Ina Garten has a new cookbook out called Cooking for Jeffrey. Jeffrey Garten, of course, is her husband and if you haven't read about their fabulous and fascinating lives you should do that now.) So to promote the book, Garten's making the rounds saying stuff like "I am absolutely the center of [Jeffrey's] life," and answering the Proust question What is your greatest regret? With "Not marrying Jeffrey sooner."
Sometimes when Ina talks about Jeffrey like this, I think, Enough already. There is no couple that likes each other that much.
But then I remember that if my husband and I lived Ina and Jeffrey's life I would possibly be as happy with my marriage as she is.
Ina Garten, to me, is a childfree goddess. She is the Meryl Streep of not having kids. She epitomizes everything I would do if I had freedom and lots of money and my interests were also my career. She works hard, that's for sure, and has figured out a way to turn her hobbies and loves into a career, which is the dream. Her life looks to be made up of friends, travel, cooking, book publishing, hanging out with other celebrities, and then coming home every night to the best husband in the world. Of course I'm jealous of that.
If I led Ina's life I would do things like put in a hard day's work and then come home and fix myself a nice cold glass of wine and a perfect little mezze plate for myself instead of firing up yet another SmartOnes five cheese ziti. I would have fresh flowers in the kitchen and I would not let the water get moldy. Friends would gather around the kitchen island and I would be able to relax and enjoy their company and not sweat profusely. I would travel to Paris and put on a great scarf and stroll around a market putting things in a basket. I would be a woman who could roast a chicken perfectly and have it be nbd delicious. Everything would be good but simple. Everything. Including my marriage.
This is obviously nobody's life. I imagine Ina has her stressful moments and hard days. And to be realistic, I was frantic and stressed out even before I got married or kids so I can't blame my family on the fact that neither my kitchen nor my marriage resembles Ina's. I'm not even someone who talks gushy about my husband publicly. I think the sweetest thing he ever said about me on Facebook is that I'm "pretty nice."
So maybe kids are not the only thing that stand between me and a Garten-like marriage. And yeah, Ina is probably just stuck good-mouthing Jeffrey because she named her cookbook after him and she might even get sick of it after awhile. But still, as much as I resent the illusion of their perfect marriage, it's an easy response to just tell myself something as basic and foolish as "If we didn't have kids, we'd be like that too."