I confess. I have a waiting-room magazine addiction. If I am in an office waiting to see an official-type person, and I see an interesting article—no, a vital article--I have been known to take the magazine, especially if it is out-of-date with a person’s address on it, like it’s a discard. I have tried to break myself of this habit, and have mostly succeeded. Mostly.
Yet yesterday, after my vet’s assistant took out my pup’s fifty stitches, on my way out of the empty front office, I saw a Martha Stewart magazine, all red and alluring. The wife of the vet takes glossy, enticing, decorative, craftsy-with-recipes magazines that she leaves in the waiting room until they are thrown out in a timely fashion. When I have seen one that interests me, the receptionist has told me to take it, they’re through with it, so there was this shiny Martha Stewart, just lying there like it was on the discard pile. Nobody in town sells Martha Stewart, we are not that kind of town. I took it.
And underneath was yet another Martha Stewart with the old lovely, eggshell Martha Stewart colors that I’ve been looking for to paint my upstairs bedrooms. And I took that one, too, which did seem a tad bit greedy, but there was no one in the waiting room to ask.
When I got them in the car I noticed they were January and February, 2008 issues. Egad. If you feel guilty, is it stealing? Maybe it was stealing, but I was committed, and sped away before the vet folks could rush out of the building and start pounding on my windows, demanding to know why I was so crazy.
In the February issue Martha shows us how to make fabric FORTUNE COOKIES. And in January we are given the instructions on how to use our computers, photos and printers to make CONFETTI WITH PEOPLE’S FACES ON IT. It came rushing back to me why Martha and I split ways so many years ago. She had a section on how to make tinsel garlands of leaves for our Christmas trees. Aren’t tinsel garlands what gives 1,321, 851, 888 Chinese a leg up to the middle class? Is having confetti with your family, friends and pets’ faces on it so important you would take ALL THAT TIME to undercut another country’s labor market? Can you trust a woman who advises you to make personalized confetti for New Year’s Eve?
Is there a special hell for magazine thieves, one in which you spend an eternity fashioning household objects out of seashells, buttons or empty vegetable cans?
Tomorrow I’m sneaking those damn magazines back.