i have to admit that i ain't your regular domestic goddess. i'm preoccupied with projects more important than household work -- or so i want to believe -- and when it comes to solving domiciliary problems i find myself grabbing the latest cillit sh'bangbang (or whatever miracle solvent came out the latest) only to realize that it's probably really poisonous and does not perform as it did in the commercial.
in situations like these, most people grab the phone and call their mothers. the thing is, i was raised by two scientists who share my tendency to procrastinate when it comes to mundane issues like household chores. my mom and dad can kinda cook (read: we were fed as kids) and they clean regularly (read: we did not live in a pigsty), but the house was never immaculate and the meals often less than appetizing. my utmost admiration for my parents is in no way lessened by their shortcomings, but if i need help in stain removal the last number to call is mom. (dad might know, though... he's the one who sews in the family, too.)
for people like me the martha organization is an essential source of invaluable information. the organization is a sort of a stitch'n'bitch club for women who have an interest in domestic perfection. and it isn't about exclusivity because they're more than willing to share their knowledge -- even through a helpline! i mean, how great is that?
while some people apparently fail to appreciate the variability of human interests and how they promote communal well-being, i give two thumbs up to the marthas. we need people like my mother whose groundbreaking research on identifying the mrsa bacteria has helped towards finding solutions to control a significant hospital killer, but we also need domestic magicians who keep our stained stoves in check. variance is for the benefit of all!