Periodically Amusing

Here's a confession of sorts.  I love magazines. 

They're so slick and shiny and colorful and full of empty promises of 27 ways to organize your life, or 6 quick, easy no-cook suppers, and what you don't know about Vitamin C that could kill you.

In my elementary school years, I loved getting World Magazine  - the one that National Geographic put out for kids.  I also enjoyed reading Highlights for Kids in the waiting room of doctor's offices.  I still do, actually.  Oh, Goofus and Gallant.  You're tops!

Around 4th grade, when Laura hit middle school, I always got excited about her Seventeen Magazine's back to school issue, filled with impossibly trendy outfits involving plaid skirts and jean jackets and accessories and sweaters and boots and... let's be honest - this chubby kid wasn't going to be doing any of that. But it didn't stop me from reading about zits and boyfriends.

When I hit middle school I fell in love with Sassy.  Ah, Sassy!

Ah, How To Be Cool

Sassy taught me that I'll not only not be trendy, but I'm way too mainstream to be indie.  But the articles were less vapid, and it was edgy and made adults nervous (except for my parents, who gave me a subscription).

Toward the end of middle school and into high school, I got into my Good Housekeeping/Redbook phase.  Yeah, I have no idea - I liked the recipes and hairstyle articles, and I was hooked on Emily Post, Hints from Heloise and "Can This Marriage be Saved?"  The answer, as it happens, is always yes.

I also got into Cosmo at the same time.  How did that happen?  Funny you should ask.  My family went to the beach on vacation, and the house we stayed in had several copies of both magazines.  We would read the Q&A column questions aloud and make up fake answers.  The one I remember had to do with how to deal with an elaborate place setting at a fancy dinner.  My advice was to select one fork and discreetly knock the rest of them off the table.  I maintain that it's a solid plan.

I read a lot of Cosmo in my teens and twenties - every year, I bought the January Issue to get the Bedside Astrologer insert -- the one that told me which days of each month would be "Sizzling" or "Fizzling".

I used to love the Agony column that seems to not exist any more.

Nowadays, my favorite magazine is Mental Floss.  Which, you need to go and get ASAP.  It's a great magazine for travel because there's very little fluff, and the content is generally light, breezy and interesting.

I'm a big fan of Real Simple for the helpful pointers it gives, although their fashion advice is annoying.  A $500 blouse is neither real, simple, nor real simple.

Southern Living keeps me abreast of trends that I'd otherwise remain clueless about.  Like the karate chop throw pillow thing:

Please explain this to me.  It's dumb.

Or how to make an adorable container garden using an old chair and a few cans of spray paint, and a planter, and a bunch of plants, which you will forget to water and it'll then look like shit:

Mom actually made this for me.  It was so cute, until I ruined it.

So, last night I picked up both Real Simple and Mental Floss at the airport. Technically, I picked up  Mental Floss in Tulsa, then Real Simple in St. Louis.  I read them both thoroughly, and as I could not lay hands on my Kindle, I was anticipating a boring flight from STL to BNA. 

And that's when I found a copy of this month's Cosmo in my seatback pocket.

I was kind of skimming it as we sat at the gate.  Turns out we were delayed as they removed a drunk passenger.

I found that out from the woman who moved from the back of the plane up to our middle seat to avoid the drunk guy.

She was a nice lady.  I showed her the Cosmo and she said, "I noticed the 'What Kind of Feminist Are You?' Quiz.  So, what kind of feminist are you?"

I told her that I was the kind of feminist who wouldn't buy Cosmo, but would gladly read a free copy.   We laughed.  She was probably about 8-10 years older than me.

Then we both took the quiz and scored as "Chillaxed Feminist".  Well, duh.

At the end of the flight she asked if I'd enjoyed the Cosmo.  I told her it made me glad that I had survived my 20s and 30s, and that I had no idea who any of the "celebrities" in there were.

We both agreed that we wouldn't go back and relive those years for anything.  Turns out she was meeting her husband who was working on a remodel project here in town, and I was headed home sweet home.

One last thought on magazines.  You know how people say they read Playboy for the articles?    They aren't lying, the articles are amazing.  The naked ladies aren't too bad to look at, but it's a fun, funny magazine.

Plus, bunnies.