We Hear You! Letters from Our April 2012 Issue

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MORE • Editors
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I never do this, but I really enjoyed the article “The Caregiver Chronicles.” Please continue including this type of quality article in the future. It was a really nice read while I enjoyed a relaxing bubble bath.
--Melody D. Deakin, Oak Ridge, TN

In response to your April cover story on Julianna Margulies, I must respectfully disagree with you that she hasn’t had any face work done. A quote from your article: “Her face, untouched by knife or needle.” I very much enjoy Ms. Margulies’s acting, but if you look at her appearance on the sitcom Scrubs in 2004, you will see that her face looked very different then—pinched and pulled back, particularly around the eyes. I think she looks much better now as she probably hasn’t had any face work done recently, but I find it hard to believe she didn’t have some work done around the time she did Scrubs. I have no problem with celebrities doing cosmetic surgery or botox, as long as they are honest about it, and there's no way she didn't have some work done in the past.
--Melanie Bowden

I am writing from my nice, warm kitchen! Two weeks ago, I was outside watching the flowers pop out of the ground, literally, on an 80 degree day. Today, my husband called to let me know it was snowing onto the windshield of the truck. He was 15 minutes away! That would be Wisconsin, to be sure!

I had received More Magazine as a gift from a wonderful friend who thought I needed it. I do love it when it comes. I take the time to read the inspirational stories and look at the details of the clothing trends that are popular. I have been thinking about the clothing and ran my thoughts past a friend of mine. She said I should write to you.

I am a stay-at-home mom, a domestic engineer some would say. We have a daughter who just started college at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota this year. Nope! That doesn't mean my parenting duties have stopped. In fact, the roller coaster ride of her new adventure has kept me in the loop and busy. I try to send her inspirational quotes, which I have always loved, each day. Or, I will share stories of our bedlington terrier that continues to warm our hearts, give us facial scrubs, and hunt for skunks - yep, skunks. I think women, especially young bright women, are more sensitive to everything that is around them and need encouragement all the time, at least I do, my daughter does as well. I do not sit still or eat bon-bons and watch soap operas each day, as someone thought I might do when Cassidy went to college. There are people in our lives that need a kind message written, treats delivered, connections made. I try to do that, daily. With our way-too-busy lives, these things often go missing. I have been organizing resale shopping trips with a friend of mine several times a year. We call ourselves, J and J Resale Excursions, LLC. We just have fun and include as many people as are interested in coming with us. The name is just for fun as we kept getting more people interested in going with us and Jill, the one J, felt we needed to be "protected" in case someone didn't find anything they want/need. My mom, when she was alive, used to call this my "therapy". And, yes, I would agree.

Here is where I connect with your magazine. I am a mom without unlimited, throw-away income. So, I can't purchase the $150 skirt or the $200 "finds" you show in the fashions you share with your readers. However, I can look at what you are showing and decide if that is something I would like and/or look good in. Then, I can go to resale stores and see what I can find. My favorite store is Anthropologie. I love the creativity of the looks, but not the prices. Unfortunately, my daughter is becoming an Anthro fan, as well. I have found wonderful gently used Anthropologie tops/sweaters at Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, and the Salvation Army. Yesterday, I was wearing Seven Jeans and a long sleeved Anthropologie top from Goodwill. I think my whole outfit was close to $10.

Perhaps, one of your fashion focus articles can be about finding good deals on a limited budget....very limited budget. I think in this economy, and with all the other living expenses that we have on a daily basis, people might like to know that they do not have to spend alot of money to have both themselves looking wonderful or their children well-dressed.

These are just my thoughts. Do with them what you would like!
--Janet Foust

My husband had been a Rotarian for the first few years of our marriage. I was always involved in his club’s fund raising efforts and enjoyed the camaderie there.

After about 10 years of that, a very progressive male Rotarian approached me and asked me if I would ever consider joining the club, “once the powers that be” would approve female members.

I was the first woman in our area to join and had a great time working with children around the world, helping put in wells in third world countries, and doing a lot of local charity work.

My greatest compliment was when one of the senior members of Rotary told me that I was a “much better Rotarian” than my husband!
--Maria Babcock, Syracuse, NY

Ok, so, I have an admission: When an issue of MORE showed up in my mailbox, I was angry and also depressed. I had no idea how I got it - I had not bought a subscription! - and, more importantly, I am only 42! I am not old enough to be reading this magazine! Righteously indignant, I put it in my magazine pile under my coffee table to languish there in perpetuity. Or so I thought...

