Other people's prison sentences are like other people's pregnancies: They go so fast!
It seems like just yesterday we were waving goodbye to Martha Stewart as she left for her five-month prison term. Now she's back. Her release Friday comes none too soon for those of us who have kept our "Free Martha" T-shirts pressed and creaseless.
Yes, I'm an unapologetic Martha fan, not because I like her - I don't care if I like her or even whether she's likeable. I want her beige water hoses and her taupe garden clogs, and I want them now. All other concerns pale to bleached earth tones by comparison.
Stewart's return to civilian life, where she still faces a five-month house arrest in her Bedford, N.Y., "mansion," offers two morsels for consideration.
One, why is it that every two-story house belonging to a wealthy person invariably is referred to as a "mansion"? Unless I'm missing something from the picture on MSNBC's Web site, it's a two-story house, not a mansion.
A mansion has wings and porticos and sculpted motifs in regal pediments and twin Corinthian and Ionic columns and northern elevations and southern exposures and domed canopies and courtyards with fountains and balustrades and parapets. This is a house. A two-story house.
But saying "mansion" instead of "stately home" or "large house" apparently serves our little interior Gollums and allows us to resent her more. A diva AND a mansion. Off to the brig with her, impudent strumpet!
Which brings us to the second consideration: Why, after all, our fascination with this woman?
As I said, I'm a fan of Martha's stuff. I like her appetizer recipes, her paint colors, her suitcase-packing tips, but I don't care about anything else. Not her hair, her personality, her weight fluctuations, her former friends, her ex-husband, her compulsive nature, her drive or her "just deserts."
Make mine just dessert of the edible - not Oedipal - variety, preferably chocolate.
I've never understood the national enmity toward Stewart, a microcosm of which I enjoy in my own household, where males snarl like possessed seventh-graders whenever her visage appears. They despise her unequivocally, unabashedly, without reservation or understanding - or even any curiosity about why. We might as well wonder why people hate snakes.
We've seen this behavior before. Sen. Hillary Clinton inspires a similar reaction from men when they're not lying to their wives about how much they admire her. She walks into a room and men don't see a woman. They see a subliminal force that puts them in mind of protective gear.