Monday, December 15, 2008

I've Given Up on Women's Magazines

I am a CokeZero addict. Love it, can't get enough of it. About a year ago, I noticed that the bottle caps had little codes on them, codes to be entered into a loyalty program. Why not? I spend enough money on Coke, I might as well get something free in return. So I went to CokeRewards, and I signed up, and I started saving the bottle caps, and about once a week, I go to the site and enter the codes.

After so many months of this, I had quite a few points, and a little time on my hands one day, so I looked around the site for a way to spend my points. They were out of stock on the only t-shirt I liked and I work at home so I have no use for an insulated lunch bag. I'm not interested in iTunes downloads or video games. Then I saw the "Magazines" tab. Oooh. I love magazines.

So I clicked on the tab, brought up images of the magazines on offer. Glossy covers, famous people: Elle. Vogue. O: The Oprah Magazine. People. Marie Claire. Cosmopolitan. Glamour. I have, at one time or another in my 40-plus years, had a subscription to each of these magazines. And I had enough points to take two, or three, maybe four of them. Which ones did I want?

I perused the covers, growing increasingly dismayed. I'd read these articles before. All of them. Nothing sounded good, nothing looked interesting. I don't need a list of the 100 best beauty products: I consider it a successful morning if I manage to put on a coat of powder and a little lip gloss. If I want a new diet plan, I'll go to the diet shelf in my library. I don't really care what celebrity moms think--about anything. I don't need a list of ten do's or ten don'ts. I've pretty much got the do's and don'ts covered by now.

I don't know what happened to me. In my 20s, I couldn't wait for Cosmo every month. I kept an eye on the calendar, anticipating its arrival, and I practically ran to my mailbox on the day I was expecting it. In my 30s, I got marginally more serious, in the context of a woman's magazine, that is: Vogue, Marie Claire, Jane. And then the subscriptions began to run out, and I just didn't renew them. I thought that I had given up women's magazines for financial reasons, because I couldn't afford everything, and there were other magazines I wanted more: Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The American Scholar, Granta, The Sun, The Atlantic Monthly.

But now, on the CokeRewards site, there were no financial considerations. The magazines were FREE. They would have cost me nothing but points, and the time it took to fill out the subscription forms. And yet I couldn't be bothered. Not for a single one.

Do you hear that Hearst? You couldn't give them away.