Tired on this Friday afternoon, kids playing outside below my window, I mixed a martini and spied MORE under my table. Why not? I thought. I AM 42, after all, divorced with two kids, ages 9 and 6. I have earned this tired and maybe someone in these pages feels the same...

Well....I stopped reading only 30 pages in to write to you. WHAT AN AMAZING MAGAZINE! The layout is wonderful, the articles are intriguing and appropriate. I feel like I have come home. I was recently a fan of other magazines, tho sometimes I felt disconnected and did not know why. Now I do. Thank you.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to get back to reading MORE!
--Marni Winslow

Thank you for your letter from the editor in the April issue. I totally resonated with me. As I read each word I just sat there nodding my head in agreement knowing intuitively where you were going with your thought as I am THERE! As a stay at home mom of 3 (12, 10 and 6) and coming up on my 44th birthday – I definitely have noticed a change in the way I view my world and my interaction with my kids and husband. I thought it was from recently reading the Happiness Project and now reading all 3 books in the 50 Shades of Grey series – but maybe it is just this time in my life. The reason I mention the two books is both seemed to have an effect on my. The Happiness Project, while I was reading it, I kept thinking this would have been really good when I was younger. I had to figure out on my own more or less how to operate that “tiny clown car”. Maybe figuring it out on my own was the only way for me to appreciate now the need to slow down and do the things to help me “live my life fuller, richer and slower”. And in the second book – well I appreciate my relationship with my husband more. Not just the behind the door aspect of it, but the give and take and constant learning that happens in any relationship and as we each change over time learning to adjust and anticipate.

Just wanted to let you know your letter came at the right time for me to reinforce what I was already thinking. Now back on task – I have about 10 more things to fit in “the car” before I pick the kids up from school in 10 minutes.
--Ailene Renzi

Recently I was boarding the train to New York. I purchased More Magazine (which I love) but I was dissapointed by your April cover. Beauty tips for 30,40,50,60, Should be beauty tips for all ages.There is no expiration date at age 60! There are many women over 60 who would appreciate good skin care and glamour tips ! I have been teaching skin care and glamour for 30 years . Taking care of your skin is the key. I feel I have proved it. I was 80 on my last birthday. I still have a good mind and very few wrinkles. If Sophia Loren and Raquel Welsh could do it so could I . I have done it without surgery. --Joan Feldman
Your April letter touched my heart as I just retired after 26 plus years of working full-time, raising three boys alone, and taking care of my Mom until she passed. While my white hair started at 17, and deciding at 30 that it wasn’t fashionable to have hair that made me look 20 years older, I colored it a vibrant auburn that stayed with me until the cusp of 50. The color matched my personality, and while I miss how it made me feel, I enjoy being free from touch-up hell.

Having three adolescent boys simultaneously, and dealing with a stressful job and a somewhat demanding mother, made me long for the days of freedom–my freedom–when I would be able to come and go as I pleased without living by everyone else’s schedule. After the boys had grown and finally left the nest (somewhat later than I thought they would have), and after taking care of my Mom, I decided that finally it was time for me, and I wanted that time to be sooner rather than later. Too many people that I knew worked “just one more year” because they weren’t ready to leave their jobs, and they wound up too ill to enjoy their time or worse, their time had run out. So what if the pundits and politicos say you should work until you’re 70 and then collect Social Security. What about living and enjoying the world and people around you while you can?

If you can handle it financially, I highly recommend leaving the working world behind and enjoy the pleasure of sleeping in the morning until you wake on your own, without the sound of that dreaded alarm blaring in your ear. Go out and breathe in everything that you missed during your daily rat race.

The sons that drove me crazy became wonderful, caring men. As life would have it, everyone has their own schedule now, so I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. And when we do get together and they speak of health benefits and 401K’s instead of Lego’s and Transformers, I hope that one day they will be able to stop and enjoy the beauty and peace around them. I’m sure they’ll know when the time is right.
--Joanne O'Malley, Jackson, New Jersey

I typically enjoy your magazine but last night was an exception. Even though you had numerous articles that were interesting and thoughtful, I keep thinking about the piece in Notebook about the Nevada shooting range that encourages newly divorced women to imagine their ex's image on the target. In a society that has become increasingly violent, I do not understand why MORE would both perpetuate violent vengence as acceptable (certainly not what I think of as a healthy or mature response to coping with divorce) and consider this as "clued-in" for women. Too often women are the recipients of violence and I cannot help believe that responding in kind is acceptable to the mission of MORE.

