Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Letting Go

. . . of some magazine subscriptions. I've subscribed to Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens for years, but I'm letting my subscriptions expire. Now that I'm elderly, these magazines no longer have much to offer me. Warning: A rant follows:

Check out these covers. Do you notice a common theme here? Food! Particulary food that I—as a gluten-sensitive diabetic—can't eat.  Lots of cakes and pies, etc. Lots of goodies to send my blood sugar soaring.

The covers that don't feature food, feature other things that don't pertain to me. A recent issue of Southern Living features food, but does slip in a nod to something southern—Savannah.

Classic Desserts? Uh, no. Too diabetic. Ditto for the Red Beans and Rice. Those 20 Weeknight Suppers? All laden with carbs. The Savannah Getaway? Can't do that anymore, but my husband and I visited Savannah when we lived in Charleston, SC, back in 1969. Too far to go for us now. Plus who'd look after the critters?

A lot of the magazines—including these—features make-up ads. I'm not sure what they have to do with having  better home, a nice garden, or a life in the south. But those ads must make the magazines  fortune.

Aside from an occasional bit of lipstick if I'm going out, I don't do make-up any more. In fact, I regret ever wearing make-up. All those years of foreign stuff sseeping into my skin couldn't have been good for me.

Trust me, the "style makers" pictured below (on a fold-out cover, no less!) are about as far from my style as you can get.  Looks like none of those folks on the cover do yard-work or farm-work. And the shoes—what the heck can you do while wearing spike-heel sandals except look useless (and maybe fall down)?

I haven't worn high-heeled shoes since I was young and stupid. Two bouts of plantar fasciitis and a heel spur episode have put me in sensible shoes with orthotic insoles for the rest of my life. I also wouldn't think of wearing clothes like that (although I did wear a miniskirt or two in 1969 when I actually had the figure for it, and I did wear wide-legged pants in the late 60s-early 70s). Around the house, I wear sweat pants and T-shirts or sweatshirts.  I do have a skirt or two in the back of my closet that I might have worn in the last decade. Or at least in the last millennium. 

Better Homes and Gardens seems to be trying to bribe me to stay a subscriber. The last time, they threw in a complimentary subscription to Family Circle. Notice it also has the emphasis on food I can't eat, and it seems to be geared to a younger reader: a stressed-out woman with kids and not enough time, a woman who just isn't "good enough" so the magazine will show her how.

The "Five Ways to Reinvent Your Life," for instance, aren't really about reinventing your life.  They're about discovering your passion via asking yourself five questions. (Only I don't think they have much to do with "passion" either.) Here are the questions (with my answers): 
  • What was I like when I was a child? (I was very shy, I wanted a horse, and I liked cats. I got over the shyness, finally bought a horse when I was 32, and now have a gang of cats. What does this have do do wih passion?)
  • Which topic can I talk about for hours on end? (Nothing, but I'm good for about a half-hour on a lot of things. Why would anyone want to hear me talk for hours on end?)
  • If you asked my best friend what I'm awesome at, she would say. . . ? ("Ask somebody else"? I can't think of any friends that are "awesome" at something, even though they have a lot of talents and interests, so I'm glad no one has asked me that question. Why put a best friend on the spot like that, anyhow?)
  • What hobbies do I squeeze in—even when there's no time? (I don't "squeeze in" anything. I usually read every night. I spend time writing—if an idea hits me. Oh, wait!—I squeeze in emergency calls to the vet if one of my critters is sick, but that's not exactly a hobby. Notice how this article assumes that someone has "no time"?)
  • Is there something you always say you'll do one day? (Not anymore. I've let go of a lot of things I'd like to do because I've gotten too old and infirm. I tell myself that I'll make my final burial arrangements, and I've done part of that—buying my own tombstone, and then buying another because the first one was stolen. And again—what does this have to do with passion? Or even re-inventing?)
From a cursory reading of Family Circle, I've decided it has less to offer me than the other magazines. The "Chocolate Love/Reinvent Your Life" issue's 120 pages also had a lot of full-page (and more) ads for drugs: Tylenol, Opdivo, Imbrance, Pristique, Namzaric, Prilosec, Bydureon, Premarin, Prolaria, and Repatha. Plus a bunch of full page ads for foods and other stuff. Who needs that? And at 72, I don't need the story about IUDs either. So I'm letting go of Family Circle.

Women's magazines from years ago had in-depth articles and even short stories. I guess those days are gone now.

And my magazine subscriptions will soon be gone, too. I doubt I'll miss them.

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Blogger CountryDew said...

The only magazines I receive now are O! because it is very uplifting, and Reader's Digest. I wasn't reading them and they were a waste of space. I think instead I am going to subscribe (digitally) to several newspapers that need to keep reporting.

2:13 PM  

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