Pet Peeve of the Month

I have a confession to make.

I’m a complainer.

I KNOW! You never woulda guessed it, would you, if I hadn’t said it here and now, preserved on the internet for all eternity, destined to mess up any employment prospects I may ever have, in perpetuity.  Anyway…

Here’s my Pet Peeve of the Month (I may turn that into a “thing” here):  Magazines.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I *heart* magazines.  I have a couple subscriptions and buy a few more throughout the year, as articles grab me.  But honestly, there are some things that just drive me bat-snot crazy.

Here are a few:

The “Lose A Massive Amount of Weight Overnight……Make this Calorie/Fat Overload Recipe” Cover-grab:

First, we have the attention-grabbing main story: .”..Abby lost 100 Lbs of STRESS FAT! – Turn off comfort-food cravings! – Lose 7 lbs in a week!!”  This handy bulleted list pulls your eye straight down to the little crowned-cupcakes and the recipe section: “Treat yourself like a Princess!!”

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t cupcakes one of the self-same “comfort foods” that the previous headline promised to help you beat?  No wonder women have body-image complexes… “Lose weight! Lose weight! Lose weight! … Eat THIS!!! And THIS!!! AND THIS, TOO!!!”

*Forehead slap*

Moving on…

Here, we have the “Look at OUR AD and nothing else” magazine insert:

This is an insert that I had previously ripped out, then stuck back in for the picture.  But the concept remains the same.  Jones New York has inserted a little heavy card stock booklet within the pages of the magazine.  Ok, fine.  Put it in there, I can rip it out and move on with my life.  But can I?  CAN I???

Apparently not.  Because in order for that little booklet to remain in its proper place in the magazine, they had to insert a permanent heavy card stock TAB for the booklet to be glued to.  Because regular magazine paper is too flimsy.  So ripping out the booklet didn’t solve the overarching problem, which is that it is impossible to read any other page of the magazine without fighting to keep the page open to the one you want displayed.  And it’s nearly impossible to remove that tab without ripping the pages around it in half.  Guess it accomplishes Jones’ mission, though – it gets them noticed.  But I’m not sure if it’s in a good way…

Continuing to move on, but pausing for a moment to watch my bluebirds, because my blood pressure is bubbling.

Here’s another little joy that’s started popping up in my magazines:

This one is an ad.  These pages happen to have ads on all sides, so it’s not so bad.  I can tear out the entire page and continue like nothing happened.  But the ones that really send me ‘round the bend are the ones that are ads on one side of the fold-out, and story copy on the other.  And the story copy is part of another story in the magazine – in other words, not meant to be torn out and displayed anywhere.  I’ve seen these fold-out pages in exercise magazines, and they act like a poster, with the related explanation on one side, pictures on the other.  You tear it out, stick it to your wall, and there are the photos of the exercises that you’re supposed to be doing to lose those 7 lbs this week so you can eat the cupcakes that will make you feel like a princess.

And why, you ask, do the fold-out pages make me crazy? (like I’m not already)  Because of the foldover nature of the magazine.  Generally, when you’re reading a magazine, you fold the half that you’re not reading over backward – or under the magazine itself:

So, I’m holding the folded-over magazine, and it starts to slip, because I’m trying to grip a page that’s actually a fold-out and not attached to anything!  I know, it’s a little thing.  But the whole point of reading a magazine is to relax.  So they put blood-pressure irritating crap into it, why?

Your turn…

This entry was posted in advertising, magazines, pet peeves and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Pet Peeve of the Month

  1. Joy says:

    PERFUMED PAGES!!!!! I tear them out almost before they are in the house. I even rip them out if I have to ruin a page from the magazine. Sorry, they make me sick. You’re sitting there eating lunch and you smell those stinky smells??!!??!! ISH!!!

    Like you, I HATE those really stiff pages. I like to fold mine over too.

    Also, those little subscription cards that aren’t attached to any page and you’re in the middle of reading something and they just fall into your lap.

    I really do hate the misleading covers too. The one you most want to read is half a page long and is really nothing like they said it would be on the cover.