Thank you for what is otherwise a truly wonderful publication.
--Kay Baetsen

I have been a subscriber to your magazine for over 10 years and I love it! I have never written to an editor in my life but I just thought this might catch your attention.

I am 72 years old and have no intention of letting my age define me. I work every day and love the challenge. Your April issue, on the cover reads "Anti-Aging Beauty Ideas At 30,40,50,60" after 60 we still care and do our best to be up to date with the many changes that confront any age. Just thought I would write to express this thought. I still love the magazine and will continue to be a subscriber. Have a great year and take care.
--Sheila
I just read the article “The Caregiver Chronicles.” Thank you. Rarely has a piece of writing about this subject transported me back to my own caregiver experiences as poignantly, and beautifully, as it just did. A pleasure to read. I cried, smiled and thoroughly enjoyed the article.
—Alexandra Yperifanos

This month’s issue of More (Julianna Margulies) had some curious articles and advice. In “The Drinking Woman’s Diet,” a suggestion was “imbibing your third-choice beverage” to consume less. Huh? Who has a third-favorite drink? That didn’t even make sense. Another wellness article suggested caffeine could boost a workout. Now, this is such old news, I’m not sure it is even worth repeating. What was really ridiculous was the science quoted about consuming a certain amount of caffeine to actually make an impact on your body: “A 154-pound person, for instance, consumed [about the amount in] three LARGE McDonald’s coffees.” Did anyone read this?

Normally your magazine has interesting, useful and current information and advice. This was not one of those issues, at least in the two instances above.
—Annette Suarez

Over my 61 years of existence, I have read hundreds of magazines. I no longer subscribe to any magazines other than More, reason being that most of the content relates to me as a mature woman. Needless to say, I have read many letters by the editor. I usually find myself getting annoyed and feeling like the letters are fluffy, unreal or difficult to relate to, but I always enjoy your letters; in particular, the April letter really struck me. I love your words regarding the 13-45 years as trying to “jam, squish or squeeze eight more activities than is physically possible,” and laughed while I totally related to “Then all at once our children allow us to pee alone.”

In this letter, you totally hit the nail(s) on the head(s). I am now retired and finally able to really slow down, choosing to do things I truly want to do more than things I need to do. When people ask me what I do in all my time as a 61-year-old retiree, I answer, “Whatever I want to do!” There are so many more things I want to do and to try, but I will do them when I feel like it!

Thank you for a wonderful magazine and for your fantastic articles . . . you are wiser than your years.
—Darlene Biasi

I love your magazine and all that it stands for.  I enjoy the articles about real women and all they have achieved in their lives. I do have one complaint: Why don’t the models reflect the age of your readers?  I’m sure that there are many older models out there—40 to 60 years old—that would better reflect us. Please consider!!!

—Toni Healey

After picking up a couple of issues of More on the newsstand, I subscribed this winter. I’ve enjoyed it very much and planned to write to send you my feedback after a year. I was so impressed with the April issue, however, that I’m writing earlier.

One’s first question might be why I subscribed. I live in an isolated mountain community, and like most of my contemporaries, wear little makeup and dress simply. I’ve never dyed my hair in my life and never intend to. Furthermore, at 66, I appear to be on the shady side of your target demographic.

The answer is that you speak to ME, me as I am now, not the younger version of 40 or even 20 years ago. I read the magazine from cover to cover in less than two days, and this is not unusual. I found all the articles interesting, and some, such as “The Caregiver Chronicles,” profoundly moving. One of your readers felt that the articles in the April issue were too long. To me they seemed just right—long enough to do justice to the material. Your tagline reads “For Women of Style & Substance.” Your magazine also has substance, for it feeds the intellect and soul as well as your readers’ inner model, fashionista or whatever.

