Heather Smith
I’m a wannabe hippie. I eat granola-topped pro-biotic yogurt every single morning. I am addicted to green and ginger tea. I practice yoga and meditation (my New Year's resolution to do so daily). I am currently on my on again-off again vegetarian diet … and nothing makes me happier than pouring some Omega 3 wild fish oil down the ol’ hatch … to maintain overall health and support cognitive and cardiovascular health.

Knowing of my crunchy-granola aspirations, good ol’ Santy Claus stuffed a Real Simple magazine in my stocking. The blurbs on the cover left me wanting more: feel calmer now, make dinner faster, make your clothes last longer, simplify your beauty routine. Sounded like a “simple living” magazine to me. Great – I looked forward to ideas on how to de-clutter my life and live greener. Well done, Santa, and how nicely this magazine will complement my other magazine subscriptions - Body and Soul and Yoga Journal. Hippie wannabe indeed.

I couldn’t wait to settle in and read the thing from cover to cover … but the conditions had to be perfect. I needed peace and quiet. I needed a big chunk of uninterrupted “me” time. So Real Simple sat under the Christmas tree, untouched. It was as if I was half starved to death with an amazing feast in front of me that wasn’t mine to have … I drooled at the sight of this magazine … but there never seemed to be time.

Then, the hectic pace of the holidays slowed. It was time. I filled up the bath, adding soothing lavender bath oil to create the perfect, calming atmosphere in which to discover how I could make my life outwardly more simple and inwardly more rich (the mantra of Voluntary Simplicity proponent Duane Elgin). Perhaps I would even learn how to make a blanket out of belly button lint.

I started to read. Seemed decent enough. But then I got to the simplify your beauty routine page – and – EGADS – they’re recommending disposable make-up wands to remove mascara clumps deftly from lashes! Plastic wands that you just chuck out every time you apply mascara?! I was beginning to wonder if I’d missed the point of this magazine. Maybe it should be entitled Living Conveniently because Living Simple, to me, conjures up a different idea as to the inside contents. Or maybe I’m just a dumbass.

The make your clothes last longer bit was pretty good, though, with handy tips on washing and storing clothes in order to extend their life. Perhaps the disposable mascara wand thing was just a little inconsistency. But then I moved on to make dinner faster. I was hoping to learn how I could grow my own vegetable garden on my front step or make one chicken stretch into fifteen different dishes to freeze for future meals. Instead I learned how to buy a frozen pizza and stick a few “at hand” ingredients on it.

Next was the fit your figure article. Apparently I am an hourglass. Apparently I could pull off a pair of high-waisted pants from Neiman Marcus for $225. I WANT TO BE OUTWARDLY MORE SIMPLE GODDAMIT!

The lavender did not work. Santy Claus now knows that reading Real Simple will not lead me down the path to hippie goodness, it will only lead me down the road to a landfill filled with disposable mascara wands … and that’s just not good for my inner chi.
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6 Responses
  1. CLB Says:

    Real Simple is that Martha? If so I am very disappointed in her. I expect more.


  2. No, not a Martha mag - but Body and Soul is and it's great!


  3. Aunt Nancis Says:

    Real Simple sounds Real Stupid!


  4. Lisa TS Says:

    Ironically Santa Claus put Real Simple in my stocking as well.I became really stressed after reading the mulitude of lists teaching you how to be more relaxed and de-stressed.

    Yoga Journal rocks. However, they want we yogis to be less materialistic, etc. while every page is an ad for expensive yoga gear...


  5. Hahaha - yes the yoga gear advertised is very pricey ... and weird ... grippy toe socks instead of a mat??????


  6. Lisa TS Says:

    Yes the grippy toe socks!!! Great for travel. They kind of freak me out in a fascinating way - they probably do work well though


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