It’s only been about ten days since Maria scowled her way off The Apprentice and already I’m missing her. My life was once complete and logical, but I now find myself asking questions: Where can I find quality high-speed blinking in primetime? Where can I see the latest in leviathan brooch fashion? And who will be my paragon for the academic prowess that is a minor in home economics with a concentration in communications? Luckily, my discomfort was only short lived. With doubts and worries in my head, I set out on a cyber odyssey to find some sort of Maria-ish fulfillment, and much to my pleasure, I found it quite easily. Yes, all the answers to my questions were quaintly available at MariaBoren.com, the pink turd of a website that serves as the de facto shrine to all things Maria. And conveniently, it’s brought to us by… Maria! Let’s take a look…Maria has never been known for subtlety, and this remains true for her site which screams “I AM FEMININE AND LOVELY!” with the severity of a football coach for the Nazis. Sorry, had to throw in a Nazi reference. The truth is that even the most seasoned Maria observers will most likely be taken aback by her grinning visage on the main page. It’s an awkward image that seems to say both “Why yes, I DO have my resumÃ©” and “Welcome to Bloomingdales!” all at the same time. Maria presides happily over her site, even while a ghoulish monster plant grows on her sternum. Okay, maybe it’s not growing per se, but as usual, Maria sports an oversized brooch which appears to be the unholy lovechild of a rosebush and some cabbage.
As the initial shock of the site ebbs away, we slowly come to realize that this corner of cyber space might be nothing more than a shabby application for Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait. I mean, when the navigational options are “About Maria”, “About Experience”, and “About Dreams”, we know we’re not looking at a Business School portfolio. And while most professional women try to embrace some semblance of looking like, uh, a professional woman, Maria opts to show off a frilly, pink, droopy tutu of sorts. Seriously, she loves this dress. She loves it so much that she even made it her site’s wallpaper. Last time I checked, Donald Trump wasn’t using a closeup of his slacks for his site’s background. Of course, no site could ever be complete without a tagline. Maria’s whimsical offering? “Not just an apprentice.” That’s right. Maria’s a FIRED apprentice. Big difference guys.
Anyhoo, the Maria tour must go on; so let’s mosey on over to About MARIA. This page brings new sources for mockery. Ever the designer chameleon, Maria now stares us down with a look that seems to say “Hi, I’m a tough business woman, as evidenced by my look which says ‘Hi, I’m a tough business woman.’” Buttoned up in a no-nonsense robin’s egg suit, Maria looks like she might just strangle herself with a string of pearls, which would be unfortunate because very few people can rock the little boy haircut the way she can. I suppose there’s some sort of Boren sybolism going on there. The pearls are like the male chauvinist corporate world, and Maria is caught in the middle, ready to liberate herself with a triumphant battlecry of “GIVE ME SEXY OR GIVE ME DEATH!” Or maybe she just thought the pearls were really pretty.
A blurb to the right describes the journey of Maria:
Maria, like most Americans, is a product of her environment. Having grown up with a driven, full-time working mother that completed her Masters Degree in a city 30 miles from where the family lived with two children under the age of 5 and a father that commuted to the next city for work, Maria & her brother learned what it meant to have a strong work ethic at a very young age.
One thing Maria apparently didn’t learn at a very young age: SHORT SENTENCES.
Apparently Maria has taken it upon herself to impart wonderful words of wisdom as to how she got so far in life (ie. fired from a reality show). Her first lesson: One’s business life should be about balance. Um, okay. And apparently one’s business life should also be about vague notions as well. Maria’s second piece of advice is that one’s business life should be about “freaking yourself out.” So in Maria’s case, that would mean sitting on her designer suit for more than ten seconds.
Maria’s other daily goals are to
- Learn somthing new
- Look for challenges/opportunities
- Do something that scares her
- Talk to a friend/acquaintance that has a trait she wants to emulate
- Pick the brain of an entrepreneur
In other words, Maria’s daily goal is to be the most annoying co-worker EVER.
Now, Maria has a little section devoted to the charities she likes, and even a bastard like me won’t tear apart the minutae there, but she did supply a curious story with this section:
"Early one morning just after the Easter holiday, we received a phone call. Unfortunately, this was a call that we hope you and your family never have to receive. Our nephew was playing at a friend's home when he was in an accident involving fire and gasoline. We are happy to report that our nephew, Alex, is a well-adjusted kid with a bright future."
