Dreams of Better Homes & Gardens

BH&G has always been the dream: each month I pour over their glossy photos of the perfect lunch soiree or the perfectly manicured garden or, well, perfection of any kind, while I sweat on the elliptical–something that no BH&G contributor or staffer would ever lower themselves to.  In fact, I even have a neighbor’s whose traditional, manicured English garden was featured in BH&G a decade ago.  In my sweat-induced ellipticalling, I’ve come to realize one fact conveniently left out of the magazine: in the end, perfection is all smoke and mirrors.  Much like airbrushing the cellulite behinds of Vogue models, we have come to think that if our gardens do not look like the *perfection* of the magazines (how dare we have dandelions?!), we are somewhat lesser.

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On more than one occasion, I have taken an entertaining design from the mag, just to find it fall flat.  A party goer whispering to his wife, “What am I supposed to do with this jar or sugar orange peels?  Gross!”  As I made the glittery treats with festooned packaging in my toile apron, I envisioned party goers giggling with delight over the extraordinary effort to make such a lovely treat, not realizing that it didn’t taste particularly appealing and all the glue made the jar nigh on impossible to open.

Much as BH&G‘s garden parties appear to almost glow with perfection, mine will always have the spills, the awkward moments, and the weeds, but guests will always have too much to drink, far too many laughs, and leave with smiles of fond remembrance.  Maybe my parties aren’t so bad?


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