Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A life led through magazines

I am a magazine junkie. Something about those glossy, fluffy throw away booklets conjures up joy and relaxation in my soul. So, naturally every time I visit the grocery store I allow myself a few minutes to browse thru the racks and make the perfect selection. The mags I gravitate to seem to reflect where I am in my life (hour, day, year, whatever) Today I was torn between Real Simple (organizational techniques for every personality!) and Sophisticated Hairstyles (looking for a new wifey/i got a 9-5 now coif). While I eventually caved and got a copy of OK!-there is no shame in that-I returned to a thought I've had many times over. A reflection on my life lived through magazines.

It all started with Highlights. Bright and cheery pictures, light stories in BIG print and a fabulous picture search game in every issue. I was growing and learning and Highlights was my perfect match, I can remember dreaming I would be a Highlights contributor one day. Ah, the simple life...

Next came a brief - but passionate - relationship with Teen Bop. If there were articles in that magazine I surely don't remember. I was all about glossy pull-out posters of Joey MacIntyre. My first crush. I put my Highlights editor-in-chief dreams aside to quietly pursue a relationship with a boy who wore topless top hats.

High School days came and I remember feeling very adult. Very grown up and craving womanly knowledge. I read Glamour and Cosmo by the pool everyday that summer. Also know as: The Tan Summer. My mags were well worn and stained with tanning oil. My best friend and I would read the horror stories aloud to one another and pass the magazines back and forth - vowing to apply the sex tips we had just learned...once we had a sex life. Looking back it was probably the only time a magazine became a social tool, a necessary accessory. Hmm...maybe THAT was the simple life...

After high school, i took myself much more seriously. I decided that Cosmo and other similar mags made women look like silly, boy crazy airheads more concerned with mastering the art of fellatio than become the first female president. I was at a loss..where would I go from here? I played around with newspapers for a while, but their complicated folds and smudgy print took all the fun out of it. An old roommate had a copy of a magazine I had long scoffed for being 98% advertisement. It was love at first read. My new accessory, new obsession. I had found VOGUE.

Now, VOGUE deserves to be in all caps. It's an institution, a planet, and state of mind. I kept every months magazine (and still have them) for 2 years straight because I was convinced they were historical property. And I imagined a great granddaughter of mine one day uncovering them and thanking me through the ages that I'd had enough sense to save them. The articles discusses art, culture and politics in a sophisticated way. Holding a copy was like holding a ticket into a flashy and elite world I longed to live in. While we aren't as close as we use to be...I will always keep a place in my heart for VOGUE magazine.

< enter college life here > this means I was primarily reading textbooks and could only occasionally sneak in a gossip magazine now and again.

When I became engaged- you guessed it - for about a year straight I read every wedding magazine put on the shelf. It was great at first. I was finally allowed to read them now that I was one of the engaged people. the blessed. ha! But after the honeymoon period (with the magazines-not my husband) ended I found I was ready to move on. They really all say the same things over and over. Plus, once I decided to forgo a "traditional" wedding, reading them just made me second guess myself and drove me a little craz(ier)y.

Thankfully we bought a new house around that time so I immersed myself in home design mags. Eh. It was more frustrating than anything. Can't somebody publish a glossy HD mag that doesn't require me to have unlimited funds?!

So now I a married woman. I still love VOGUE and OK! and People and yada yada but today I was looking at A LIFESTYLE magazine for the organization article. So as a part-time magazine anthropologist I'd have to declare - Im a little bit of a grown up. Whats next for me? TIME? Travel? The New Yorker? Fit Pregnancy?

I'll see you in the aisles....


  1. LOL I loved that :)
    I subscribe to Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living (hahahaha), Budget Travel and Baltimore.
    I love magazinesssssss

  2. Funny!! I loved learning what magazines you read. I used to read Nickelodeon magazine and other kiddie ones when I was really young. Then I moved to American Girl magazine, then Teen Vogue, Seventeen, etc. Now I occasionally read Rachael Ray, Food Network, Taste of Home, and subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens as well as House Beautiful.

    I love magazines! I wish I had more time for them. Even though it's summer and I only work 20 hours a week, blogging and getting ready for a garage sale seem to take up all of my time.