Ask Not-Martha, Part 1

Welcome, readers!

Today In Pursuit of Martha Points is happy to present “Ask Not-Martha!” All your burning, “How many points would I get for that?” or “How many points do I lose for that?” questions answered! Because, honest to goodness, people ask me.

And, well, this is all your fault because you give me an inch of any kind of authority and I’m going to take a mile, throw in a blog feature and make you all help.

Cause, well, that is what I do. And I’m damned good-looking while I do it, don’t you think?

And remember, before you answer, that I am handing out points here.

Our first question today comes from Roxane.

Excellent question Roxane. For those who missed the psychotic flurry of blog-posts and tweets, Roxane is talking about the famous Rainbow Cake.  Since I have personally experienced the making of this cake, and issued myself an award, this is an easy one. Roxane gets +25 Martha Points. And the penalty for letting the adorable one-year-old destroy it? Zero. It’s made to be enjoyed. And enjoy it she clearly did.

Our next question today comes from the lovely Kristin.

Yes, this is a regular dilemma. Sometimes the act of earning the points creates a circumstance that docks points. And as tempting as it is to tell ourselves that the mess doesn’t  matter, that the ends justify the means, if you will…that is not a road we want to start traveling down. Down that way is a slippery slope of rationalizations and the next thing you know you’re awarding yourself points for blatantly ignoring the soggy towels and mold factory in the bathroom just because you scraped the kids clean. No. We must have standards people. STANDARDS.

So Kristen, the answer is thus: each nutritious and delicious treat you make earns you + 10 points. Each day you can’t find your utensils under the flour-storm in your kitchen, you lose – 5 points. So just try to keep yourself coming out ahead.

Our next question about all things Points comes from KatieContext, Katie. I need context. Did you spend your afternoon re-attaching the gardener’s severed limb with dental-floss? If so, then the fact that you still managed to get calories into the family at meal time is at least a +8. If, however, the afternoon was spent watching bad courtroom TV and eating whipped cream from the can, then you’re looking at a likely –10. So award for yourself accordingly.

Next, we have a question from the lovely Liz.

First, you get +3 points for allowing me to revel in the fact that this is not my life anymore. I so don’t miss that part of parenting. Secondly, I think we can say that this gets a solid +6, with a +2 bonus for being considerate of the general public.

And our final question of the day comes from everyone’s favorite au naturelle cosmetics guru, Leslie.

The homemade deodorant was last week, I believe, and we’re all waiting for the results. But for the making of the homemade deodorant… Well first, the scale maxes out at +/- 50 points. So 7 jillion? Nice try. But for the attempt, we’ll give a solid +10. Then, if the deodorant kept away  the dreaded B.O., we’ll give a +5 point bonus. If within days of the experimenting, your neighbors put their house on the market, that’s a -5 point penalty.

There were many more questions, so I’m going to break this into several posts over the next week. I think I may do some trending analysis on the questions. They’re a fascinating glimpse into the lives of parenticus modernus. I think with proper statistical interpretation, I can prove either that 1) contemporary western parenting philosophies are following a classically cyclic socialization trend, or 2) I am bad with math.

43 comments

  1. How many points do I get for throwing away (after watch a horrifying marathon of Hoarders)4 huge shopping bags of junk mail that I thought I needed to go through to avoid the dreaded identity theft. AND adding dog poop to each garbage bag as a deterrent?

    Too bad you can’t hand out medication with the points. ;)

    1. Are you serious about the dog poop???

      Oh my heavens…+15 points for ingenious security!!

      And if I got medication with the points? I so wouldn’t be able to type.

  2. Great stuff. I am going to estimate that I am ahead this week due to the fabulous burrito bar I put together for the kids last night.
    That should make up for not doing any laundry at all this week.

  3. I think Liz is on to something….we spend much of our time on tasks that we have NO idea of their point value. I think there might be things out there I should be doing, and they might be worth a lot!

    Funyons are pretty darn yummy…..

    1. I never thought of how much a resource it might be. And here I am hoarding it all on my blog.

      I am a selfish, wretched thing apparently.

      I hate when I get that way…

  4. This must become a weekly feature of your blog, love it!
    How many points do I get for making my own baby food?
    What if it’s just mushing banana with my fingers?