    • Laura says:

      FIRST thing I do, when I get a magazine, is go through and pull out all the loose subscription cards. Then I go back through and pull out all the “offer” cards that are stuck in there with perforated pages.

      The perfume ads don’t bother me so much, as long as nobody opens them – but if they do, then I’m hit with the double whammy – the smell AND a dreaded fold-out page.

      But I am amazed by the sheer number of ads. My dad used to get Readers Digest (“Red Digest,” for you MASH fans out there), and when it came, he would sit down and tear out every ad that didn’t have part of an article on the flipside. The magazine was, literally, half OR LESS of its former self. It was amazing.

  2. Karen Joy says:

    OMG,This is the BEST one you ve written!!I SO totally agree with every word you said.I have always been so annoyed by the “weight loss”,”eat this “magazines too!Its crazy.And Yes,Joy I hate those cards that fall out,ticks me off!!!!!!!!!!Anyhow,ya said it all for me so I shall stop my rant!LOL!Great post Laura!

  3. SKL says:

    I too have a magazine-ish peeve, even though I don’t get magazines. Our mailman feels the need to hide half of our mail inside any magazine or catalog that we may have received. We didn’t realize this at first, so various pieces of mail were either discarded immediately (catalogs) or discovered weeks or months later (who has time to read magazines regularly?). Now we know to hold each and every piece of mail that has pages by the top of the binding and shake it. And out falls those nasty perfume samples that Joy was mentining, and coupons, etc., as well as whatever mail Mr. Mailman decided to hide today. Grr.

    I can be a bit of a complainer too. Not all the time, but I get into my “moods.” I have a collection of pet peeves for every situation. Pet peeves in the kitchen, pet peeves in traffic, pet peeves about the way women’s clothes fit. It’s a good thing no human is perfect; otherwise, what would we have to talk about half of the time?

    Here’s a peeve for ya. The car seat regulations. My 3.5-year-old is 27 lbs and she has to sit in an infant car seat until she is 40 lbs. Her younger sister is bigger, but I’m not about to switch her out first unless I have to. I am so tired of the whole five-point-harness thing that is designed to be too difficult for the kids to manage. Will my kid be 8 before she can get in & out of the car on her own (in less than 10 minutes)? And then there’s the new booster seat requirement in our state (until 8 yrs / 80 lbs). First of all, the only reason kids that big need a booster is because they put shoulder belts in the back seats. WHY? Just cut out the shoulder belts and you won’t need boosters! But no, we can’t be practical! This is a total sham! And now that your big kid is boosted up, if you get in an accident, there’s nothing to stop her head from whipping back, which would not happen if she were sitting down on the plain old seat. SO, they make high-back boosters which cost lots more, so you won’t have that worry . . . except that now you can’t see out your back window. I’m convinced this is all a sham. A deal between the makers of carseats and SUVs/minivans. Because once you need all that gear for each kid, there’s no space for it in a regular car. Ugh.

    • Laura says:

      ohhhh yessss, the carseats……

      Josh is a peanut, too. He was in a 5-point carseat through most of his school year last year. None of his classmates were, so when the school took the school vans on a field trip, I had to go in and specially install his carseat for them, while all the others had their little boosters.

      And it just cracks me up that these exact same children would have been FINE without the carseats, without seat-belts, even – if they had taken the schoolbusses. Because apparently, schoolbusses don’t get into wrecks, and when they do, people don’t get flung around. And even if they DO get flung around, there won’t be any injuries.

      And yes, I know I spelled ‘schoolbusses’ wrong. There should be two s’s there.

      Did you see that TED Video of the guy who co-wrote SuperFreakonomics about the carseats? He looked at the stats, commissioned a study, and found out that the kids were actually SAFER in a wreck in just the shoulder/lap belt provided in the vehicle than they were in the “supersafe” top-of-the-line high-backed booster seat? It was because there was so much extra movement from the booster seat, which is not to be ‘latched’ down. I couldn’t believe how much movement there actually was. It was amazing.