Uh, no offense to Alex or his family, but did we miss something here? You can’t just tease us like that, Maria. We want details!!! Fire and gasoline – there’s got to be a story. That’s like saying “One day my friend was in an accident involving bullets and Estelle Getty. He’s fine now though.”
Moving on to About Experience, we come to a simple portrait of Maria standing at an angle. Don’t you get it? It’s her way of saying “I’m experienced, and therefore I stand at an angle.” Anyway, there’s some boring junk about Maria’s accomplishments on the right, but there’s also a nifty little link that leads to Maria’s business tips. Here are some that I enjoyed:
Practice daily stretching outside your comfort zone. If you need help to do this, ask an entrepreneur for help. Hello, Bill Gates? Yeah, it’s B-Side. My comfort zone yoga isn’t working. Can you lend a hand? Thanks.
Spend time with a kindergartener–they’re still able to think creatively. This rule applies to everyone… except, you know, sex offenders. In other news, Maria’s latest company presentation was titled “Spongebob and Doody.”
Good leadership is a balance of leading by totalitarianism and democracy. Uh, isn’t that a bit of a wide spectrum to fall into? And last time I checked, totalitarianism and democracy didn’t really mesh so well. Paging 1934 Germany…
If you’re like me, you’re probably pretty antsy to skip over all this experience mumbo jumbo and get to the good stuff: Maria’s Dreams. Ooooh. As I click on the link, I can practically hear an angelic chorus singing “La la la la la la la”. That is until I realize that Maria’s dreams probably center around angry pitbulls and dying kittens. Unsurprisingly, Maria’s dream page tries to showcase a softer side of our favorite “not control freak”. A photo depicts Maria in her frilly pink dress again, clutching herself in a faux-fetal position. You see, when Maria dreams, she tenses into a hunched over ball of fury and projects nightmares into the heads of America’s youth. Such is the way of our robotic website hostess.
So what exactly ARE Maria’s dreams? Well first, let’s just clarify one thing: “Maria lives a fast paced life that typically leaves heads spinning. What dreams does Maria hope to fulfill? See for yourself. If this section does not convince you that Maria is driven—you need glasses!” Oh – why that is HILARious! Whoever wrote that should write for Johnny Carson! In other news, I apparently need glasses.
Anyway, before we actually get to read about these purported dreams, Maria first babbles about being a charming old person at the age of 90 and having gathered a collection of seemingly unrelated degrees – LIKE HOME ECONOMICS???? She then goes on to quote Thoreau (Maria’s life is SO Transcendentalist), a move that no doubt left the philosopher turning in his grave: “I spent all that time in the woods for THIS??” Okay, I suppose that would be Thoreau if he were being played by Jackie Mason.
Now let’s get to the good stuff. The dreams. After all this babbling about business and the workplace and managing people and Thoreau, Maria reveals that she wishes to spearhead a Fortune 500 company. Oh wait, no, her TOP goal is… “Create a [sic] MG brand clothing line.” Cricket cricket… Um, okay. Well, maybe she wants said clothing line to be part of a multi-million dollar corporation? Uh, no. Dream #2: publish a book. And then speak at national seminars about leadership. And then spend a term in politics and then start a not-for-profit and then host SNL and then be a spokesperson or “the Face” for a cosmetics line and then study gourmet cooking in France and then study botany in Hawaii for a summer. I kid you not – this is on her website in that order. This just in: Maria also wants a pony and a magic rainbow bubble wand that runs on starlight.
The best part of all this is that at the very end of the list, Maria writes “–and these go without saying…be a super mother, wife and friend.” Oh yeah, THOSE dreams. Maria didn’t even give them their own bullet point. Way to tack on family after your Botany classes in Maui! I hope your kids don’t get in the way of your photo shoots for Revlon.
Anyway, the rest of the site is pretty humdrum. There’s a hokey little schedule of Maria’s appearances from the last two months, which I’m sure no one went to, considering the locations were all TBA. You see, Maria’s just went somewhere and talked, and it was up to you to find her.
The last section of the site has some generic contact information, and tucked away at the very bottom of the page is a link to Michelle, Maria’s tireless assistant. Oh, do I feel sorry for this woman. Interestingly enough, Michelle’s shockingly unformatted resume is posted online (Maria – you’re assistant is looking for work right under your nose!), and I must say, it’s worth taking a look at. It lists no education, no contact info, an informal list of two past employers, and well, not much else. Memo to Maria: why don’t you start practicing what you preach with your own apprentice. Wow, I ended this review by bashing a completely innocent bystander. I’m a real jerk. Oh well.