Tag Archives: magazines

Full Circle

5 Oct

Here’s how to tell if your spouse is half listening: open with “so I was reading in a magazine…” right there you lost half his attention when he heard “lady magazine” and I assure you, “lady magazine” is what he heard.  You may go on to explain that Popular Science featured an article on how to build an ultralight plane using parts from the garage, but he won’t hear.  He’s already bracing for you to tell him what he is doing, but wrong, or what he’s not doing, but should, and his mind has leaped ahead to thoughts like: “what kind of an egomaniac puts her image on the cover of a magazine twelve months a year?”

By now you’ve told him what you’ve read.  He “uh-hummed” and nodded and appeared to be listening.  Here’s when you slip in the “blah, blah, blah, increased spinal and neck cancer linked to _________(insert here whatever he spends lots of time on: computers, fishing, cooking, etc.) add more blah, blah, blah” and then finish up with: “and my parents are thinking about visiting on Sunday.”  Out of all that, here’s what he heard: “fishing” and “Sunday.”  Come Sunday, you’ll find him up at dawn loading his cooler with night crawlers and reflecting on how great you are for suggesting this trip.

Fine.  Go about your business.  In a few days, after your parents have gone and the magazine conversation is long forgotten, replace all the pillows in the house.  Don’t tell anyone.

Within three days your spouse will complain of neck pain and become convinced that he has a spinal abnormality, degeneration of the neck bones- something he heard somewhere about how fishing causes bone rot and he was just out on the lake on Sunday, remember?  You will “uh-hum” and nod and happily drive him to his MRI.

The results will be fine, the neck stiffness will disappear as he adjusts to the new pillows and you, in turn, will have a whole new stack of magazines (courtesy of the medical imaging waiting room) to share with him.

Mamma’s got a brand new bag*

14 Sep

I’m having a hard time living up to my purse- it has initials on it.  Initials that I would never spend money on as they are not mine.

The bag was gifted to me and while I love receiving presents, this one is weird.

Since receiving the bag I have:

stopped my kid from hugging me because his clothes were dirty and I was holding the bag,

yelped because spilled water was heading toward the bag.  Water.  A life force and 98% of the person who owns the bag,

prohibited spouse from putting items in my car trunk because the bag was back there and “we can’t have groceries touching the bag.”  By “we” I mean me.

Since receiving the bag, I find myself contemplating life differently:

would a woman with such a bag tolerate insolence from her teenager?

Do other bag owners come home from work to an overflowing kitchen garbage can?  Do other bag owners even work and,

besides at a bag store, where would they want to work?

My husband, he loves the bag.  Not because he pays attention to purses other than to loudly recite how many I have when we’re shopping together but because he saw an article in InStyle magazine which clearly states that the bag must never be carried while wearing mom shorts, mom jeans, panties, or yoga clothes.

And when I say “an article” I mean there were pictures and Sophia Vergera was involved.

As for the friend who gave me the bag?  Let’s just say that when she presented the “bag” she meant “ball of anxiety*.”

Size 8 revisited

11 Sep

I have spent a fair part of the summer reading back issues of women’s magazines and have concluded that in 2010, the issues of greatest concern to women who read magazines were:

Weight loss.  Losing those five pounds fast, losing those last ten pounds and losing that belly fat.  (My research also determined that in 2010 magazines of a certain genre tended to overuse restrictive clauses like: “those five pounds” and “that belly fat” when really, most women would be thrilled to lose pounds of any kind.)

Insomnia.  Three words: Ambien, melatonin, kava.

Pants.  Such an issue for the 2010 magazine-reading woman; I had no idea and I am pretty sure I wore pants then.  The sizes changed without notice: today’s size 8 is a former size 10.  Jeans that I bought three years ago (Old Navy), fit great and are a size 8.  When I recently tried on the same model, they were big and I know it’s not me.  Apparently losing weight by reading about losing weight has worked because I am now a size 6 and I have done nothing new except haul extra bundles of outdated magazines to the recycle center.  I now understand why finding a pair of quality black pants to fit any budget and flatter any figure, repel stains and fight crime was so difficult then.

Beauty.  And the perfect eyebrow.  Pardon me while I execute the perfect eye roll.

