We Hear You! Letters from the May Issue

by the More.com Editors

I just finished reading your list of women I'm supposed to be admiring ("The Fierce List," pg 106)  and I'm very happy to see these extraordinary women who put much energy and money into helping others. But I'm incredibly saddened by a societal norm that now considers a woman "extraordinary" because she does her job well, wrote a self-serving book, or has become a celebrity, or has a celebrity father! I'm not sorry that I don't want someone like Lady Gaga representing my sex. I see nothing extraordinary about her. I don't know if the story was done lazily or the budget was tight, but there are many, many women out there putting others before themselves and helping others for no fame or fortune. I would have been thrilled to have these women profiled even if I don't know their names.

Becky, Fort Worth TX


I rarely feel compelled to comment, but Helping Mr. No Job struck too close to home for me to let it go by.  My husband was ‘downsized’ out of his job more than two years ago.  He has had temporary jobs, always far below his old level, and one fabulous job which lasted four months until that company went through restructuring and he was downsized out again.  At his age (57) it is difficult to find opportunity, there is definitely ageism and just plain economics at play in every decision; most companies will take a chance on the younger cheaper employee over him.  So when I read the tips which included ‘don’t expect him to become a househusband’, I have to strongly disagree.  We wouldn’t be married any longer if he had not stepped up and assumed almost all responsibility for maintaining our home life.  I would resent him completely if I had to work full time and also had to do my ‘fair share’ of the home work while he was home looking for a job.  Even now, while he is working at a temp job, I still expect him to manage all the household functions.  His job is strictly by the hour, it all stays at work.  Mine is demanding, requires some long days or part of weekends, and is exhausting.  I don’t want to go to the grocery store on the way home and worry about making dinner.  He doesn’t have a problem with it.  The fact is, our roles have reversed.  I am providing most of our financial support and stability.  It’s not easy for either of us, it’s not what we want, be we do want to stay married and we are doing what works for us.  Frankly, I think any self-respecting man would want to contribute in whatever way he could while unemployed, and should be happy to take some of the burden off his wife.
 Also, the Parent Trap spoke to me, as I experienced the death of both of my parents 6 weeks apart in the summer of 2007.  My mother was weeks away from her 87th birthday, my father was a few months from 90.  That article spoke the truth, although it left out the irony of how many articles in More are about extending our health and life when at some point the brutal truth is extending life past a certain point is not desirable for many people.  The points made were valid, my Dad stayed in assisted living for the last 15 months of his life, it was non-profit and I believe his care there was better than we could have given him at home.  I also agree with the quality over quantity point.   My mother became ill and deteriorated quickly, and while in the hospital we had her care transferred to hospice rather than medical, so we could focus on comfort and pain relief.  On one of her last aware days she didn’t want the food they were serving and I asked what she would like…it was a particular kind of ice cream treat, which I went out and got for her right away.  It’s the only thing she ate on the last day that she ate at all, and it comforts me that I was there to do that simple thing for her.
I think More is an excellent magazine for adult women and the issues in our lives.  Thanks for the good work you do.
Liz Anderson


The "funny" piece about a teen son's first dating adventures  ("Mommy's Dearest Has a Date," pg 86) contains some sweeping and trite comments about things ranging from suburbs to teen girls' appearances to....well, a lot of things. I know satire can and should be sharp, even caustic. That's a big element, even. But I for one am bored by cliches about middle-America, tract homes, etc. I note with interest that one of the girls her son liked had parents who were concerned about safety in the author's not-suburban neighborhood. She takes umbrage at the suggestion that she would endanger a teen merely by hosting them in her home. Well, that same umbrage - right back atcha. Snide, snotty and dismissive are not good ways to communicate. This article, or essay - whatever you call it - is drenched in a sneering world view I reject and am not willing to pay for. Given that most (all?) of your content is online, free, I will opt out of paying for the subscription next time it is due. I might visit you online but only if free. I will email the many advertisers you have whom I patronize, to let them know I am no longer seeing their print ads. They could save some money there, maybe keep prices down.
I do not want a cent of my hard-earned money going to pay put-down artists like this one, whose lame attempts at humor fall flat and do not impress. I don't envy the young woman her son ends up with, should he marry. She sounds like she'd be a nightmare as a mother-in-law. Major fail.
Nan Connolly, Oviedo, Fla

I appreciate More Magazine and its goal of including all women's voices.  As a mother, a teacher, and a naturalized citizen, I too am concerned with the state of our country.  I am concerned that a young girl, in my home state, is living in a trailer without running water, because her home was destroyed by a fire. Concerned that we don't have a better support system for that family.  I am concerned that "tent towns" have sprouted up around the country while CEO's are making un-precedented salaries. Concerned that we are paying lip service to "family values" while we actively destroy the country we proclaim to love.

