Just taking a break from making handblown toilet paper to report on a holiday-themed work function I attended last month. I learned so much, and not just that there are more crazy women in Richmond than I had realized.  There was food, there was Christmas shopping, and there were wreaths to bid on, but the main event was Eddie Ross doing a show-and-tell about updating holiday decorations. Now, like a good home and garden columnist, I didn’t know who the hell Eddie Ross was until I Googled him  a couple days before the event. He used to work for Martha Stewart at Martha Stewart Living, and he’s the kind of guy who decorates Kathy Lee Gifford’s house for the holidays and gets on tv for it.   www.eddieross.com

When I arrived, coming directly from basketball try-outs–a fashion conundrum not many women attending had ( I hadn’t been playing bball, just barely coaching so hadn’t broken a sweat.  I did change out of a sweatshirt and into a jacket for my episode of What One Piece of Clothing in Maureen’s Closet Looks the Least Bit Classy)–people were lined up, frothing at the mouth, wanting to get in to the event before the joint was ready.

He seems like a nice enough guy and the ladies sure love him, but like a son or best friend or giggle buddy.  Sitting in the audience, watching him compare and contrast photo shoots in old women’s magazines with his designs more recently, I was shocked at what passed for humor with this crowd.  “Those felt flowers just look sad” got a much bigger laugh than I could account for. And then no one laughed out loud when he demonstrated his fabulous (yet simple?) way to make wrapping paper that entailed going to a fabric store to buy fabric, buying spray paint and paper somewhere else,  then spraying through the fabric onto the paper so that the weave of the fabric shows through on the paper….  Are you f-ing kidding me?  Those poor housewives in the 1960’s didn’t do anything quite so stupid as that.  Let’s take wrapping paper and make it even more environmentally unfriendly and have it suck up more time than anyone could possibly have just so someone can throw it away. A waste of a lot of things including creativity.

But the saddest thing was during the Q & A. One woman, with real emotion in her voice, bemoaned the lack of really good ribbon in Richmond.  Wow, I felt badly for her.  And a nervous twenty-something gal reverently intoned, “I just love everything Martha does. Can you tell us what she’s really like?”  Oh ugh.  Being starstruck by Martha seems as outdated as those sad felt flowers from the 60’s.  And someone in her twenties??? Oy.

To his credit, Eddie laughed and said, “Well, first of all, Martha doesn’t really do all that….” and went on to say how supportive she is in case she was listening.  I was glad to get out of there and back to what really matters–almost anything else.  Being there made sitting on the sofa eating ice cream later at home feel socially redeeming, so I guess it was worth it after all.