"It is the poet's job to remember"
Gerald Stern

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Help Me Out Here Helen...

I used to read Cosmopolitan magazine. I even had a subscription for a few years, and had that perfume scented, glossy paged, advertisement filled thing delivered right to my door. Since my memory is not what it used to be, I can't seem to quite pinpoint exactly when it was that I stopped reading it, but I know now that it must have been many years ago.
Last week I tossed a copy onto the belt at the check out counter. Maybe it was for old time's sake. Well, or maybe it was because the cover screamed "TOTAL BODY SEX (these bed-shaking techniques will have any man quivering with pleasure from head to toe)" on one side, and "YOUR ORGASM FACE (and what he's thinking when he sees it)" on the other. It also touted something called "The Trick that attracts Hot Guys like Crazy" and "The Naked Quiz." Whew.
First of all I'm not looking to attract hot guys like crazy, thank you very much. Secondly, the first few flips of the pages revealed that its been a hell of a lot longer than I thought since I had that old subscription. The hot guys they're referring to are 23 years old. I know this because they've given their ages along with a little caption. "Tyler, age 22, is a marketing analyst who enjoys salsa dancing, wind surfing, and ornithology." Uh huh. And yes, I read the article just for informational purposes. Mrs. Robinson has long since retired.
The "Naked Quiz" is a riot. After all sorts of questions about lighting and stages of undress, etc., etc., my favorite is this one..."A friend takes you to a party that's straight out of The Hills - everyone looks like a supermodel. What do you do?" Good lord, what a dumb question. I check out the house and everyone in it, drink the expensive champagne and devour the gourmet food. Okay...so I'll lick my fingers. I seem to remember reading somewhere that men find that sexy. Who makes up these quizzes?
As for "Total Body Sex?" C'mon folks...there ain't nothin' new there. Ho hum, been there, done that, know that. Tell this not-quite- over-the-hill-lady something not already on my dance card. And the "Orgasm Face" article? All I can say is that Cosmopolitan's readers are just thinking too damn much...or the writers of these articles believe everyone should be ruminating all sorts of things around in their brains at all times. "Lets see...is this right? wrong? unappealing?" Even youthful enthusiasm's quest for enlightenment needs to skip this one.
Like I said, its been a long time. Some of the fashion spreads could pass for pages from the early days of Playboy when it was mostly enticing suggestion. "Hot" "Smokey" and "Sizzling" are the buzz words everywhere. In a truly interactive world, the whole publication might be on the verge of flaming up and turning to ash in your hands.
My old Cosmo, with its truly interesting articles and feminist beginnings has morphed unrecognizably. Apparently somewhere along the way, Helen Gurley Brown met Hugh Hefner.
What sealed my opinion that I will probably not invest the somewhat strange newsstand sum of $4.29 to peruse Cosmo again was when I found an article titled "TV's Most Bedable Dads." What a shock to realize that, not only did I have no clue who they were...but that I have a mortgage, a daughter, and a couple of sweaters older than all of them.