Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Magazine Overload

I love magazines...their glossy pages, beautiful photographs, articles on how to entertain and how to build a gadget, yummy recipes, and oh so much more...but recently I've discovered / realized, I really don't read my magazines.  As a matter of fact, I am exactly one year behind...I confirmed this last night when I recieved an August issue and noticed I still have the September 2010 issue waiting to be read.  So I have a new goal in life.  I will get  caught up on all my magazines and will not renew some of my subscriptions.  Okay, maybe that is two goals. 

Let's start off with National Geographic.  I've been in love with this magazine since I was a small child.  Actually I've had my very own subscription since I was a teen.  The travels to foreign lands...the introduction of fascinating cultures...the history...the space exploration...the world...but now everytime I read a National Geographic, it's full of articles pointing out how I am directly responsible for the demise of plants and animals.  That I am a bad human being polluting the world.  That I don't recycle enough and that children in China are doing dangerous work recycling my waste.  That I'm fat and worthless and probably should die and be recycled.  It's frankly depressing.  I no longer love National Geographic.  And since it has convinced me that I should not be wasteful and need to recycle, I've canceled my subscription (so as not to create any unneccessary waste, nor kill any more trees) and I've caught up on all my National Geographic magazines and recycled the lot at the local transfer station.  However, Dearest NatGeo, if you ever do return to that bygone era of exploring the world and it's history and cultures, and stop preaching at me, then I'll be back on your subscription list.  I feel the loss of what you once were.  Your glory days are gone.

And because of my disappointment in National Geographic, I no longer subscribe to Traveler nor read Adventure.  After all, my idea of a good time is not backpacking through the wilderness while saving the rain forest and worring about eco-tourism.  If I want clean sheets in my hotel room, I darn well better get them. 

Next up is my various cooking magazines.  I have been weaning myself off them over the last few years anyway.  Though I admit, I find myself missing Martha Stewart's Everyday Food.  (If you do want a cooking magazine, I highly recommend this one).  As a matter of fact, I have all my old issues squirreled away and pull them out at random for an idea, much to my husband's gastro-delight.  The last cooking magazine to go will be Cook's Country.  I'm going to miss Mr. Kimball's folksy tales, and all the recipes tested over and over by those folks in America's Test Kitchen.  But honestly, I have enough recipes right now to last me the rest of my life.  And besides, there is the internet available, with food galore and food blogs, and whole websites devoted to recipes. 

Next up on my  "Do Not Renew" list is Better Homes and Gardens.  It was a mistake when I paid for my subscription.  Some clever marketer somewhere sent me a bill and in my over-complusion, I paid it.  Next thing I know it's glossy pages were coming to my home and assuring me I had good taste, that my flower arrangements would look that classy, my dinner table would be perfectly set for the dinner party I never have, that I could have white furniture...and that is why this magazine must go.  It's a horrible influence on me, and I find that after flipping through those glossy perfect pictures, and then look around my living room, with piles of junk and dog hair and a tv on a stack of 2x4's my husband calls a table, I am horribly morose and sad and dejected.  I will never have white furniture.  

I'll also be letting go of my gardening magazines.  All I have actually learned from them is that I am doing everything wrong.  Since my gardens are overflowing with flowers and  I don't baby my roses and they still manage to bloom, I think I can stop worrying about what my gardens should look like, and maybe start actually weeding. 

In the "maybe/maybe not" column is Smithsonian magazine.  It's my mental substitute for the old National Geographic.  Sometimes I enjoy it.  Sometimes I don't.  Of course I have about 6 months worth of this magazine sitting in my pile to be read.  I think I'll finish catching up and then make my decision as to whether or not I will renew.  Though I love the Smithsonian and their gift shops and I'm a sucker for history. 

I will be keeping Popular Science and Southern Living.  I've tried dropping Popular Science before and wound up going through withdrawal symptoms.  It was bad.  So when they finally sent that "won't you reconsider subscribing" I had a check in the mail to them that day.  I guess I'll always enjoy geeking out and being nerdy and find new gadgets and ideas fascinating.  So Popular Science has to stay.  I will also keep Southern Living.  In its' glossy pages I see glimpses of places I know and miss, and smiling faces, and recipes for things like grits and fried green tomatoes and mint juleps.  I'm reminded how good sweet tea on a porch actually is and that it doesn't matter that I'll never have white furniture. 

I guess I will still pick up a random crochet magazine (it's an addiction and admitting you need help is the first step).  I will also still receive a random dog related magazine because Isabella's some kind of fancy dog with a pedigree and I get random dog magazines because of it.  But otherwise, I have culled my magazine list.  Both mentally and fiscally.  I know I'll stick with this goal, because my husband gets my blog on his android phone.  :o)

If you have an addiction like mine, consider culling your subscriptions as well.  Also, as National Geographic would tell you, don't forget to recycle your old magazines.  They are also great to donate to senior centers and libraries.  Kids love to cut out pictures for arts and crafts, so check with your local schools and daycares as well. 
Happy reading everybody, and remember, you don't need white furniture to be happy!