My only request is that you also include the 70s in your “decade articles.” However, whether you do or don’t, I look forward to reading your magazine for many years.
—Kay Henderson, South Lake Tahoe, CA

I found your letter from the editor “My Slow-Down Secrets” particularly poignant. As I head toward my 45th birthday this summer, just about everything you wrote resonated with me. So much so that I read it to my high school freshman son to show him that some of what I talk about is shared by others in my position. Indeed I am not crazy.

I didn’t expect to begin crying as I reread aloud “The bassinet migrates to a dusty corner of the basement to be passed along.” But my son is used to my tears that come not just from sadness at the fact that he and his brother (H.S. junior) are growing so fast but also from powerful moments of truth. Wanting to slow down, to appreciate the moment and be present to this glorious life I have is an ongoing goal. As I got to the end of your letter, my son asked again what the title of the magazine was, and when I told him “More,” he asked, “Shouldn’t it be ‘Enough’?” I appreciate that a magazine that essentially promises “More” also encourages its readers to breathe deeply in “Enough.” Thank you.
—Suzanne Ostersmith

I just finished flipping through the April issue of More while things were slow at the office. I really enjoyed the memoir on page 124, “The Caregiver Chronicles.” It made me smile and cry at the same time. I too have a difficult relationship with my mother, Rita. She is not quite as elderly as Irene Graham and was never very glamorous, but the story got to me on a visceral level.

Please send my appreciation to Barbara Graham. I love the way she presented the love for each other that she and her mother were so very lucky to find.
—Marty Keane, New York
 

I love the magazine; it is a great fit for where I am in life. However, the repeated use of the phrase “the woman who has it all” to characterize Ms. Margulies made me angry enough to write. A woman (or a man) who works 16 hours a day, even at a lucrative job that she loves, and doesn’t spend time with her small child does NOT have it all. No reflection on the cover subject, but a very bad choice of words on the writer’s part.
—Linda DeRosett

Please tell Sandy Summers that Nurse Jackie is one of the worst programs about nursing that I have seen (“A Real Nurse Rates the TV Fakes”). The character is a drug addict, cheats on her husband and has sex with the hospital pharmacist who supplies her drug habit. Does Summers advocate supporting a show that involves a nurse working while under the influence of drugs? Do you think that the nurse is able to make sound clinical judgments and take care of patients safely?
—Suzanne Coste

I love your magazine. However, the articles in the April issue, while all great subjects, were way too long. I didn’t finish any of them.
—Lori Kash

Re “Look-Great-for-Your-Age Makeup in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s”:

What happened to the 70s? I am a 70-year-young gal, with plenty of zip and sparkle. I exercise every day for 30 minutes, in addition to doing Yoga and Pilates. I write a column for a local paper and have a small consulting business from home. I may be retired from my usual occupation; however, I have not retired from life.

Here is the deal: Most gals of a certain age have exchanged their rocking chairs for dancing shoes, and even at this age, we have reinvented ourselves. Many of us have found love again and enjoy fulfilling relationships. And can you believe that we even have sex!

There is no expiration date on life as you subtlely suggest in your magazine. What you are conveying is that at 70 we no longer care how we look or dress. Well, come to the North Fork of Long Island and meet us!

We 70-year-old gals may be over the proverbial hill, but guess what ? We are running down the other side while gals half our age are huffing and puffing trying to get up the hill.
Shame on you!
—Celia L. Iannelli, Long Island

When I first subscribed to your magazine, I was excited to find female-targeted publication that recognizes the existence and vitality of women over 40. Generally, I enjoy each issue, but the April 2012 publication actually angered me enough to write.

Your cover verbiage and photo certainly do emphasize the “style” of your masthead . . . attention-getter subjects such as anti-aging, fashion, living rich, burning calories and so forth, along with yet another magazine flaunting a photo of a popular actress.

But no mention of the lengthy article buried on page 102 about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which your writer even acknowledges as “(having) topped the Gallup Poll as the most admired woman in the world—for the 10th year in a row.”

C'mon! Women of style AND substance will buy a magazine that features a dynamic, powerful woman on the cover, even if she’s not an actress! Burying that article about Mrs. Clinton without even a cover mention, let alone a photo, is an affront to her and all of us who seek the “substance” in a publication you purport to have!
—Linda Davis, Inkom, ID

Re “Making Time for What Matters”: I have to say those four stories sent me soaring. I could relate to each one of them. Being a widow for over 20 years, living by the alarm clock, struggling to take time to slow down, and even adjusting to the fading sexual needs of my 75-year-old companion, I can see that each story touches a different time in my life. My children are grown, I still live alone (most of the time) and have cut back to part-time work. This gives me time to pursue my passion: painting and traveling with my friend. How wonderful to be able to look at some of these situations from a different perspective and realize that you can make lemonade out of lemons, no matter what time in your life.