Maria Katsaros-Molzahn, Wisconsin


Love "More."  Good, fashion, good beauty info, good finances, good aging issues and well written, intelligent articles.   And not a bimbo or skin kind of magazine.  So, PLEASE, don't include politics.  "More" is my respite after reading The NYT, WSJ, the Economist, Chicago Trib and the South Bend Trib.
Ellen Scherb, South Bend, IN


Thank you so much for your article on The Great Awakening of the Mommy Patriot. Unfortunately, too many media outlets, including women’s magazines, assume that every woman is and should be a Democrat and if you’re not there is something wrong with you. I am proud to say that I am a Republican and most women I know are as well. It’s about time that our voices are heard without fear of being labeled uneducated, old fashioned or the ever popular racist.

Michelle Legler, Cambridge, MA


Club Sandwich in your May 2011 issue states in "Helping Mr. No Job": "Don't expect him to become a house husband. Sure, he's at home, but that doesn't mean he's available for all the chores and child care..." Am I reading an issue of Ladies Home Journal from 1962? What should he be doing, sitting around watching the Golf Channel? Looking for work will not take 8 hours of every single day, let's be real. It is time for men to step up and share more responsibility in the home, unemployed or not. We don't need to applaud every time a dish actually goes into the sink or a bag of trash gets taken out. And we certainly don't need that kind of advice from an enlightened women's magazine.

Patricia Firestone, Seattle WA


I could barely contain my anger while reading "The Good Daughter" article in your May, 2011 issue.  I took better care with my dying Black Lab three months ago, a kind, painless quick death from her vet.  Why is it so hard to do this last kindness for our loved ones?  Both my parents feared a "bad end" and they both got it, weeks in a hospital, needles, tied down when necessary and finally, finally entrance to that 'sweet goodnight'.  I weep for Anne-Christine Strugnell's mother; when at the end she could not even enjoy a bit of her daughter's cooking or a sip of water because our so-called civilization deemed any other release, a sin.   No worse, a crime.   I am so ashamed of us all.
Linda McKee 66, Moreno Valley, California.


I appreciate this article from the point of view that the mentioned procedures are safer than the old cosmetic surgery procedures. What I am bothered about is the obsession with our outward appearance by more and more women in the U.S. I think we should be more concerned with healthy glowing skin and hair that comes from physical health and mental happiness. I am 57 years old and I feel like I will be judged by my appearance. I spend plenty on good skin products, make-up and exercise. But how will this compare to those who are spending thousands to make themselves look younger than they really are? And what about the value to society?  Isn’t $30,000 better spent on feeding the hungry than preventing the jowl problem? Can’t we get over ourselves?  Can’t we just be ourselves? Who are we trying to impress and why?  Please don’t add any fuel to this crazy obsession among women.
Judy Phifer, Littleton, CO


I guess I'm now one of the bread slices in that sandwich, yet it feels like just a short time ago I was the one juggling the stresses of launching children into adulthood, dealing with aged and ill parents from a long distance, managing a good career, being the good and supportive wife, and never feeling like I was doing the best for any of them.  Thanks for addressing a tough topic in your Editor's letter (May).  You asked for some guidance as to where to go for answers and one strong suggestion is to seek advice from the very people (those sandwich layers) who are dealing with these issues on a daily basis.  Those of us who are the top slice of bread pretty much know what we want, and expect, from those who are/will be the ultimate care-givers.  Sometimes, the answers may come as a huge surprise to those middle layers who often rush in to "take-over" without actually taking the time truly assess the whole picture and involve all parties in the decision making.  Of course, that isn't always possible in the cases of serious and sudden debility, or great long distances, etc.  One very important fact to address is the matter of guilt: Guilt as the motivator, the stimulus, the result of doing too little, too much, whatever.  Guilt should never be given too much power or else too many people suffer needlessly and waste energy that could otherwise be used for better things. Sorry for the long tirade.  I guess you really opened a Pandora's box, and I'm grateful for the change to share a few thoughts on this timely subject.  I love MORE for not being too timid to approach tough topics and to deal with them directly and thoroughly.
Regina Petsche, Moorestown, NJ


OMG!  Just read your editor's letter in the May issue.  While I'm not sure there is anything anyone can do, just knowing there are "Others" out there - even those we assume have it all together and life is a piece of cake - facing the same daily struggles trying to balance aging parents, kids, work and some semblance of a life, is strangely comforting! I think "Club Sandwich" is a great idea and look forward to more articles!

Susan Holloway, Jefferson City, MO


Lesley, Your editor's letter is excellent. I am also part of the Sandwich Generation. And I do feel like a panini most of the time! I am a mother and daughter of a 90 year old mother with Alzheimer's Disease. I also work as a Geriatric Care Manager, so I am in a press 24/7.

There are many resources available online. Also, Geriatric Care Managers are a great resource. You can find more information at www.caremanager.org.

