Who knew the importance of magazines? Yes, you read that sentence correctly – magazines. Though this may sound a bit strange to so passionately believe in a glossy set of pages that can be purchased at a supermarket, let me explain why magazines have shaped my journey through this life and have allowed me to reflect on the seasons we experience as people inhabiting this planet for a short while.
I will never forget the day when I was a newly-crowned official preteen and wandered into Cowan’s Drug Store to peruse the nail polish and possibly purchase some blue eye shadow that I could easily hide from my mother. Between the Maybelline and Cover Girl displays, I discovered the angled rack of glossy magazines beckoning me to take a look – who could resist Ralph Macchio on the cover of Tiger Beat? And so my relationship with magazines took off on this crisp fall day where the coolest thing going was me.
Soon after the discovery of Tiger Beat, I moved on to Super Teen, Teen Beat and of course, Seventeen. A twelve year old reading Seventeen? I was mesmerized by these fresh-faced, teenage girls who played volleyball in the sand, wore Body Glove bathing suits, and touted the products they used to control the inevitable teen acne. Living in Indiana, I could only try to imagine what their glamorous life entailed so I read Seventeen to dream of a place where someday I might actually be able to experience. My heart did a flip in my chest when these new magazines arrived in my mailbox each month and pity the fool who might accidentally splash water on my new copy or handle the pages a little too harshly!
Of course, like everything else, life moves on and new seasons emerge. I said good-bye to Teen Beat, Super Teen, and Tiger Beat and moved on to Sassy while keeping my sacred Seventeen subscription active. By this time, I was a full-fledged high school student and the coolness factor was off the charts. My mother knew nothing and I knew everything thanks to my escalating hipness factor. However, by my senior year, I had said good-bye to my beloved Seventeen and began to set my sights upon Glamour and, gasp, Cosmopolitan. College here I come!
During the grueling soul-searching period of my collegiate days, I soon discovered that sometimes you just need to not think about your philosophy of life and what you wanted to be when you grew up – enter People magazine. I loved reading about what Julia Roberts wore to an opening or the handbags popping up on the arms of celebrities everywhere – what a refreshing breather in between studying for finite math and biology!
Fast forward to my life now – I am a stay at home mom to two very beautiful babies with a husband who is so wonderful I still get a thrill when he walks in the door at the end of the day. What am I reading now? Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Real Simple, Parents, and Parenting. Need I say anymore about my current season of life? I know enough now to relish this one as there will inevitably come a day when I no longer feel that Parents and Parenting will be pertinent to my life. I still get a thrill when they show up in my mailbox and in fact, my very beloved grandmother, Meemo, and I recently discussed the challenges of being a stay at home mom and though her youngest child is now 50, she remembers like it was yesterday. Her favorite moment? When her issue of Good Housekeeping arrived and her four babies went down for the night.
So what is next on the horizon? Working Mother? Most? AARP? Though none of these appeal to me now, you can bet your bottom dollar that some day, with graying hair and hot flashes, I will put one of those in my grocery basket and relish it at home with a cup of herbal anti-aging tea. Oh, and People magazine? Still a loyal subscriber.

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