Fitness.  While the number of cover stories about losing weight without dieting, while you sleep, but keeping the foods you love outnumbered fitness articles 5:1, most magazines included at least one exercise circuit.  In early 2010, the calories burned were calculated using “a typical 135lb woman.”  By late 2010, those same calories were based on “an average 150lb woman.”  Are magazines allowed to just change the common definition of a word?  If all magazine reading women gained 15 pounds, wouldn’t a magazine write a cover story about that?  Is Miriam Webster a person and shouldn’t she have been consulted?

Dinner.  Made with five ingredients or less.  “Why five?” I asked myself.  “What was it about six ingredients that pushed women over the edge and into KFC?”  (Chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, coleslaw and gravy- that’s five.  If you don’t count the gravy, you can have a roll.)  As far as I can tell, it was Häagen Dazs and their introduction of Five– a creamy and delicious pint that offered a degree of minimalism and purity never before seen in the frozen aisle.  By eliminating some ingredients and creating lovely packaging, Häagen Dazs (which is owned by the Pillsbury Company) helped consumers achieve zen via their ice cream selection.  If you placed your pint on top of the shopping cart seat for all to see, congratulations, you’re a zen overachiever.

Eggs.  They’re good for us; they’re bad for us.  Eat only the whites; eat just the yolks.  Free range, hormone free, brown, white, happy-go-lucky, organic.  Have a damn omelet.  If it kills you, then you know.

Things!  This page has exciting punctuation, bright pictures and coy language like: “Guess What We Found?” or “We Like!” and perhaps an alliteration like: “Five Items Under $50!”  From $4 cupcakes(!) to pink colored hand tools(!), this page provides a respite from more serious issues and one time I even found a nice gift for, um, a tightly wound German mother in law.  Should you find yourself needing a gift for a tightly wound German mother in law, may I suggest Claus Porto Shea Butter bath soaps?  Thanks, Oprah.

Advice.  Women who read these magazines have time to write for help but little time to solve their dilemmas.  I, myself, have rarely encountered a marriage, parenting, financial, legal, orgasm, hair or wardrobe crisis that couldn’t be fixed with some yelling.  Old school, but effective.  Husband doesn’t earn enough?  Yell so much that he takes side jobs just to stay out of the house.  Kid slacking at school?   No loss of cell phone or computer; no nurturing “hey little buddy, Dad and I have noticed that you don’t seem as excited by school as you once were.”  Try hollering until your eyes bug out and see if that doesn’t scare him back on the honor roll.  Boss wears too much perfume?  Can you quickly get promoted and then leverage your new position to get her transferred?  No?  Yell.  It’s a cleansing breath in reverse.

Cleansing breaths.  Spirituality, yoga, journeys, destinations.  In 2010, women searched for depth, awareness, meaning.

And a well- organized pantry.

O, Hawaii!

24 Jul

Dear Ms. Winfrey:

I have been meaning to write for a while.

I cannot afford to buy your magazine but my mom gives me her copies when she has finished reading them- they are usually out of sync and occasionally missing pages, but every so often the copy I’m reading coincides with the current time of year and I feel like I’ve won a prize.  It is extra nice to sit outside on a humid July afternoon contemplating “Fresh, Sweet Summer Dessert Recipes” or learning about the latest income tax loopholes in March.

So please forgive me if my timing is off.  I recently read your column (recent for me, not you) where you wrote about ways you unwind and get in touch with what makes you happy, with what brings you joy.  You wrote glowingly about how hiking in the hills with your dogs near your house in Hawaii always gives you a renewed perspective and hope for the future.

Owning hills in Hawaii can be stressful.  “Where to hike today?  How long to hike for?  What if the hike leaves me feeling dissatisfied?  And, if I’m so busy hiking in the hills of Hawaii, when will I have time to hike in the hills of my other properties?”  are just some of the many concerns that can suck the mindfulness right out of you.

I empathize, Ms. Winfrey.  There are days when I can feel my inner bliss erode as I am forced to ask myself such annoying questions as: “Will the car start today?  How long until the car dies again?  And, if the car does run, will we have money for gas?”

Often the uncertainties of life become all that I have and hope for the future is, like your magazine, a luxury I can’t afford.

This I know for sure.

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