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It’s one vicious circle. Magazines pile up under my furniture and I chide myself for subscribing to them. I choose them by their merit toward my self improvement: Gourmet – my cooking, Prevention – my body, Audubon – my connection with nature, Reader’s Digest – the best of everything; there are several others. All are worth spending time with, if only I could find that time. Most issues take their place on some pile or other around the house, unopened.
I allowed some of the subscriptions to expire and I’m trying to get the situation under control. As I flick through them, sorting piles to donate or toss, I think how ironic it is that most of the common periodicals feature an article about cleaning up clutter. Their first word of advice should be, “Don’t subscribe to magazines!”
During my clean-up, I find a Vogue from last fall. The September issue is always fat with the latest fashion trends scattered through as much advertising as can be solicited. Nearly 2 inches thick, I turn back the cover that shouts, “Make A Statement; 800 Pages of Fall’s most Unforgettable Clothes.”
This issue features Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP) as cover girl, feature story, and includes – lo and behold – a pricey, pull-out ad promoting her new perfume, Lovely (sample included under the flap). The sample did make a statement, first scenting our mail and mail box the day it arrived, remaining vivid through today, months later, when it reminds me not to forget the unforgettable clothes.
The clothes in Vogue are fun to look at, (most of them certainly make a statement), but there is rarely anything that works well on Main Street in My Hometown, Ohio.
SJP aside, the story that pulled me in is titled “Eat More; Weigh Less: The Ten Week Total Body Makeover.” When a cover title interests me, I thumb for the contents page. I expect it to be in the first few pages of the magazine.
Well, not in this hefty volume! I finally find the first part of the listing on page 50. Where’s that body makeover? Not here, continued on page 72. I thumb further. Ad after beautifully colored ad, on glossy pages, jumps out at me – jewelry, makeup, clothes, and other accessories. The Parker story is listed on page 72: ” [SJP] is proving her might on the silver screen and at the perfume counter.” Good for her. Where’s my makeover? Continued on page 100.
Why don’t they put the four contents pages together at the front of the magazine? Why is it so hard to swallow that you’re caught up in the middle of a marketing strategy and you hate to admit it? What better way to expose me to over 100 pages of advertising?
Page 126 finally marks the last of the four contents pages. My story is on page 633; with this lead: “With her 40th birthday approaching, Sally Singer takes a ten-week crash course toward a total body transformation.”
I’m well beyond help. If she’s going for the total body at 40, I’m probably too late to hope for even a percentage. Her crash course includes one of those plans where a set menu is delivered to her door. Now I could stick with that kind of diet. Clear my cupboard of junk and depend on what is brought to me.
I move on through the magazine sniffing more scent ads. No wonder none of them smell good; all the cologne ads are fighting with each other, and what does Vogue care? They make big on these ads – hundreds of pages of beautiful ads. There’s not much to show for its 802 pages.
Just as well I didn’t take time for Vogue in the fall and just as well I let the subscription run out, but if I could just get someone to deliver meals to my door.


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