Monday, March 2, 2009

Canadian Family Rant

Okay... I feel like ranting a bit... so I'm going to let myself go... a bit. Loosen some strings, let this calm, cool and collected demeanor melt ever so slightly.

During the kid's nap (term used loosely) I decided not to take my Gameboy DS into the bath with me (what's better for unwinding than a hot peppermint oil bath and dragon slaying?) and instead opted to finally flip through the latest issue of Canadian Family that I had in the house - the March 2009 issue.

As I got closer and closer to the end of the magazine I was feeling more and more disenfranchised, more distant and even (and quite unnecessarily) a little angry. What I came away with was that this magazine, while targeted at moms was definitely not targeted at me!

The opening editorial set the tone. When the editor had her first child she had never heard of things like Bugaboos and Lululemon before and boy oh boy did she have a lot to learn about being a mom! And thanks to a recent baby boom on her block there are more Bugaboos than SUV's and every mom is wearing Lululemon.
I think I threw up a little in my mouth.... perhaps that's wasn't what she meant but my skin crawled a bit when I processed the message that she equated what she had to learn about motherhood to words like Bugaboo, Lululemon and even SUV. And yaaaay - isn't it nice that everyone on the block has the same expensive trendy stuff here.

Sorry... sorry... I know, I know. It got my panties in a knot. I just wish more people were interested in individuality than the status quo. And I feel awkward about even typing that... like I'm putting myself on a pedestal... y'know... "Hey everybody, wear your individuality like a shield! Like I do!"... right, that's what it sounds like.

I don't mean for it to come off that way. I'm just feeling judgemental today. If everyone on her block wants to equate parenthood to brand names they're not hurting anyone and I should... and will... back off. I've never been one to try and push my views on others. But I will allow myself a little rant.

So - recap. Opening article. I go "Ew".

It got better, so to speak. The whole issue was jam packed with things you should buy. Things you need. As a girl who would rather go to Value Village than Sears this just wasn't speaking to me. Trendy bib set (containing only one bib) starting at only $34! (How about the four bibs that I got at the local Mennonite thrift store for $1.. that also covered more area on the child than the one that was being modeled in the magazine.) The hottest colors for your household's spring makeover, clocks starting at $40, cool lime great chairs starting running over $2000, a fun gorilla pillow for your child's bedroom starting at $34...

And throughout the whole magazine - one coupon for 50 cents off Dawn dish detergent. Well, that certainly helps... I would love to save 50 cents after purchasing a $34 bib. This obviously isn't a magazine geared towards Moms who love to save money or who prefer to buy used instead of buying new.

It was a gift subscription. When it runs out - I won't be renewing. It really felt like there were cramming a silver spoon in my mouth and telling me that I wanted it there when I really don't. That's just not me. I've always been more Roseanne than Frasier.

There were two articles of note. One was entitled "How to Lose a Friend in Nine Months" that spoke of how friendships change when one of the friends goes through a major life change - in this case, parenthood.

The other wasn't so much the whole article... just a picture with the bold font under it reading "A parent's own anxiety can be passed along to her children. If the child is vulnerable and the parent is anxious, it's a very explosive combination." What I took from that was "Hey Moms. Calm the eff down. Mellow out. It's okay... repeat after me... it's oooookkkay."

So my mellow returned to me after a hearty poke in the ribs from the Universe. I laughed - tossed the magazine on a pile of dirty laundry and forgave everyone for their Bugaboos and SUVs. (I know, how magnanimous of me.) Then I got back to the lovely business of living my life and cutting cheese and oranges for my monster's snack.
And because I'm making a conscience decision not to hold anyone's SUV or what it represents against them - I hope I don't get branded a hypocrite when one day I go out and treat myself to something nice and new.

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