I Like to Feel It In My Hands

I’ve had a problem in my life for a long time now. Well, it’s not really a problem; at least it wouldn’t be if I were wealthy and had oodles of display and storage space. But alas! I am not, and thus I have a problem…

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve always been terrified of becoming addicted to anything. I have a confession. My name is Lyz and I am addicted to magazines. What type you ask?

Beauty and Fashion, Home Decorating, Photography, Time, Time Special Editions, Small Business.

I am a glutton for the glossy pages and editorial photographs. I love beautiful things– faces, fashion, objects, you name it. I love reading and I love to learn. So you’ll understand, Dear Reader, why I am addicted. But I guess the purchasing of the mags isn’t the real problem. It’s the planning to keep them forever that starts to make me feel like a crazy person. My magazine obsession and need to archive has had a series of incarnations throughout my life. Here’s some of them. Let me know if you recognize yourself in them as well.

Stage One:

The teen years. I’d purchase the dreadful Cosmo. My innocence and ignorance didn’t allow me to realize there were any other options. Maybe it was the bright colors of the covers that attracted my young eye or the fact that most of my purchases came from the neighborhood thrift store because my mom refused to pay $4 for paper that wasn’t a book.

Side note: Moms should definitely know what their kids are reading… I mean, I understand if you don’t care to read though an entire Percy Jackson this, that and the other, but you should probably notice if it says Sex more than twice before the cover’s even cracked open. To my own credit, all I really wanted was to look at all the beautiful people and fantasize about buying tons of clothes I had no money for.

Anyhow, I kept every magazine and would sometimes wait a few months before reopening it so that I’d forgotten what was in it. It was like new all over again. Always an exciting time.

Stage Two:

I discover Vogue. Imagine taking off a pair of loose-fitting capris and sliding into tailor-made slacks. Imagine trading in the car that ‘just got the job of transportation done’ to a top of the line luxury vehicle, in the color of your choice. A new world of high fashion and inspiring editorials beckoned me and this time I really couldn’t resist. I had my own money now, and my Vogue magazines were my guilty splurge. (Yes, I called magazines once a month a splurge. I’m frugal; you all know this!) I couldn’t afford a single bracelet, wallet or scarf in the entire magazine–ever. But I dreamed. I dreamed of the exotic locales. I dreamed of living in a place where being creative with fashion didn’t make a person a weirdo. One girl at school was an artist and had a shocking hot pink pixie cut and I classified her as the coolest person I’d ever met. I wanted more of those people in my life, and I wanted more Paris.

One day, after looking at my sticky note riddled magazine, I had the brilliant idea that I could create an inspiration book. I’ll cut out the clothes, accessories and faces that I liked best and glue them into a large artists’ sketchbook. I began this “huge” project with lots of zeal. After a few weeks of meticulous, arthritis-inducing cutting and pasting, not to mention mutilating my precious magazines, I gave up that lofty endeavor and went back to sticky notes. My magazines continued to pile up.

Stage Three:

It was one of those clear chilly mornings when sunlight sparkles and… I lie. I have no clue what type of day it was when I discovered Lucky magazine, and Glamour and InStyle and Marie Claire. I also found Domino and House Beautiful. To be honest, I didn’t discover them all in one day (but you already knew that). But it was a glorious time in my life.

I was, and still am, obsessed with home decor and design and these magazines were accessible without compromising beauty. The clothes in these magazines also seemed within reach. Even if I couldn’t purchase them, I could replicate them. I could play around and have fun with fashion. These were clothes I could wear.

Oh, Dear Reader, you know I hoarded. Yes. Hardcore magazine hoarder. I bought magazine holders; I put them in dressers and side table drawers; stacked them neatly under coffee tables; on the coffee table. Anything to hide my addiction from the people who wouldn’t understand!

I had to sit down and have a talk with myself. I love a beautiful home. Something had to be done. I started giving some away. Throwing some away (which induced nausea). I had to resign myself to my lifestyle. I started reeling my addiction in. I let subscriptions lapse. Out of sight out of mind, I reasoned. The grocery store line was a constant temptation. Sick bastards.

I started by feverishly scouring the pages for good eye candy that I could hold in my memory and take with me. It was torturous, as you might imagine. When my turn in line came, I’d set the magazine back onto the rack like a disappointed child whose mother just said denied the request for candy. Eventually, I just averted my eyes and pretended that the loves of my life weren’t right beside me, calling out to me.

Stage Four:

I’m at the beach with a group of girlfriends and I mention that I want to create an inspiration board for my daughter. She was starting to realize the beauty standards of the mainstream media and beginning to question her own appearance in relation to what she was seeing.

“I’m going to cut out pictures of beautiful women of all sorts and paste them to a board,” I declared triumphantly. My brilliant idea was met with derision.

“You’re planning to CUT and PASTE,” was the general response. Then proceeded a barrage of cackling, belly laughing and rolling around. “Have you never heard of Pinterest?”

“What’s that?”

“The solution to all of your problems.” (Again, I don’t remember if these were the exact words used, but it’s what it sounded like to me).

I still pick up the occasional magazine. I have a couple of subscriptions as well, but letting go has become a lot easier. And thank goodness. I was afraid my dead body would one day be found trapped beneath a pile of glossy, beauty-filled, inspiration-inducing magazines.

Actually doesn’t sound too awful.











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