Monday, August 18, 2008

Want to Read a Pretentious Magazine?

I admit it. I sign up for magazine subscriptions sometimes because of the freebie they offer. And I am a sucker for tote bags. I got a mailing some weeks ago for a new parenting magazine called Cookie, and I loved the tote bag they were giving away--it's striped in chocolate brown, pink, aqua and yellow and is just very pretty. And the subscription was under $10, and the ad made it sound pretty good, so I figured, why not?

Well. I don't think I have ever read such a pretentious piece of junk masquerading as a parenting magazine. This is clearly designated for parents who are trying to be like TomKat or Brangelina.....not your regular everyday parents who may actually have to, say, WORK for a living. I also think that most parenting magazines try to help parents out by offering tips on how to promote family closeness, have fun with your kids, and discipline effectively. Cookie, on the other hand, seems to be all about what you can buy for your family (or yourselves) and how you can be the best...and by best, I mean who has the most material possessions and who can afford the best preschool/kindergarten/private school. Here are a few examples.

--- On page 26, there are "coupons" for Cookie readers, cleverly called Cookie Dough. This includes a 25% discount on cashmere t shirts at Mai--for the bargain price of $281! Well, considering they are $375 T shirts, I guess that's a wonderful savings! However, I don't know anyone who wears $375 T shirts, much less parents who would wear one! And what exactly is a cashmere T shirt, anyway???

---On page 42, there is a short article on how nobody is allowed to bring cupcakes to school anymore because of "wellness policies" their idea of birthday fun is to make "cupcakes" from rounds of melon, top it with Greek yogurt and food coloring "frosting" and pieces of fruit, and make "candles" from thin pieces of pineapple topped with mint sprigs. PUH-LEEZE! It's a birthday celebration, people! How about we have a birthday party at home where you can serve the kids any sort of cupcake you want, and forget about bringing anything to school at all, if they're going to be like this??? I mean, when CAN you eat a cupcake without regret, if not when you're 8 years old? (and I know, says the homeschooler...)

---On page 50, they talk about "education vacations," where hotels offer classes for children while you travel--the Peninsula Hotel calls it "Peninsula Kids Academy," well la di da...these classes include filmmaking in Beverly Hills, kite making in Beijing, Filipino cooking in Manila, private surfing lessons in California, golf in Las Vegas, and songwriting in Nashville. Naturally. Because we all go on vacation in order to put our kids in an academy....and of course the picture to illustrate it all is two little girls in dresses, playing the violin. Get ready for Juilliard, everybody! We wouldn't want a vacation to be simple fun and relaxation or anything....and notice I'm not even saying anything about how many of my friends have taken their kids to Beijing or Manila lately!

--On page 62, they have the newest kids' fashions for the school year. This includes an outfit pictured on a girl who is definitely not older than 7 years old--that costs over $200. For one outfit. However, that isn't even the best part. The BEST part is--this outfit is absolutely the ugliest, stupidest thing I have ever seen. Emma took one look at it and said, "That doesn't even match!" Imagine this, if you will: a royal purple and aqua striped polo shirt with what looks like a black Tshirt underneath (why? No clue, except that they can sell a $58 T shirt to put under a $79 polo shirt??) Pair that with a black, gray, red and white plaid skirt, black knee socks with white stripes around the top band, and red Converse-type sneakers....... So they are trying to influence people to spend a gazillion dollars making their kids look like colorblind homeless weirdos. I just don't get it.

---On page 92, they talk about "babymoons," which would be your last trip as a couple before having children. Now, I get this. Matt and I took a weekend in Maine at a bed and breakfast when I was about 6 months pregnant with Rachel, with the same idea in mind. However, their idea of this kind of trip is a trip to Iceland, complete with 5 star restaurants, hotels from $270 a night (I guess that's a bargain--it's cheaper than a cashmere T, anyway!) and spa treatments. For you less adventurous types, you can go to Bermuda or Napa....but if you plan to be so gauche, you'd better pay for a $620- for- two- hours spa treatment or a $200 hot air balloon ride. Never mind that most couples try to actually save money when they have a baby on the way.

---And let's not forget my very favorite article. That would be on page 108, and it's called Anatomy of a Country House. That's when you have a city apartment and an 1850's farmhouse upstate. And when you name your child Fenner. And when you have to redo everything because the house "hadn't been updated since the '80s..." (And yes, they mean the NINETEEN eighties, for you clever folk who say, well, it should be updated after 130 years...being that it's a 160 year old house!) And when you have collections you need to display. And when you need a sanctuary. And when you divide your acre yard into sections for outdoor entertaining, gardening, and kids' play areas...I think these people would be perfect to invite over for a barbecue. I mean, I would just love to get to know them, they seem so down to earth!

As you might be able to tell, I could go on and on. However, since I am a real mom, living in the real world, I have chores to do, a birthday party to plan, and a basketful of laundry to do that probably all together didn't cost as much as one back to school outfit for a colorblind homeless weirdo!



Nan Patience said...

Why Jen, I don't know when I've ever seen you like this--and I like it!

j-m said...

Oh, yeah. Sign me up. I want one of those cashmere t-shirts.

Ay yay yay.

MamaCole said...

Give your kids some markers and tell them they can "graffiti" the hell out of the people in the magazine. That ought to give you some satisfaction. Or is that going too far...?

At least you got a pretty tote bag.

Jen said...

Well...I do like the tote bag! Too bad I paid the subscription already. I was going to simply donate it to the library without reading the next 10 issues, but then I decided that it would be irresponsible of me to encourage readership of it!

I am consoled by the statistics that a huge percentage of new magazines fail.


Chloe said...

Ooooh, free gifts with magazines. I'm a sucker for them too. And hey, if I don't like the magazine, sometimes they have some pretty cool pictures, which I can then use to make a collage or add to my notebook cover collection. Scissors and glue, man, scissors and glue.

--Chloe ^^

Anonymous Blogger said...

I am still stuck on the $375 tee shirt and the coupon for it. If I could afford a $300-400 tee shirt, I wouldn't need a coupon!

Back in the early 90's I worked in the gap (baby gap) and they had so many expensive items for small children and infants. It was a new store Down in the Port (Jefferson). They had $300 leather jackets, $50 pants, $50 shirts, etc.. People spent a thousand dollars in like 5 minutes for their 6 month old. I remember thinking how pretentious that was.

I can't imagine. I don't want to imagine.

Maybe you can line an animal cage with the magazine.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I really like the magazine. I'll stick to being pretentious instead of making fun of people and things.

Jen said...

Have fun with that, then. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how pretentious. And it being my blog, I can certainly make fun of anyone I'd like--especially shallow people who like this magazine!


Amie said...

O Jen, this is one of the funniest entries I've read. Perhaps because I can just imagine having you tell all of this to me in person - hearing your voice, etc. Thanks for the laugh and for "keepin' it real." :-)

Kelly said...

Hey Jen! Catching up on your blog!

I at least got that ragazine free! I ordered something from Amazon and got the 'free to try out offer'. Once I got it, oh YUCK! And then they turn into pysco staker ex-girlfriend types who keep sending you letters saying it's your "last chance" to subscribe! Every time I got another enveope I was like "PLEASE! Let this be my last chance!" So I know how you feel!

But hey, I'm taking my kid to China next year! But I'm only a couple hours away, so I guess that's a little different!

Talk to you later!