Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dear Better Homes and Gardens

“Home is the nicest word there is.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

Dear Better Homes and Gardens,

First of all, I have to tell you how much I love your publication.  Every month, for years, I've opened my mailbox to find you there.  In the summer, your covers are splashed with fun colors and airy spaces and in the winter you never fail me with pictures of inviting spaces in warm hues. 

I look GOOD this morning.  G-O-O-D.
I opened up the November issue this morning with my breakfast.  I always read you cover to cover (You like hearing that, don't you?  I even read the ADS, BH&G.  Even the ads.  I'll bet your advertisers are thrilled to hear it.).  This morning, I was immediately disheartened by the "Age Perfect" ad on the inside cover.  You know your readers, don't you, you sly dog?  You know that our wrinkles are showing up and maybe you even know that some of us read you while we eat our breakfast.  Morning time is an especially vulnerable time for me, you see.  Mornings are when my face looks like a very heavy truck has parked on it overnight.  So, thanks for reminding me that maybe I need a product to iron out the rough spots.  You are a trusted friend, after all.

The next thing I read was the Editor in Chief's introduction.  It's called "Between Friends" and I really like to think of your editor (Gayle...Gayle, can I just CALL you Gayle?  Is that OK?) as a friend.  She's always so upbeat and positive.  And she's always letting me know how wonderful and easy all the ideas contained in your pages are to implement.  I wonder if SHE implements them all.  Do you, Gayle?  Do you run home to check YOUR mailbox just waiting to see what you can change about your house this season?  I'll bet you do, Gayle.  You're just THAT happy.  And capable.  Let's not forget capable.

I set my bowl of Cheerios aside as I pondered the ad on the next page:  Kellogg's to GO.  WTH?  Do you cram cereal in a bottle?  I have to admit I was impressed with the 10g of protein.  Cheerios ain't got NOTHIN' on you, right?  10g of protein.  In a convenient bottle.  I was intrigued.  Oh, yes.  You had me at hello.  But what does it TASTE like?  I just can't fathom the TASTE of Kellogg's in a bottle.

Next you told me about how I could win $10,000 for the holidays.  TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.  I don't know what you INTENDED me to use it for, BH&G, but I was thinkin' that I could TOTALLY paint my house and maybe buy two new windows for $10,000.   I'm in.  Where do I enter?  Pffft.  THAT looks like a lot of work.  The ten grand would've been nice, though.  

I then found what I always expect in your November issue: the Thanksgiving table setting.  YOUR readers don't just pull out the same ol' tired and chipped china they've had since before little Davie was in diapers.  No, no, no.  They don't use the same faded napkins and the bent tableware.  YOUR readers do clever things like "Say so-long to same old:  Sub fun wood rounds for ordinary place mats or chargers."  Because what I am worried about on Thanksgiving day are the chargers under my plates.  Let me think...do I OWN chargers?  No.  No, I don't.  I've always wanted to be the kind of girl who IS concerned about chargers, though.  Once again, BH&G, you're helping me to see ALL the ways I'm inadequate.  

I did see on that table setting a glass hurricane with a "sprinkling of pinecones, nuts, greenery or cranberries."  Now THAT'S something that I might can do.  I hear they sell glass hurricanes at the dollar store.  Or at the local bar.  If I head THAT way, I probably won't care about my table, BH&G.  You know what I'm sayin'?  

I stopped on the next page where you told me I could "cast a warm holiday glow" by replacing my tired old flatware with BRUSHED-GOLD FLATWARE for the holidays.  Because what I need in my life is TWO sets of flatware cluttering up my already cluttered drawers.  

I figured the next few pages would contain the latest trends in paint and easy ways to re-slipcover furniture.  Honestly, those things just make me tired.  I mean, don't get me wrong, BH&G...I DO love change.  I really do.  But then I start thinking about how I'll have to take everything down from the walls and move the furniture out of the way and clean up about half a dozen paint spills (because, let's be honest, I'm not the NEATEST home-improver on the market). And then I think about having to go to my local home improvement warehouse and PURCHASE all the stuff:  the paint, new roller covers, drop cloths, etc.  It all just makes me tired.  And broke.  Let's not forget broke.  (Speaking of which...where DO your readers come up with the cash for all these fabulous remodels?  I want to have THEIR careers.  Or their husbands.  Or, let's be honest, their husband's MONEY.)

I have a confession, BH&G.  I USE YOU.  I open your pages and I dream of a different life.  I see the smiling women in your magazine and know that THEY'RE smiling because their homes are uncluttered.  They make fabulous "design decisions" instead of just throwing together whatever they've found on sale at TJ Maxx.  I want to be one of those women.  I do.  But I'm JUST NOT MADE THAT WAY.  I balk at spending more than $20 for any one home item.  And crafty?  I have big aspirations but usually the stuff I put together looks like a "what not to do" ad from Elmer's Glue. But I WANT to be a REAL Better Homes & Gardens reader.  I want to be perfectly coiffed while sipping a cup of hot tea (so much healthier than my muddy coffee) in my "outdoor living space" with lovely rattan furniture and snazzy cushions I've sewn myself.  I WANT TO BE THAT GIRL.

So, BH&G, if you ever have a "home and life makeover" sweepstakes for your readers, pick me.  I've been a good girl.  


An Avid Reader (Not Do-Er)

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