Politics & Policy

Feeling Disappointed?

Count me in. Who isn't?

Feeling a little disappointed lately? Bet you are. Everyone I know is.

Conservatives are disappointed with the president’s choice of Harriet Miers. You knew that, of course, and I don’t want to pile on. All I want to ask is: Doesn’t anybody in the White House sit around and talk any more, discussing pros and cons? No matter how you feel about the nomination, even if you are willing to wait and see, I’ll bet you are wondering about that too.

New Yorkers are disappointed with the Yankees. Again. And again. And again. Don’t you just wish you could hear what George Steinbrenner had to say expressing his disappointment to Joe Torre? And Joe Torre had to say expressing his disappointment to A-Rod?

Television critics are disappointed with Desperate Housewives. And they should be. The much-loved ladies of Wisteria Lane have become just plain silly or even worse–a big bore Bree snarling at the police detective? Never! Lynette acting dorky in the office? But I thought she was too smart for that! You keep hoping the show is going to get better than it seems and you want to stay patient and stay tuned. Sort of like the Miers nomination.

I could also say I am disappointed with Fortune’s “The 25 People We Envy Most” List. And not because I don’t know anybody who made it. I’m disappointed that I don’t even know who some of these people I am supposed to envy are!

Like Jake Burton, (who?) the CEO of Burton Snowboards. Fortune claims he should be envied because he has “Sex appeal Geek cred.” And a “Glam job.” Wow! Or Phoebe Philo, a fashion designer who is not exactly a household name. She also has “Sex appeal. Biz cred.” And “Great hair!” I certainly don’t envy Fortune’s once serious biz cred writers who now have to turn out such US-magazine-like swoonie drivel. .

Who else is feeling disappointed these days? Martha Stewart and–I’m sure–all of the girls and guys of Martha Stewart Omnimedia. The ratings of Miss Martha’s nighttime Apprentice clone are going steadily south and her daytime show is only doing so-so. Martha used to be a lot better on daytime in a half-hour format when she just cooked and crafted and, glue gun in hand, acted so very superior to the rest of us. We believed that Martha. Now she tries to be friendly and she just can’t pull it off.

Kind of amazing, really, the media’s recent uber-fascination with Martha. It was obviously never shared by the public at large. Ordinary women, especially, must have thought it would have been appropriate for someone who had gone to prison to have shown a tiny, weenie bit of embarrassment and remorse at her release. And not keep joking about her jailhouse days with P. Diddy. But the media would never have taken that ethical factor into consideration when they were building her up and up.

But isn’t it quite remarkable that she has gone from Martha Stewart, Hotter than Hot, to Martha Stewart, Floparoo, in just a few weeks of the Fall TV season? Most disappointing of all, I bet, for her many shareholders! By the way, Mark Burnett, the producer of her Apprentice Show, is on Fortune’s “Most Envied” list , too. And, guess what, he also has “Sex Appeal. Biz Cred. .Great Hair.” Wonder if he will be on next year?

Oh, so much gloom. It almost makes me want to put on my old women’s-magazine hat and turn out one of those “How to deal with disappointment” pieces that used to be a women’s-mag staple. Remember in the old days when women used to be disappointed all the time? If you were a lady, it was practically expected.

What we’d tell them when they didn’t get what they wanted (the guy, the job) was to: Get the facts. Find out why you lost out. Figure out how to do it better next time. Indulge yourself for a few days of sadness. (Girls call it “a pity party” and it involves large doses of Haagen-Dazs, Kit Kats, and chick flicks.) Then stop whining and move on. And maybe this will help, especially those so unhappy with the Miers nomination. But then there is the way guys have traditionally handled disappointment. They don’t get sad. They get mad. Then they get even. And I’ve heard that can really, really works, too. And it may be a lot more fun.

Myrna Blyth, former long-time editor of Ladies Home Journal and founding editor of More, is author of Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness–and Liberalism–to the Women of America. Blyth is also an NRO contributor.

Myrna BlythMyrna Blyth is senior vice president and editorial director of AARP Media. She is the former editor-in-chief and publishing director of Ladies’ Home Journal. She was the founding editor and ...


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