Today I broke number ten of the BIG ten – Ten Commandments, that is. The one that says “Do Not Covet.” With any luck, I can use the excuse that the original intent would make such behavior specific to my neighbor’s house, his wife, his servants, his ox or his donkey. Now anyone who knows me will agree that I really like my neighbors, but not to the point of wanting to kidnap them, and have yet to worry about their livestock, which consists mostly of dogs and a few squirrels. But I did covet today.
I was watching one of those inane afternoon talk shows where everyone is so darn cute and happy. You know what I’m talking about – where the audience is full of nicely dressed women with shoulder length hair, who, at regular intervals, applaud madly, hoping that they will each go home with a car, a Kelly Clarkson CD or a freezer full of gluten free squid. I was cycling away at one of my infrequent attempts at healthier living, just beginning to feel a tinge of cute and happy and there they were. Martha Stewart’s legs. I hardly noticed her hair, which has improved some since her bangs have moved to the right of her forehead or the lovely silken tunic with the soft neckline pleats (well, maybe a bit more than hardly) that graced her thinner looking frame. But her legs! I would kill for those legs (and there goes another commandment). Long and lovely, ending in a pair of those fifty-five inch heels, they carried her so gracefully across the stage.
Martha’s okay. Well, probably more than okay. I suppose a net worth of $638 million puts you right up there in the big piggy bank league. But she’s earned it and proved she can make a comeback. I like a lot of her stuff and used to follow her television shows and read her magazines faithfully. However, she lost a lot of appeal for me when she spent one entire TV segment demonstrating how to make chocolate cabbage leaves – using real cabbage and a giant vat of melted chocolate. I simply could not get my head wrapped around that. It was frightening. Her jail term didn’t bother me (I think she got crosswise with the false witnessing thing back then), but I can’t look at a head of cabbage anymore without feeling some sort of perverted shiver down my spine.
And I can explain about the-covet-the-legs-thing. I’m what you’d call “good peasant stock” – not really short, but not tall. Wide based and sturdy, I’m more like a small Ford, or an older model Samsonite carry on. My mother and sisters, all tall, sinewy creatures resembled those wafer thin drawings you see on dress patterns. They could wear belts, shirtwaist dresses and anything pleated or shirred (I, on the other hand, was relegated to dark Bermudas and vertical stripes only). And they had legs. Real legs. The kind that inspired Capri pants and lace up sandals. The kind Martha has. And today I wanted them. Badly. Moses would not be happy.
For the time being, I’ll have to deal with my coveting. If I promise not to taunt anything lacking a four chambered stomach in the neighbor’s yard or torment their cleaning lady I hope the big guy/girl upstairs will let me off the hook. Or at least give Martha some bunions…