(This essay was originally published several years ago in a local section of the Chicago Tribune.)
K – The Magazine All About ME
At last, a concept I can grab onto and run with. Why didn’t I think of it myself? Martha Stewart has one, and now Oprah has one, called O. I want one too. My own magazine, all about me. ME, ME, ME!!! I find myself to be fascinating, and I know you will too. I’m going to call it K.
First of all, I am not a celebrity. That’s what makes K such a great concept. A Real Woman talking to Real Women. I mean, is it truly possible to trust a woman who rides in a limo to work every day, and who has never been up all night with a child who has the flu and diarrhea every half-hour on the hour? Who has probably never held a funeral in a snowstorm for a goldfish, participated in a science experiment involving hard boiled eggs soaking in vinegar for two weeks, or worked the snack concession for a track meet when there’s a wind chill of 28 below.
K will address all of those compelling issues, and much more. You don’t even know how lucky you are. As any one of my five sisters will tell you, I am one of those rare people who know everything, and I will not hesitate to tell you just how to run your life.
First of all, I’m sure you will want to know all about me, my likes and dislikes. And so the premiere issue of K will cover all of that. I’ll include my own special eating plan for when I’m feeling stressed (I can’t divulge it here, but I’ll give you a little hint: it involves Godiva chocolate and gin and tonics).
I’ve never had a personal chef or a personal trainer. And you’ll never need one either, after reading K. That’s because I’ll let you in on a little secret (special to K subscribers): Don’t cook or exercise! See how easy that was! In fact, I’m thinking of a motto to put on the cover of K, sort of my philosophy, if you will. And it just might be: Take-out rules, and why work out when you’re only a few decades away from being a plump grandma. Is there really anything worse than a skinny grandma? I rest my case.
I know I have to include some articles about fashion and beauty tips, and believe me, I am extremely qualified in this area. I do wear some make-up (most days), and I manage to get dressed every day. I will never mention the words Kate Spade in my magazine, and there will never be a reference, in any form, to Cindy Crawford. I’ll never try to make you feel guilty about hanging on to that size 4, pale pink spring suit that you last wore in 1984. And if you want to wear the same lip gloss and mascara you’ve worn since high school, then you go, girl.
I don’t need any Ph.D.s writing the articles in K. What do they really know anyway, stuck in college libraries all those years, while the rest of us were out in the real world. I’m going to write all my own articles, and give out all sorts of advice and tips to my readers, out of my own real-life expertise. Did you know you can get new little rubber thingies on the heels of your high heels for a couple of dollars, and they’ll be good for another season? And if you gently wad up a paper towel square in each rubber glove, they’ll stay fresh and dry for months and months (my mother-in-law taught me that one).
One of the main themes of K will, of course, be family. Your family of origin, the family you married into by some perverse and warped quirk of fate (oops, sorry), your
own offspring (always perfect and brilliant). I’ll be discussing my own experiences in these important areas, and by the time I’m through, you’ll be kissing the ground your own families walk on.
Just to tantalize you, my cover story for the first issue of K will be about my own childhood, complete with archival photos and quotes from my mother. Oprah may have had a tough upbringing, but I bet she never had to make her own Monopoly game out of old cardboard she collected from the neighbors. This is something I really did, because our family was so poor. Against all odds, however, I rose above the Monopoly trauma, received a scholarship to a four-year university and eventually rode in a limo or two myself.
Yes, I’ve had a wonderful forty-seven years, up until now, and in K I’d like to share the wisdom I have accumulated over those years. K will be chock-full of my reflective and insightful, yet modestly presented articles, essays, short stories, photographs, recipes, beauty, household and fashion tips, and even poems. Every month I’ll include my own personal calendar. Just like Martha’s calendar (May 1st, design and create May baskets for 500 of my closest friends), or Oprah’s calendar (lunch with Toni Morrison, Barney’s shoe sale), my calendar will be a revealing look into my life (podiatrist appt. to check bunions, kill kitchen ants, Grand Opening of new Sam’s Club).
As a bonus, scattered throughout every issue of K, I’ll include spiritually uplifting, “can-do” attitude adjusters to help you be as great a person as I already am. Just ask the aforementioned sisters, they’ll tell you all about life with The Perfect One.