“I’m going to the gym.” Hank stood in the doorway of my office, sneaks on, and water bottle in hand. It’s a quarter-mile walk there and back, which adds a half-mile to his elliptical total. He’s got a whole routine of machines and weights and usually comes back sweaty, panting, and pretty pleased with himself.
“The gym? Oh, the community center.”
Our community center is an eclectic place. Great equipment, mirrors, TV (often ironically tuned to the Food Channel) and free weights. Also the bulletin board for events, and business cards of local entrepreneurs. A corner closet holds folding chairs and tables for meetings, and there’s an open shelved book rack where folks drop off used books and magazines, making it a free no-fee lending library.
The other day I dropped off my used “Toastmasters” magazines and posted some notices, then did the bend and stretch to eyeball the latest books. Hmm, some D.E.A.R. time selections, perhaps. Someone got rid of a whole bunch of Debbie MacComber books. Did them already. Murder mysteries, which I’d rather watch on Netflix. And a pile of old glossy mags.
I could hear my third grade teacher sniffing, “That’s not real reading.” But D.E.A.R. time in my second grade classroom acknowledged reading any kind of printed material. Including hardcover books, paperbacks, poetry, research, maps, comics and magazines. We were not exploring ranking fine literature, we just wanted the kids to curl up, read, and enjoy the time. My adult D.E.A.R. time holds true to the same tenets. And good readers make good writers.
I took home two magazines. Yes, yes, I remembered my Kindle downloads. The Liars Club and The Kiss were waiting patiently on my Kindle. Knowing my reading habits, I can foretell hours of reading once I start Liars Club. But for now, an hour of glossy page turning and fast scanning.
I chose the “Bazaar” magazine. June 2016. Eye candy. Skipping over articles that tout aesthetic body procedures I can ill afford, I clicked mental photos of how I may adapt some styles to my clothing. I enjoyed a guilt-free trip through couture art, amid Bazaar fashion firsts from a bikini in 1947 to the LBD to mini skirts. It was a lot of skimming, scanning, color intake and faint urge to go out shopping. Fun.
“Vanity Fair,” and mail deliveries of “The Costco Connection” and Viking Ocean Cruises 2017-2019 await. “Vanity Fair” will make the cut, with a cover of a very fit Bruce Springsteen on bike promising to bare his art and soul in his autobiography, Born to Run.
I know I’ll be into The Liars Club tonight and then The Kiss. Can’t promise another daily post … Have a great weekend.
Have you tried D.E.A.R. time yet?
Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.