Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. —Colossians 3:12-17
It's Either Old or New—It Can't Be Both! I would like to introduce two special guests. Before going any further, I should explain that our special guests will appear as caricatures—in the form of a communication that they might have had with each other—so that there is, as far as I know, no actual resemblance to anything they've ever said to each other, if indeed they ever had a one-on-one conversation. I hope that clears me—that's my disclaimer.
Our first guest is Martha Stewart.
Martha Stewart has come, over the past few decades, to symbolize the paragon of a dutiful, skilled, energetic and creative homemaker. Martha Stewart is, of course, an empire. Martha Stewart is a television personality, author, editor and homemaking advocate. Her business empire consists of the domestic arts, cooking and crafts, but her name symbolizes virtual perfection, the pinnacle of consummate, flawless achievement in the skills and talents of homemaking.
She has become, in many minds, the ideal and the dream. The unattainable perfection she seems to personify has come to be vilified, humorously so, by those who fall short of the ideal Martha Stewart represents as a homemaker.
Our second guest is Erma Bombeck.
Erma Bombeck embodied, largely by her own self-deprecating depictions, the other end of the spectrum of perfection and idealism. Erma Bombeck died in 1996.
In this fictitious exchange, Erma Bombeck does not symbolize the dream of perfection—she symbolizes the reality that many homemakers live with.