In middle school, we’d do this fundraiser where we sold magazine subscriptions. There were of course prizes for hitting certain bench marks, and though no memory of what any of the prizes were, I remember that I just HAD. TO. HAVE. THEM. My mom usually renewed her People Magazine subscription, maybe Ladies Home Journal, and that was about the end of that. I would always beg herto let me subscribe to Seventeen, and she’d always reply with the same answer, “But you’re not seventeen.” True, I was 12, but I didn’t care. “Gosh, mom, you don’t understaaaaaaand!” I’d whine, to no avail. Mom never could come up with as snappy a line for banning a subscription to YM, but I didn’t get one of those either (R.I.P., YM).
That’s not to say I wasn’t reading Seventeen. I’d save my pennies to buy a copy every once in a while, or I’d read it at a friend’s house (one whose mother didn’t take the title quite so literally). Everything I know about makeup? Seventeen magazine and one Mary Kay party with my Girl Scout troop. How to style my greasy, fine, boring brown hair for prom? Seventeen magazine. Endless hours spent lusting after Dawson, Pacey, Noel, Lance Bass (hey, we didn’t know then what we know now), and Jonathan Taylor Thomas? Seventeen magazine. It played a role in my teenage years, all of ‘em.
So I gotta say, the teenage Lauren that still lives inside me was freaking giddy to whip out my credit card and purchase my very own subscription (and a year of Teen Vogue for only $10 more!) without even having to ask my mother’s permission (though I’m pretty sure she’d still say no …).
Remember when you’d finally see the September issue, just before summer ended, and you could start planning your rockin’ back to school outfits? I always thought that maybe THIS would be the year that I’d finally be super cool (spoiler alert, that year never actually came). But maybe this is why my mom wasn’t too keen on those subscriptions … they never quite got your actual life right. It was like watching 90210 and thinking your life was ever going to resemble that. Just total fantasy.
But still, it was something to aspire to, it was escapist and gave me hope, and I imagine that’s still true for teens today. So even though I’m still not seventeen (and haven’t been for more than a decade!), I’m now officially a Seventeen subscriber. See, your teenage dreams DO eventually come true. Publish a book and subscribe to Seventeen … all at the age of 29!
There is one last teenage dream livin’ inside me … I always wanted to write for Seventeen. I’d always enter all their fiction contests, and I even pitched them a story about teen sex when I was a junior (I never heard back). But maybe some day …