      And yet, you hear nothing. Nobody is complaining, nobody is asking the carseat companies, or the insurance companies, or anyone else about it.

      • SKL says:

        I didn’t let my kids go on field trips when their car seats were needed, unless I had time to drive them myself. It is extremely difficult to get those bastards in and out of my backseat. So my kids have to be in my car if they are going anywhere. Which means that if I need someone else to pick up my kids at daycare, I have to give them my car for the whole day. I can understand all the hassle for little babies who really are at risk even belted in the backseat. But from what I’ve read, kids their age are safe if belted in the backseat without a shoulder belt. The boosters are a big racket. But I still think the boosters will be more convenient than the baby seats they are in – if they ever grow big enough to switch.

        Now, thinking ahead, I think my kids will be safe in the shortest booster for a while, but what if my skinny kid doesn’t reach 80 lbs before her head rises above the seat back (when boosted up)? I may flout the law then. Are they gonna bring out a scale and weigh my kid right there on the road? (I think the law says she has to stay in a booster up to 80 lbs even if she is past 8 years old. Regardless of height. That just makes no sense. If the issue is shoulder belts, they should go by height.)

    • Joy says:

      While I do think car seats are necessary, I think they’ve gone way overboard and off the deep end. I can see 3 separate phases. Infant, toddler and older. Other than that I do feel they are safer on the seat with the lap belt on. I feel it’s way more secure and then like you say, you bring bus’s into it and they have nothing but all our kids ride them.

      When Toby was younger and he’d gone beyond a car-seat, I had a hard time getting him out of it. He was a kid who liked his car seat. I found out when he was a little older that he had motion sickness and his car-seat made him feel steadier. I’ll admit when I saw those “booster car-seats,” (I say “when I saw them” because they really haven’t been around all that long) I thought they were really nice but what I thought was nice was that the kids could see out the window. If you look at them closely, they don’t even remotely look safe. They aren’t stable at all and are very flimsy. The other point I’d like to make is with your kids in a car-seat, you know where they are and they are sitting still.

      I guess the bottom line is I think car-seats are in it for the money. But how do they get the law to stand behind them?

      • SKL says:

        How do they get the law behind them? Hype with some help from “mommy guilt.” Was it Laura who was mentionging this the other day? The whole “how could you NOT want your precious child to be safe” thing. People figure if it’s marketed as a safety item, it must be safe. I don’t understand this, but I see it all around me.

        I think most US kids grow so much faster than my older kid, it isn’t that much of an issue for them. Most or all of her classmates are already in high-back booster seats.

        I agree that it’s nice for the kids to be able to see out the window. I might have decided to buy a cheap, low booster on my own even if there wasn’t a law, but I still don’t think the law is justified. Not everyone has money to throw around, or space in the backseat for that matter. (Try finding a carseat or booster that doesn’t take up a ton of butt space. Having 2 kids and often an adult in the backseat, I notice these things.)

        I also agree that it’s nice to know your baby/tot can’t get out of her seat while you’re driving. However, my kids don’t need that level of forcible restraint any more, and they certainly won’t need it when they are 40 / 80 lbs.

        • SKL says:

          I am told by someone else that the end of booster seats in my state is actually based on height, not weight. So, 4’9″. No problem, my kid simply has to grow 21″. At least this makes more sense than going by weight.

        • Laura (LS) says:

          Here’s another log for your fire, SKL….

          Did you know that car/booster seats have an “expiration date”? It’s generally stated as 5-8 years. So not only do you have to be afraid of not using one, you *also* have to be afraid of using the one you have for TOO LONG!!!

          *sigh* Remember when we were kids, and we could lay down in the back seat and watch the stars go by as your parents drove you across the country?

          http://www.examiner.com/x-19086-Chicago-Pregnancy-Examiner~y2009m9d20-Car-seat-safety–car-seats-have-an-expiration-date

          • SKL says:

            Yes, I know they have an expiration date, and I will not be checking mine. Like the plastic it’s made of isn’t going to still be here in a landfill 5,000 years from now, right?

