pretend it drives me crazy, but I secretly love it. And because my house looks so festive in December, I host several parties, including my neighborhood holiday bunko. And there you have it. Two months. Two months of the year I pretend I am Martha. My friends ooh and aaww and can’t believe my talents. What they don’t realize is that from January to October, I do nothing domestic goddessy at all! Nothing. Nada. Zilch. My house is messy, my kids eat mac n’ cheese and my husband and I eat Chinese take-out. But I have them all fooled. Just from two months of finally using what I learned the previous ten months sitting on the sofa watching HGTV and the Food Network.

It is now New Year’s Eve in New York City. Charlotte is putting the finishing touches on her tree which looks just like the one in Rockerfeller Center. She is organizing her caterers - - No, they did not cook the food, but they will be serving it on sterling silver platters while wearing tuxedos. Her bartenders are organizing the Crystal, Dom Perignon and Grey Goose Vodka. Her housekeeper is getting the last bit of dust off the gorgeously decorated fireplace mantel. Her dog groomer is giving Elizabeth Taylor a blow dry and donning her with a diamond doggie crown from Tiffany’s for the evening’s festivities. Her personal assistants are carefully helping her get into her fire engine red St. John Knit being careful not to ruin her hair or her makeup. Carrie is smoking a cigarette and Big a cigar, trying to catch their breath from their last round of passion. They can be fashionably late. Miranda is lecturing Magda on what needs to be done for the baby that night and nagging Steve about how he bought a wine that is too cheap to actually give as a hostess gift. And Samantha is having a quickie with her date in the limo taking them to Charlotte’s.

It is now New Years Eve in Suburbia. I will rub the tummy of my daughter’s little Buddha statue and wish for extra energy so I can stay awake until midnight. I will add an extra little wish that I get lucky when the evening comes to an end. I will attend the New Year’s gala of the true domestic goddess in our group of friends. The one who hosts parties all year long. The one who doesn’t own any paper goods and serves only on china, even for the little ones at the kids’ table. The one who has an extraordinary wine cellar and serves a different wine with each course of the meal for specific reasons. The one who, when she is really tired, goes to two specialty markets instead of four and cooks her husband an easy dinner of coq au vin with an herbed vinaigrette salad and herbs de Provence roasted potatoes. I will dress nice and schmooze and drink and have fun. I will come home from the party, kiss my sleeping angels and hopefully continue the evening’s festivities privately with my husband. Wishing on the tummy of a mini Buddha often works! Then, I will carefully store all of my aprons in a pretty little box until November 2009.

P.S. Are you a domestic goddess? Where do you fall on the maintenance scale defined in my previous column? I would love to hear your comments!

1 comment:

Joslyn said...

Julie, I love your writing! You are so funny! Keep it up!!