Thank you for this absolutely wonderful issue, which is one of the best I’ve enjoyed.
—Pat Cooke

Just as I was prepared to allow my subscription to lapse, your April 2012 edition arrived. With the exception of the “beauty advice,” I read this one from cover to cover and for the first time recommended it to my mother, then took my copy to my future mother-in-law. We are completely different women (engineer, nurse practitioner, firefighter) but unanimous in our appreciation of the content from “Am I a Good Mother?” all the way through to the memoir “The Caregiver Chronicles.” We felt included, in this issue, in that the things of importance in our lives mattered to other women as well. The article on Ms. Clinton was brilliant and opened my eyes to a different woman, to be admired rather than loathed. With that said, my subscription is renewed, and each of my “moms” has a gift subscription as well, although I would prefer to savor the time reading with the two great women in my life. By far your best issue yet! Keep up the good work!
—Kim, Altus, OK

Let me begin by saying I am not your typical More reader: I am a 62-year-old male. Your magazine has much of interest to anyone over 40, male or female, and I enjoy reading it every month (except for the “Beautybook” section).

Some comments about the April issue:

I liked Lucy Liu’s comment about people not being able to take a compliment: “They could just say, ‘Thank you.’ ”

Nice that you included a brief item about South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. I am a liberal (on most issues), but as the mainstream media are always being accused of having an anti-conservative bias, it is good to see something that disproves this.

“Second Acts” is always one of my favorite features. I share the joy these women feel at discovering something that brings them happiness in midlife. I have been fortunate in finding something that I enjoy doing—customer service for a government agency—and in getting to work with a mostly female staff (the manager and all of the supervisors are women) who are smart and nice people to have as coworkers.

Regarding “Was I a Good Mother?,” the question I have to ask is (of course!) “Was I a Good Father?” Well, Lesley, my bright and beautiful daughter (Jessica) died of cancer in 2010 at the age of 25. I believe she would have given me a passing grade except I know she wished I had not had almost nonstop arguments with her mother about spending. Jessica’s mother (Carol) died in February 2010, just eight months before Jessica. J told me that she could not cry when her mother passed because she did not have a single happy memory of her. Sad; I wish it weren’t so, but it was true.

The article about Julianna Margulies was typical of More’s celebrity profiles: interesting and informative. Margulies seems to be a very likable person.

As a widower who lost a child, I now live alone as does Jenny Allen (“The Richness of Empty Evenings”), and I too have no reason to go home after work or on Saturday afternoons after I have had lunch at the mall and have been to the library. “And now I had a minute. I had many minutes, entire evenings of minutes.” It IS a kind of gift, but in my case a bittersweet one. I enjoyed the essays in “Making Time for What Matters”; sweet and thoughtful, all of them.

This is getting to be way too long! Something that comes with having so much time. Let me conclude by saying that I liked the article on Hillary Clinton. I have long admired her intelligence and her commitment to trying to make the world a better place, especially for women and children, but ultimately for us all.

You are doing a good job, Lesley, and you can be proud of your magazine.
—Roger Creps, Cleveland, OH

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the photo on page 42 (“The 13 Best Hair Tips You'll Ever Read,” March). I laughed out loud—brilliant!
—Susan Willats, Felton, CA

I have enjoyed your letters from the editor in the past. I was taken a back by this one, though. For a magazine aimed at women over 40, I was surprised to see you write, “Then all at once our children allow us to pee alone.” It sounded crass, unsophisticated and mostly juvenile. I think we would have gotten the point if you had said “. . . allow us to be in the bathroom alone.” The language of our culture has been on a slippery slope for a long time now, and I’m not sure your comment helped any.
—Sue Gilgen

Glad you have taken time to “smell the flowers” and have discovered gardening
and witnessing the hibiscus . . . I usually count birds on the wing or on the telephone wire on my way to work . . . am a “birder.”
—Charlotte Chickering, Sunshine State

First Published Tue, 2012-03-27 09:40

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http://www.more.com/your-letters-april-2012