chris atchison/metro toronto
Dan Ho has earned a healthy reputation as the anti-Martha Stewart.
The life guru and host of his own self-titled advice and lifestyle show recoils at Stewart’s idyllic notions of the perfect house, flawlessly organized to achieve the ultimate aesthetic, and the perfectly-planned existence as the means to happiness.
The very concept of perfection, he feels, is a misnomer.
“I really believe that if your priorities are your family and your friends and the love that you have for them and for yourself, you’re really going to look better, your food’s going to taste great, you’ll decorate better and your garden will grow more,” Ho states.
“I could really care less about what things look like, I care more about what things feel like.”
Although one might assume that the 40-year-old native of Guam and former Chicago-area restaurateur’s advice would appeal mainly to women, the host says his Dan Ho Show has struck a chord with men who often mention his advice in a told-you-so way to their wives and partners.
In other words, Ho’s the kind of guy from whom men love to take advice.
He hates the idea of the perfect dinner set, the perfect kitchen, even attaining the perfect physique shouldn’t necessarily be a man’s ultimate goal, according to Ho, who himself dropped roughly 120 pounds over the last few years following a life-changing medical incident.
But not all men are ready to take his advice. Ho feels that a lot of guys are the ones constantly striving to better themselves and find perfection in all aspects of their lives, no matter what the cost.
“I think the impetus for men seeking perfection is really the natural competitiveness and the one-up-manship,” he says. In fact, in his experience, Ho has found that men are often the competitive half in relationships.
Ask the publisher and creator of Rescue Magazine to define exactly what perfection is for men and he doesn’t hesitate.
“I think it’s youth. Perfection to most men is youth, and that youth is manifested by physical beauty and prowess, shiny edges, clean lines when it comes to decorating, engines that run like crazy, shiny hoods, and hair.” That last one he adds with a chuckle.
If we all take a bit of Dan Ho’s advice — namely that sometimes just being good enough is a perfect state of being -— we can perhaps take ourselves out of the proverbial career/mortgage/vacation/ home/car/physique rat race and enjoy what we have to a greater degree.
And for those of us unprepared to do so, there’s always Martha.
- The Dan Ho Show airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Discovery Health.