            Yes, I remember when we were kids. We could sit in the front seat then, too. Even on our parents’ laps. But mostly we sat in the backseat, 3-4 siblings together, fighting over the space, who gets to sit by the window, who gets to sleep on the floor vs. on the seat. But definitely more fun than seatbelts.

            I am not opposed to reasonable safety restraints. But things really have gone too far.

            • Laura (LS) says:

              *whispering* …. don’t tell, but I’ve let Josh “drive” the truck down our driveway! sitting on my lap, turning the steering wheel all by himself!!! And neither of us were belted!!! The horror!!!

  4. I SO KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN! The same exact things bug me about mags >.<

  5. Nikki says:

    Bat-snot crazy? I may have to steal that term!
    I love to smell the perfumes. When I was in my sophomore year, all us girls used to take them and rub them all over ourselves. LOL We’d come out of first period, art, smelling like every magazine in that classroom! I don’t do that now, but I do like to smell them.
    I pretty much only read those magazines when I’m soaking in the tub. I do have to say it’s rather annoying when those post card things fall in the water. I’m fortunate though, most of my magazines come from Joy and she’d taken care of all of those things already!!! LOL

  6. Lucy says:

    You pretty much nailed it on the head. However, i don’t get that annoyed by the ads, post cards, and perfume ads that I actually take my time to rip them out. I just deal with them…but then again I dont read that many magazines to begin with.

  7. Tessa says:

    Great post, Laura! All those things are annoying! I hate the subscription cards that fall out!! I love Redbook and National Geographic. I hardly ever buy a magazine because anytime I think of buying one I think that I am only buying 1/2 a magazine because the other 1/2 is all ads!! National Geographic is great though and not like others with all the annoying stuff. But more expensive too!

    This is funny-when Eric was in boot camp I sent him those perfume pages just to drive him crazy. All the guys are in one large room, sleeping in cots side by side. He told me later on that all the guys would hoover around and smell the perfume samples!! LOL Those guys were so homesick and GIRLsick they liked the pictures and perfumes!

  8. pammywammy says:

    I hate things falling out of a magazine,First thing.open them and throw them in the garbage.I think ads in magazines are getting worse.I want more articles to read.But I guess the ads help support them.
    I hate commercials on tv.They last forever.

  9. mssc54 says:

    At first I thought maybe the easy fix would be for Laura to cut back on her coffee or switch to decaff. But it’s clear now that this is completely a woman thing. lol

    Well…. maybe not completely a woman thing. There is one thing that bugs me too.

    I don’t know who these people are that are giving the “penis enlargement” pill people my info and my email address but (honestly), c’mon now.

    But the thing that is so strange to me is; how does that little pill know to go to that one spot in a man’s body to make just that one specific “member” larger while not affecting the other parts of the body? Enquiring minds want to know! (sticking with the magazine theme) 🙂

    • SKL says:

      I don’t know about how they work, but I used to get a lot of emails for penis enlargement too. Not sure what master list they are working off of . . . .

    • Laura (LS) says:

      MSSC, would it frighten you to know that I don’t drink coffee? And I went off Mountain Dew a long time ago, and am pretty much a “water girl” now?

      You think this is bad, you should see me on caffeine. It’s not pretty. Not pretty a’tawl……

    • Laura (LS) says:

      Oh, and thanks Mssc…. I’ve been obsessing on things I’d rather not obsess on for SEVERAL HOURS now, courtesy of your question.

  10. Sue says:

    You know what I hate about magazines in general? All of the ads. I realize that’s how the magazine is in business, but come on! When I have to skip 5 pages in the middle of an article because of ads I get really pissy! I don’t read the damn ads anyway so stick them all at the back or in micro writing so we don’t have to see them!

  11. Lara says:

    I will be mentioning this blog on my blog laramikkelsen.blogspot.com . I have similar moans and groans. And now, tearing the ads out has become something of a hobby…yes, I call my compulsion a hobby 😛 Thanks for the rant. I ❤ it !!

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