A Bit of a Rant

July 6, 2013 | My Jottings

I subscribe to a couple of magazines. I like Better Homes and Gardens and Relevant. And recently I received a nice gift subscription for Real Simple, and I’m enjoying that. So I have no idea why, when an ad came in the mail asking if I’d like to subscribe to Good Housekeeping magazine, I said yes and sent off the check. Probably because I remembered that my mom loved Good Housekeeping, and probably because the subscription price for one year was only $7.50.

3968845964_98d9627543_oWell. July’s issue of Good Housekeeping arrived with three hot dogs on the cover, and I saved it for later to leaf through. Later that evening when I sat down to see if there were any good recipes or decorating ideas, I stopped at the article that said, “So go ahead. Be your bad self.” And here are the ten things I was encouraged to do (verbatim).

1. Gossip (next time an acquaintance does something selfish or even unethical, spill every gnarly detail.)
2. Flirt with a man who’s not your husband (make eyes at the waiter when your mate’s in the loo, etc.)
3. Read erotica
4. Spend the day in your PJ’s
5. Procrastinate, then tell yourself you’re being creative
6. Don’t censor yourself (using colorful language may even help you bond with others. Plus, sometimes you just have to toss an F-bomb!)
7. Eat two desserts, or have a third cocktail.
8. Be gleefully grabby (taking the last cookie, not donating to charity)
9. Be selfish in bed.
10. Get mad and stay mad. (instead of adhering to the adage “Forgive and forget,” it’s sometimes wiser to remember)

Okay. I could go on about each one of these but won’t, because I have about ten minutes before my knee starts to ache and I have to go lay down and (you’ve read this before here) ice and elevate.

But I was a little stunned. The article wasn’t in jest. It was really encouraging the women who read this old, respected magazine to just sow destruction at every possible turn. I have been known (especially lately) to stay in my nightgown, and to eat two desserts. And I’m a procrastinator when it comes to paperwork and it doesn’t feel very creative. But some of these items of advice are astounding to me. I thought of my granddaughters who come over frequently, and what they might have thought if they’d picked up Grandma’s Good Housekeeping magazine and read what adults say should be a part of your life.

What came to mind right away after reading the Good Housekeeping list was my desire to allow the Holy Spirit to empower and change my life more, so that true fruit will grow. Here’s another list to consider: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

I’m not a prude, and I can’t claim to have always used the proper language in my life. But this article got me a little bit miffed. I read the ten points to Michael and he surprised me by saying quietly, “Cancel your subscription.” I blinked back at him and then thought to myself, “I believe I’ll do just that.”

And I did. I got my refund check for $5.45 in the mail last week.

Are you familiar with Good Housekeeping magazine? What are your thoughts? I’d also love to know what magazines you subscribe to.

Off for my date with some ice….


  1. Ganeida says:

    I am notorious for reading pretty much anything ~ & I always did up until a couple of years ago when God gave me this verse:Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom12:2 And what was particularly displeasing God was the magazines going through the house; staples my mother had when I was growing up but were no longer wholesome or full of houswifely advice. It took time but I managed to wean myself off the lot ~ except when I’m in the doctor’s surgery! 😉 This is the only one I still subscribe to: http://www.anencouragingword.net/ I don’t always agree but I like the biblical worldview & I don’t have to worry about profanity or nudity. 🙂

  2. Just Julie says:

    That does look like an encouraging magazine, Ganeida. I’m also taking seriously the renewing of my mind as I am so inactive with my surgery recovery…memorizing and taking thoughts captive are what I’m focusing on.

  3. Ginny says:

    I hope you let them know why you were canceling!!!! Can’t we get in enough trouble without trying, let alone Bad Housekeeping Rag ( there is nothing mis spelled here! ) printing out a rebellious list for us to follow? Mercy! Mickey is a ROCK of WISDOM! That has not changed!!!!
    I get one mag… Reminisce… I love old nostalgic stuff and it is a “safe” magazine!

