Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm Laura and I am a Magazine-a-holic

I admit it. I am a fifty one year old woman (I am NOT fifty two for a few more days. If anyone is interested) and I am addicted to MORE magazine. MORE magazine:for women of style and substance as their cover proclaims, is to my life now as SEVENTEEN magazine was during those angsty preteen years and COSMOPOLITAN was during those twenty-something days of dating and college. In other words – it is my guide for being fabulous...in my own mind.

I don't race to the mailbox anymore, probably because our mailman doesn't show up until well after 5pm and I get home from work at 7pm, thus allowing a nice leisurely stroll to the box on my way in the house. But once here, I do what I have always done. I pour over the cover, do a cursory sweep of the pages and finally, when I have the uninterrupted alone time, I read the magazine from cover to cover. If the mailman has done his job, the magazine arrives on a Friday before a Saturday that I have free. Then I can sit on the deck and read the magazine from cover to cover, with a rum drink or steaming cup of Starbucks Morning Joe at hand.

I suppose the fact that I can read the magazine from cover to cover in what amounts to about an hour might not be the best endorsement of the depth of the articles. Or, perhaps this is part of their marketing. They know their audience and their audience does not have hours to devote to articles with pretentiously huge words and very few pictures. ~cough cough~ VANITY FAIR ~cough cough~ Although the evil geniuses at Vanity Fair know that it is the photos on their cover that sucks me in while standing the check out at Target.

But I digress. (Take that, Vanity Fair.) I finished the June issue of MORE this past weekend. This issue was all about reinvention. How fortuitous. In the month of my birth, my guidebook for middle age has come out with the handbook of how to handle this new chapter of my life. There were articles addressing how to wake up rested (something about just going with those middle of the night wake ups), how to eat like a Frenchwoman (not nearly enough croissants in this one), how to get inspired (can't remember an example here but trust me, it was inspiring) and how to put some spark in how you dress (apparently it involves cute cardigans. Which, if worn on the Coast of Illinois would actually cause spontaneous human combustion). And there were liner notes. You know liner notes. Those tiny notes running vertically in the margins a la MAD magazine. But rather than offering up the antics of SPY vs SPY these offered suggestions on how to bump yourself out of the rut of middle age...or any age for that matter. Little hints like ~ stir your soul ~ and clear out your psyche. I have done neither of those. But I have ~binge viewed a series~ and ~planned an adventure~. I would love to give speed dating a try but I am not sure how my husband would feel about that.

Ladies of a certain 'I can't go sleeveless anymore and Wonder when I can retire' age, MORE is our magazine. Your middle-schoolers have SEVENTEEN with its cute clothes and One Direction updates. And your high school and college gals have COSMO with its 'I was so embarrassed' sex stories and 'how to dress trampy without actually looking like a tramp' pictorials. Don't get me wrong. I L-U-V-ed SEVENTEEN with its over-sized format (that's dating myself) and its beautiful prom dress issue. And I adored! COSMO, but eventually it became too much of an embarrassment to leave lying around the house with our own teenage kids and its orgasm laced covers And honestly, once you have done all the 69 Ways to Spice Up Your Sex Life it becomes a little, well, obsolete. Am I right ladies?

And so, enter MORE. It offers articles that are relevant to a woman my age: how to deal with boomerang children, how to dress and deal with additional gravitational pull, how to cope with a healthy crop of chin hairs. And it offers no apologies. It gets its spice, not from cinnamon like Better Homes and Gardens or Good Housekeeping, but from real talk with no punches pulled.

When I finished reading the June issue I felt like I did back in the days of SEVENTEEN and COSMO. I felt good about myself, ready to face a new day. But this time, rather than a new set of AB exercises and four new positions guaranteed to knock his socks off, I am tempted with ways to challenge myself to make the changes that only happen in my head on the commute to work.

And it is with that attitude that, rather than letting the alarm buzz me into a morning funk, I am setting my Ipod to lull me awake to the sound of Lebanese Blonde and my Morning Joe is taking a back seat to a real cup of Cuban coffee made in the stove top espresso pot I normally save for special occasions. I have high hopes to start that writing routine I keep putting off and finally master the yoga program I have been only attempting occasionally.

So...I started this over the weekend. I just finished it this morning before posting. And at this posting my new morning routine lasted exactly one morning. Turns out the Ipod alarm only really works if you set if for AM and not PM and lying awake half the night wondering if the pretty music will actually wake me up is not all that conducive to waking up rested. The cup of Cuban coffee was delish but being able to prepare one cup at a time really but a crimp in my already too short morning. And my writing and yoga routines?

Well, lets be honest, no matter how old you are some things never change...

*This is an unpaid endorsement of all the above mentioned magazines: MORE, Seventeen, Cosmo, Vanity Fair. And the unmentioned Vogue as well as our local mags Sauce, Feast and Alive. Face it. I love magazines. And as always, if any of these un-endorsed mentions have piqued the interest of editors I am available.

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