Monday, March 14, 2011

A "mag"nificent life.

I wish life were more like a magazine.

You start with the front cover. You get a great (albeit airbrushed) picture of your best self. You get to live your life forever in the best shape, the best skin, the best outfit, and the best angle of yourself...forever. On top of that fabulous picture, you get to know what is in that magazine...before ever opening it!

Unfortunately, advertisements scream at you the second you open it. The first 20-30 pages is just advertising. Some are quirky and fun, some are more serious but, they are designed to make you pause, ponder, and question. In real life we go down this path of life presented with choices. Good, bad, ugly, beautiful, mysterious, sexy...any of these choices we have the ability to choose, just like wanting to buy that one Prada purse on page 23.

Then, you get to the contributors. Magazines always make mention of the photographers or writers who contributed to that months issue. Who are the contributors of your life? Your parents for one, (they did create you after all) your friends, family, co-workers, lovers, that guy who hit your car, that hairdresser who messed up your hair-do, and so on. All of these people play a contributing role in your life, but how many of them get credit for it?

Next we have the human interest stories. Even in fashion magazines you will see a story about someone who did something that saved a person, or animal, or tree, or small country, and you think to yourself "I can do something like that! I can be the kind of person who saves that person, or animal, or tree, or small country!" And it makes you want to get off of your couch and find the nearest volunteer organization and want to spend time saving something, but then you turn the page and a picture of a beautiful model, wearing a perfect dress stares you in the face, and you think "but first I need to buy this dress" or "if I were prettier I could change the world" and you move on.

We now come to the beauty section where there's some new kind of fruit that magically erases wrinkles or diminishes pimples. If life were more like a magazine then this kind of crap they try to sell us could work for everyone no matter the shape, size, income level, or color this person may be. Alas, if only you read the fine print and you will find this particular "magic fruit" is really expensive, or found to only work in asians, or will give you better skin but it makes you gain weight. Sadly, sometimes in magazines it is too good to be true.

Then we move on to 200 pages of the latest fashions and trends. If only life were like a magazine, then I could have 200 new wardrobes and would never have to shop again! Each day would be filled with a never ending stream of new choices, outfits would never have to be repeated, and everything would look magically perfect on every figure. Sigh...if only.

Finally, we come to the back cover. The period at the end of a sentence, the finale of ones life. If only it were that glamourous. I think only celebrities are privileged to be the only people in the world who get glamourous endings. If life were like a magazine it would be the most airbrushed funeral ever attended.

I guess in some ways life is like a magazine. Some parts are better than others. If only we always smelled that good (sample perfume anyone?) If only we always captured the joyous occasions, the best photos, the best outfits, and the best articles. Yet, in a way we do! In our memory bank of a lifetime of events we always seem to capture the best of the best. And we store it away forever and ever, always airbrushed in our minds. So, I guess our own life lessons, memories, and human interest stories can be pulled together to create our own version of our own life's magazine.'re on the cover!