How Are Magazine Covers Communicating With Me



I walked in my bedroom tonight and noticed a magazine that must have come in the last few weeks that I have not had time to even glance at.  The issue of Real Simple had a couple of cover articles that seemed to be screaming at me; DIET VS. EXERCISE- Which Works Better?  Or Do You Need a Mentor?    It seems that some of things that I was dealing with must be issues for lots of people because they made cover articles on one of the only financially successful magazines in America.


Now in full disclosure I have not read any of these articles.  Oftentimes the cover headlines do not even tie to the actual articles, although Real Simple is usually fairly good at not pulling a bait and switch.  But I laugh that even the magazines I have sitting around are echoing what is going on in my real life.


I already know that diet wins versus exercise, at least for my body, but it really isn’t an either or issue.   The real answer is diet and exercise and as Austin Powers would say, “Yes, Please.”  I am more likely to groan, “Yes, I know.”


The mentor question is not really do I need a mentor, but do I need to get other people mentors?  As part of the Welcoming Committee at school we did away with Mentors for the upper school kids and replaced that program with one where we invited new families and a couple old families to parties so kids and parents could meet each other and hopefully find some people they like.


The older kids get the harder it is to just throw any random two together and hope they become lifelong friends.  Even if you use a computer dating-like matching criterion that says this kid plays soccer and so does that one and they both are good at math and a little quirky, tada they just end up not really liking each other.  It’s not like throwing two four year olds together and one looks at the other and says, “You have arms and I have arms, so do you want to go on the swings with me and be friends?”


Making friends is like dieting.  You have to work at it, it’s not just eating or exercise but both.  If you want to have a friend you have to be a friend.  I remember when my parents moved to London in 1979 they decided to throw a party to meet all the people who lived on their street in St. Johns Wood.  Not knowing any one’s names my parents sent my sister Janet out to put invitations in everyone’s mail slot.


The day of the party came and the whole street showed up at my parent’s house.  My Dad put out a big spread with lots of liquor, which was totally consumed by the guests.  My family being the newest people on the block was shocked to discover that hardly anyone knew each other.  Although people seemed to have a good time, days after the party when my Dad saw his new neighbors on the street they did not greet him as friend, which is what my North Carolina born and breed father expected.


He went to work and asked one of his British colleagues why this was.  The Brit told him, “If we considered you a close friend after one meeting what would we have to talk with you about in the future?”  Apparently the “getting to know you” phase of friendship was a much longer time period in the UK than in southern America.


Just like you can’t lose all the weight you want overnight so to might it take a little while to make a really good friend.  If you have to work at it, it will be that much sweeter.


I bet if I looked around my room a little I will find other magazines that are touting answers to problems I have.  I’m waiting for the magazine to show up with the headlines, Your House is Free of Clutter- Now what?  Or You’ve Gotten so Thin You Need a New Wardrobe- Where to Begin?  Those are problems I would like to have.

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