Robin Staver, MS Ed, CMC



Let me start by saying I have been a More reader for a long time. i thought I was the only one who noticed that the models wear getting younger and younger ! Two things have put me over the edge in the May issue. First, if I wanted to join the Tea Party and listen to all the venom from Palin and her Stepford Wife-type followers I would already be a card-carrying member. I'm not !! I certainly don't want to read about these people and their crackpot ideas in a magazine "for women of style and substance". Secondly, on page 33 you have 'Cuff Love'. Six gold bangles, five of which are 'price on request' and one that is available for $3,995! who buys this stuff ? No-one I know. Can we get back to reality? Seriously.


I was really disappointed after reading two articles in the May edition.  First the "Fierce List."  How superficial--actresses, singers, light weights who certainly are not role models (Lady Gaga!) are listed and real solid people are not.  I notice with the exception of Meg Whitman, all very liberal activist types.  Where are the successful conservative women we should be looking up to like CNBC's Maria Bartiromo, and Erin Hughes (over Arianna Huffington)?  What about Carly Fiorina--running a campaign and getting treated for breast cancer simultaneously?  What about Meredith Whitney.  Oh yeah, they are smart not glitzy airheads and liberal entertainers. You choose Hillary Clinton over Condi Rice-accomplished Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, Provost, and accomplished musician!  
 Next, you spoke of the Tea Party women like they were slightly addled, not so bright women that you could like (but sure would not want in charge).  You choose figures like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, who have been derided and turned into ludicrous figures instead of the intelligent thoughtful leaders that they are (unlike Nancy Pelosi who is a rude nasty woman).  Instead of Sharon ODonnell, why did you not interview Governor Niki Haley, Suzanna Martinez, Jan Brewer, or Senator Kelly Ayotte or Representative Kristin Noem, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi?   Oh yeah, because they are credible and conservative women must be portrayed a wing nuts or ignored rather than intelligent people kids should look up to. I would far prefer my daughter to grow up to be like Maria Bartiromo or Condi Rice than Arianna Huffington or Nancy Pelosi.

Try harder to understand that just because we are not burning our bras or aborting our babies we are contributing big time to society in ways that will make a difference rather than superficial entertainment. We have broken through the glass ceiling while raising healthy happy kids.
Kathleen Hollstrom

I have been a subscriber to MORE since it first came out.  It might interest you to know that your magazine has appeal for a 78-year-old woman.  The articles are smart and you celebrate strong, powerful yet feminine women.  As the mother of two girls and the grandmother of four granddaughters I applaud your message.  One granddaughter is a Jane Seymour so I have watched your personal progress with interest.  I was very happy when another granddaughter did an internship with you this past spring and learned a lot in a comfortable atmosphere.  I'm looking forward to many MORE issues of MORE. Congratulations on a great magazine!

Joan Pascuzzo

This is my first time ever writing to a magazine about an article I have read. I am writing to you about The Great Awakening of the Mommy Patriots by Christina Bellantoni. I knew I would not agree with the article, but I like to read other points of view, wouldn't want to be closed-minded.
But I could not even finish the article after I read "I'm speeding through Old Town Alexandria, Virgina, trying to keep my eyes on the road as I frantically text O'Donnell's spokesman to find out what time she plans to sit down with me." I could not care less what Christina Bellantoni has to say after that! Supposedly supporting Mommy Patriots! How about supporting the safety of mankind! Doesn't she know that texting while driving is worse than driving drunk, and to write about it is just plain STUPID. And to keep it in the article MORE shame on you. Now to go fill out the May survey and see if you really are listening to your readers.
 Melody Silveira

After looking at your book recommendations for the April and May issues, I see they closely mimic those of O! Magazine. Is this intentional? If not, perhaps taking another approach (e.g rotating between non-fiction, minority female, or science fiction/fantasy writers) would keep your magazine from having the obvious overlap.

Ysa Adams, Los Angeles, CA




I'm in my late 40s and have been a subscriber to More for the last few years. I'm also a writer and editor, and devote my professional time to grant writing for an urban academic safety-net hospital. My husband and I (both in our second marriage) have 7 kids between us, ranging from 14 to 20. Next year we'll have 4 in college!
I very much appreciate More's intelligent content and writing. From books to health to profiles, the magazine touches on a lot of topics I'm interested in. However, I was pretty turned-off by the tone of your letter in the March issue and occasionally comes through in other letters -- a tone of privilege that's hard to relate to for people like me who are working hard, devoted to our families and serving others, though with paychecks that don't reflect the extent of our commitment. Too often your letters talk about travel, home renovations, private school, and lifestyles that reflect significant incomes and expenses. While this is undoubtedly a reality for some of your readers, I, for one, am more interested in educated content that's more down-to-earth and accessible to more readers.
As I get older, I find it's not the luxuries that count or should be touted -- but how we take care of ourselves, make sense of our world, and give back the gifts we're fortunate to have.
Thanks for considering this. I'd welcome your response.
Katharine Canfield, Belmont, MA

First Published Wed, 2011-05-04 17:09

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