i have a confession to make. i have subscriptions to 3 mommy magazines. glossy paper magazines that come to my mailbox once a month. i got suckered into buying them by this charming guy who showed up at our door one day, in a suit and tie, on a hot day. he said he was trying to stay off the streets and make something of himself through this job training program that teaches him how to talk to people, and be presentable, and make in-person, cold calls, knocking on doors selling magazines. we had a long conversation, during which he asked me for advice on how i "made it" in this world. i didn't want to tell him that i had gone to graduate school for 5 years, to earn a master's degree in a creative and exciting field, only to end up NOT working in that field (yet). in any case, i agreed to help him out.
he said he'd get more "points" if i got 3 magazines instead of the one i would have preferred (which was priced much higher. i actually can't remember now what it was). to be honest, i didn't want any magazines at all. i would have rather just given some cash to the guy. but that's not how it works. so, i went ahead and ordered wondertime, family fun and cookie. i figured i could just donate them to the banneker center.
two months later, the first one arrives. it's wondertime. i feel a little strange flipping through it, in the comfort of my own home, since magazine reading, for me, is usually confined to the dentist's office. to my surprise, i find some okay articles, and some great ideas. like the women's magazines my mom used to get (women's day and family circle) they're packed with recipes and crafting ideas, and things to do with children. i fit nicely into the target audience--that scares me a little. so, family fun arrives a few days later. it is pretty much the same as wondertime, only slightly less hip (i just discovered they are put out by the same people). it was in one of these two magazines that i first heard about felting soap. in the most recent family fun, i saw a great idea for book marks that cosmo can easily do (with some supervision), and i've tried a recipe or two.
then cookie arrives. from the cover i can see that the target audience for this magazine has a much higher income than than i do, but once i started flipping through it, i was truly insulted. not only was the thing packed with ads for high end children's fashion and pharmaceuticals, but most of the "content" featured more stuff to buy. while wondertime and family fun encourage DIY projects to make your life better, cookie encourages spending money to make your life better. maybe that's appropriate for urban professional moms, who simply have more money than time (most working moms i know have very little of either). wondertime does have a regular feature called "stuff we love," but cookie recently had a fifty page section called "the cookie 100," which highlighted 100 items moms just couldn't live without. it seemed to me like the magazine was one big advertisement. in the current issue, there was a piece on putting together an all purpose holiday party outfit by getting a great blouse, a great skirt, and a great pair of shoes. they had several options pictured for each, including info on the designer, the price tag, and where you could find it. a cute skirt will cost you anywhere from $149 to $995. on the next page you can find a suggestion for a toddler's faux fur coat (to be paired with "thermals or tulle") for $328. remember that she'll get a good 4 months use out of it, if that. what economic recession?
i don't mind the other two (though i won't be renewing the subscription), but cookie? i find it so offensive, i didn't even want to take it to the banneker center. it's packed with the pretty colors and patterns often found in high fashion magazines, so i guess we can recycle them for collages and other craft projects.
in the future, i'll stick to harpers.