  4. Just Julie says:

    I canceled online Ginny, and the site did not ask why….I wished there was a place to say what was on my mind. Maybe a letter someday… You make me smile Ginny…. xoxo

  5. Kay in Cornwall says:

    I used to love reading magazines, but like you Julie, I got really annoyed and disgusted with the content. My mum used to have a weekly magazine for years and years – Woman’s Weekly. It was full of home-making advice, knitting patterns, recipes and lovely stories. It was the last bastian of wholesome women’s publications. Now the same magazine is indistinguishable from all the other celebrity-obsessed rubbish that covers the shelves in our supermarkets. Not only do these magazines provide a bad example to our daughters and granddaughters, but they also do their best to make us discontent with our bodies, faces, hair, homes, husbands etc.
    For the price of one of these monthly magazines, I can buy a really good book – no contest really! 🙂

  6. Just Julie says:

    I agree with you about books being better choices Kay! And when I go through the checkout lanes at the grocery store, I think of the children who’ll be going through after me, and sometimes I turn the worst magazines over so their photos and words aren’t so visible to little eyes. So sad… xoxo

  7. Helen in Switzerland says:

    I have a subscription to the English version of GH – and they sure as heck don’t include anything like that!! (I would cancel my subscription too). Like you I think we should try to be better people, not worse…..

  8. Just Julie says:

    I’d love to compare the differences between the American and the English issues, Helen. Hope things are well with you and your family… xo

  9. Ember says:

    I stopped reading Good Housekeeping when they their section for testing appliances to see which proved the best began to include vibrators. This was about the same time period that articles in normal, mainstream women’s magazines began to suggest that adultery might actually be *good* for a marriage (what?)
    I’m with Ganeida on this: “staples my mother had when I was growing up but were no longer wholesome or full of houswifely advice” Exactly.
    I write a regular column for this magazine, which I can recommend:

  10. Just Julie says:

    It looks like you were on to GH before I finally noticed their, ahem, bent. I wish Woman Alive was available in the States, Ember! xo

  11. Christy says:

    I read that article also and because I sometimes “skim” an article, I thought I had misunderstood and that it was satirical or something. I actually went back and read “every single word” looking for humor (ugh) or sarcasm or SOMETHING that would indicate it was not serious. I have always loved reading magazines but in the last several years I lean towards quilting (fooling myself into thinking I will make each quilt I see that I like), knitting magazines (planning what I will do with each and every stunningly beautiful skein of yarn that I received from a stunningly beautiful woman in Duluth) and scrapbooking magazines (planning layouts for the 8,000 photos I have in a box in the spare bedroom). I have also just realized I am the queen of run on sentences.

  12. Just Julie says:

    At least the magazines you’re perusing (even if not doing all the projects you’d like) are bringing beauty and creativity into your eyes and mind, Christy. Come to MN and we’ll work on crafty things together. 🙂 xo

  13. Kay in Cornwall says:

    Oh yes, Ember! I forgot about Woman Alive even though it’s the only magazine that I have on subscription. I don’t always agree with the theology of all the articles, but there are sometimes beautiful nuggets of gold to be found. A piece that Ember wrote on forgiveness affected me so much that I try every day to live by the truths that she explained. And I am a much happier and more relaxed person because of it.
    Bless you, Ember! 🙂

  14. Just Julie says:

    I’d love to read that article too, Kay. Yay Ember, for helping to bring worthwhile things into women’s magazines. God bless her, Lord. xo

  15. Diane says:

    Julie, thank you for modeling such a beautiful response to this terrible article. Though I avert my eyes from such magazines for my own peace, I have not thought beyond my own decision to the damage done to young women and girls, permanently nicked in their minds, even by the provocative titles. Thank you for thinking of the implications for the next generation, and for praying (and turning the titles over!). We wrestle, not against flesh and blood . . .

    I hope your recovery is going well! Praying for you and Michael. Diane

  16. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for such kind comments, Diane. Michael and I hope we can see you and Steve before the summer ends. Love you both… xo

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