Apr 7, 2010

Another thing I was confused about

When I was about 12 and got my hands on a copy of Seventeen magazine for the first time, I decided it must be a catalog. I then spent a number of hours searching, diligently, for the page that would tell me how to order something. Not that I had any money to order anything with, but I wanted the option.

When I finally realized it was not a catalog but a magazine, I thought my ignorance about the whole situation reflected a deeper inadequacy on my part and experienced a pang of shame at my essential uncoolness, a feeling I experienced often in middle school. Now, though, it seems a perfectly reasonable assumption, since really Seventeen was just one long ad for back to school clothes. At least that was true of September issue (and that was the one I got my hands on.) I still remember how it smelled (like Obsession, that Calvin Klein perfume), and the pictures of pretty, wholesome girls in plaid skirts running around in a field, wearing Keds. It was a vision of life that had nothing to do with my own, but if I could have stepped right into that magazine, and lived in it, I would have.

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