by Kimberly Grams
A few months ago when I heard about Cashmere Mafia (Wednesdays on ABC) and Lipstick Jungle (Thursdays on NBC), I thought “Cool! That’s an article!” Both are basically the same show about power women in New York City, and people on both projects had ties to Sex and the City. The article was going to be Cashmere Mafia vs. Lipstick Jungle. Better title? Best shoes, best cast, best plot, best acting. You know, compare them in several categories and see which one comes out on top.
I was really busy, but I wedged in some time to watch the shows. Cashmere Mafia had a few episode head start. It’s watch-able, but kind of like Desperate Housewives in the City, without the clever wittiness. Lipstick Jungle is almost cringe-worthy – the writing is clichéd, and the cast can only do so much with it. So I start thinking . . . there’s not really an article here. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend either show to Higher Things readers. And then our illustrious editor, the Rev. Richard Heinz, asked the same question: Is there an article here?
He had a GREAT idea for a different topic (which will be coming to you shortly), and so I started mentally switching gears. I mean, I have NOTHING in common with the women in these shows – not really anything to identify with. I’m not a single girl in the city or a work-outside-of the-home mom. I’m not a power executive in fashion, finance, or film. No one in Scottsbluff, Nebraska cares what I’m wearing, and there won’t be any nasty articles in the paper about my life or work. I’m not eating in the car while rushing to something else. Oh wait, I do that sometimes. But that’s not really an article.
In the middle of my brain transition from one topic to the other, I got the worst headache ever—the kind of headache that lasts a week and triggers multiple migraines—the kind that keeps you in bed and sometimes you can’t even think through it. So I emailed the aforementioned editor with the news that I was not going to make my Monday deadline; that really bothered me, because I take my commitments seriously. My schedule for February was already booked to the hilt, and the article was the only thing I could put off.
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, in the last TWO WEEKS I have: sung for a major fundraiser (complete with a REALLY CRAZY 60’s hairdo and literally a half a can of Aquanet); sold 40 dozen enchiladas for my kids’ school; written my previous article; had workmen replacing the windows in the kitchen of the parsonage; choreographed and taught the opening number for the 4th grade musical; had two family birthdays and my 10-year-old daughter’s first sleepover (where the basement was transformed for an “Under the Sea” theme; went to NINE stores looking for a Whitman’s chocolate heart with a stuffed Snoopy (don’t ask – that would be a whole other article). Oh yeah, and it’s Lent. Plus the headache.
This week I have: the piano tuner here as I write this; an exam for our life insurance; two more numbers to choreograph and teach to 4th grade non-dancers (my specialty); a houseguest arriving for a long weekend; delivery of the 40 dozen enchiladas; a speech about being a writer for the annual “Friends of the Library” meeting. That is my February – and that’s not including everyday things like kids’ activities, church stuff, laundry, etc. I’m just a little overwhelmed. Why do I do so many things? They are all important to me in different ways and most are limited-time commitments. I do it once or for a certain time period and then I’m done. God gave me gifts, and I want to use them.
Somewhere around the fifth time my husband told me to stop worrying about not meeting my article deadline, I realized something. I DO have something in common with some of those women. One of the themes for some of the characters is trying to balance their work and home lives – and they are clearly over-committed and have WAY too many things on their plate. One of the Cashmere episodes even had a woman who was trying to plan her son’s Laser-tag-in-the-park birthday party while doing about 200 other things. That sounds a tad familiar. My schedule is booked up through the end of July, and although most of it is not as bad as February, some of it is close. I have very little room to cram more in or take care of anything that goes wrong.
Why should you care about my February to-do list? Because we all over-do it at some time, especially women and work-a-holics. I heard a joke once that goes something like this: I know of IRREFUTABLE proof that God is a man and not a woman . . . on the 7th day of creation he RESTED. I know there are some of you out there – both guys and gals who haven’t had a break that really need one.
So if you’re one of those people, I recommend skipping both Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle. Put your feet up and watch something else. Read a book. Take a nap. Do anything that doesn’t involve checking something off your list. My article is being turned in a day late – but on Sunday I actually took a break. Watched some shows with my girls AND finished a book. And tomorrow, after teaching choreography – I’m going to the library to get some more. Because sometimes it IS a jungle out there – I just don’t always have time for the lipstick!
Kim Grams is a writer and pastor’s wife who lives in Scottsbluff, NE. A dancer and an avid reality TV viewer, she debuted with the article Diary of an American Idol Junkie.
Created: February 23rd, 2008