I have a love/hate relationship with Real Simple magazine.
The love comes from my Type A-ness and the imaginary affair I often have with a well-organized life. In those moments, I pick up a copy of Real Simple a few times a year and gush over some of their home solutions and great ideas. If I’m getting a pedicure or commuting (the only times I can read a magazine in peace), I fold the pages I like. I marvel at the brilliance. I vow to implement. I consider a mail subscription so that I can read more great organizing tips that will surely change my life for the better.
And then our relationship begins to deteriorate.
I’ll be at home, in the grind of daily life, and I’ll spot the pile of Real Simple issues I’ve saved. A pile that is adding to the clutter with which I wage a daily battle. All with folded pages. All ready for brilliant idea implementation that I never started. Which adds to my already huge to-do list. Which stresses me out.
And that’s when I go all Sybil and cross the fine line to resentment of Real Simple, followed by mockery and hatred.
Who reads this nonsense, anyway? In my now least favorite column, “New Uses for Old Things,” let’s just take a brief look.
- New use for a shower cap: A shoe bag.
- New use for an oven mitt: A curling/straightening iron heat guard.
- New use for a mitten: A carrying case for sunglasses.
- And — wait for it — New use for popcorn: Packing material for fragile shipments.
OK, people of Real Simple, let me tell you something. If there is a batch of popcorn, a fragile shipment requiring packing materials and me in the same room, it’s going to go down like this: I’m going to inhale every last kernel of the fucking popcorn and then drive my fat ass to the UPS store to pack up the shipment. And, because my disdain for you at this point has now crossed into irrational territory, I might make that drive wearing the shower cap on my head, with the oven mitt and single mitten on each of my hands. How’s that for simplifying?
You can see how our relationship is complicated.
I’ll then purge the pile of magazines, ideas unimplemented (maybe with a few gems mentally filed away) and feel human again. Until I spot the next issue on the shelves, when the cycle begins again.
Real Simple, I wish I could quit you.
Perhaps I should refer to their column entitled “Relax in an Instant,” and then go back to reading People, while finishing the popcorn. That might be for the best.