  5. Loving the Q&A feature here Lori. Generally, it allows me to see that there are major screwups out there just like me. Kindred spirits and all. As to the ‘homemade deodorant’, I’m thinking you should award even more points if it does actually combat the B.O. I once had a friend who would rub mint leaves on her pits, swearing it kept the stinks at bay. I’m pretty sure the 10 foot unspoken safety diameter around her said otherwise…:)
    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

    1. I don’t think Leslie would approve of something so simple and witch-doctorish as using mint leaves. She does actual SCIENCE. Which, despite briefly considering astrophysics as a major, still sometimes eludes me.

  6. Now I am positive I’ve asked you for a point total before, now missy. ;)

    I’ll ask again. How many points do I lose for never answering my phone lately? It rings and always goes to voicemail. I hate answering the phone.

    1. Do you ever actually listen to the voicemails? Then you’re really only down -1 per call.

      If you ignore the voice mails, TOO, then, well, I’d start building a stepladder if I were you. Which I know damn well you CAN.

  7. Yes, a book, or manual, would definitely come in handy. Especially considering there are so many variables to the equation (I had no idea you could get bonus points for reattaching fingers with dental floss). I was a math minor… but all this number crunching is confusing stuff!

    1. Yes, and there are subtle rules to the points that are a little difficult to track without reference materials, I’m noticing.

      But really..how could you not know that you get bonus points for limb reattachment with dental floss?? Tsk tsk.

  8. I did not realize the most I could lose in one sitting was 50 points. This makes the things I’ve allowed to happen suddenly seem a whole lot…..easier to spring back from. Excellent.

  9. I like this. And the nutter butters and funyons? were what I ate after teaching all day before going to teach at night. I had no time. So that was dinner. So it is somewhere between surgery and loafing. So do I just break even at nothing?

    1. I think that you managed to teach two different sets of classes and not hurt anyone gets you +7 points. So we’ll go with that and ignore the nutter butters and funyons for the moment.

    1. No, sadly, tragically. No points for me. This is all pure public service.

      See how selfless I am? Despite the fact that I’ve never bothered to write a manual for everyone apparently made me horrible and wretched.

      Sometimes i can’t keep up with myself.

  10. A messy kitchen is SO not worth a 5 point penalty!

    I challenge you, Not-Martha! Surely, if there is nothing actually BREEDING or NESTING in the kitchen, the mess is worth no more than a 2 point penalty, maybe 3 if there’s a stench of unidentified source.

    Right? RIGHT?!?

    1. No, no, you are trying to shift the curve here and I’m just not going to let you.

      Breeding/Nesting/Burrowing/Hiving creatures carry an ADDITIONAL -5 point penalty UNLESS said creatures are contained and being used to harvest something useful. Like honey, or reality tv stars.

      Otherwise, sorry. Kitchen disaster remains -5 points.

      1. Damn.

        You are a hard master, my dear.

        I need an extra credit assignment because there is NO way I’m tackling that kitchen today. Not a chance.

        I’m going to buy my grammy a box of wine later. I’m pretty sure that will offset my gross (but rodentless! And vile-odorless!) kitchen, right?

        I have plans to negotiate my way to the top of the Martha points heap. I’m better at talking than…ummm……EVERYTHING!

  11. Not bad with math….just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up to Lori-gebra. They will learn one day.

    I hope this does become a regular feature….it is helpful for those of us trying to track our points.

    For instance, last night when I was tired and didn’t want to make the bed the next morning I slept on top of the comforter with a throw blanket. I think I might gain points for being so prepared….but I’m not sure.

    1. Now that’s clever, and yes, quite forethoughtful.

      Assuming you did not risk pneumonia with your forethinkingness. (which is now a word because I say so!)

  12. This was few years ago but I will never forget it.

    How many points do I lose for allowing my newly potty-training daughter to go out without a diaper on and she subsequently took a dump at a booth at a fancy restaurant?

    And how many points do I get for cleaning it up so quickly and efficiently that no one but my mother noticed?

  13. How many points do I lose for finding and still not throwing away a one-serving container of Ben & Jerry’s in my freezer that an ex of mine from more than a year ago brought over?

    And no, I don’t have willpower of steal. It’s a flavor I don’t like. I mean, it doesn’t even have chocolate. WTF, Ben & Jerry’s?

  14. Love the ask-not-martha posts! Great idea. But your readers have some real issues. I mean, thank god I don’t have to deal with poop and cooking meals and making messes. Oh, wait…

    But seriously, how many points do I get for being diligent about working out but just as diligent about drinking alcohol and eating crap?

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