I spent last night reading The 50 Most Beautiful People issue of, yes, People magazine. Truth be told, I used to be addicted to People: it was my favorite magazine. I bought it every week when I was in college, so that I could go home, sit on the couch with a box of Super Snax, and lose myself in celebrity info. It made me very happy.
I always wanted a subscription but couldn’t justfy the expense. I mean, it’s like a hundred bucks a year! So I just bought it every week, which of course adds up to much more than an hundred bucks annually, but it’s that weird way of thinking that a lot of money is somehow less if you pay it out over time rather than in one big chunk. Anyway. Then, I got this offer in the mail to subscribe to a new magazine called Entertainment Weekly. It was like People, but more about movies and TV and all that stuff. So I bit.
Now, all these years later, EW is my very favorite magazine. I am a loyal subscriber. (For, I might add, about fifty bucks a year. Same amount of issues, too!) Here’s what I realized, after making the switch from People: I am so freaking shallow. (I’ve realized that at other times in my life, as well, but for some reason I remember this instance specifically.) While EW is all about entertainment and celebs, People also has Heartwarming Stories About Regular Folk, i.e. the fireman from Topeka who in his spare time, knits sweaters for abused dalmations, or whatever.
These stories always bored me, but I read them out of some sense of obligation. Like in order to justify diving into the piece about Julia Roberts, I should make myself find out more about the lady from Cinncinnati with the biggest refridgerator magnet collection on record. But with EW, I didn’t have to worry about that. It was just dish, all the way.
Anyway, I picked up the Most Beautiful issue out of this same shallowness, I suppose. All the usual suspects were there: Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, etc, etc. (Mandy Moore, as well, I might add.) Also Jeff Corwin, this insane person who hosts a wildlife program on Discovery my husband forces me to watch. This was all good fun, until I reached the end of the Beautiful Folk and found a story about some normal person like myself. And then I realized WHY I get so bored with these stories.
Yes, these people are wonderful. Inspiring, even. But their stories are set in the real world, and I don’t read magazines (other than Newsweek) for real world stuff. I read them to escape. I don’t want to know about normal folks. I get that every day, just going to the grocery store.
Anyway. I’m not sure what the point of this post is. It’s almost confessional: am I feeling guilty about something? (Probably…..)