The other day, a magazine arrived addressed to a former occupant of my apartment. It was a copy of The Nest magazine, which is published by theknot.com. The thinking seems to be that women go to theknot.com and buy The Knot magazine to prepare for their weddings, and then once they're married, they move on to The Nest. If there was ever a reason to want to avoid becoming a "married," as they refer to themselves, this would be it.
First of all, they seem to be this secret little club that they're all so psyched and relieved to have joined! Ew. Also, it's totally this, like, "how do I get my DH [dear husband; they use the most idiotic acronyms for everything—more on that later] to wash the dishes, I don't want to feel like a nag?"
The worst part is that all single women's paranoia that married women actually do pity them seems to ACTUALLY BE TRUE. Chalk one up for femiladyism? Ugh. NO. This is the very heart of the wedding industrial complex! (Sorry, Jezebel.)
Here are some of the magazine's features. Page 22, "Are You a Smug Married? Do you feel slightly superior now that you've said 'I do'? Are you sure?," which is a confusing, unfunny chart of the various things you can think if you're at a dinner party full of couples and notice a single girl across from you. And the options are: "Poor thing—she's the only unmarried one here"; "Maybe I could set her up with...": "Wow, it's been awhile since my single days." And it goes on from there.
Or how about the piece on bedroom etiquette. One problem seems to be the "stink bug," who "finds great joy in creating smelly situations under the covers (more often the male). The victim is often unaware and tricked into bed." Right! Because women aren't allowed to fart, obviously. Oh, and the magazine's advice? "Have a good laugh and then grow up. Unless there's a medical issue behind the rumblings (or a spicy meal), ask that all gas be passed before entering the bedroom and an effort be made to send the blast to the other side of the room. Keep air freshener handy." What... the... hell. CONTROL FREAKS. Sometimes people have to fart! Sometimes it smells. Sometimes it doesn't! Also, can you imagine? "Honey, can you turn your ass to the other side? Thanks. Oh, and close your eyes, I'm going to spray air freshener now." Seriously, deal.
There's a "Love Doctor" section, where people (or wives) have written in to the magazine's website with their issues; presumably the "best" ones are chosen for the print edition: "This weekend my husband is going away with his friends and I am glad. What's wrong with me?" That you've been conditioned to believe that you're supposed to be attached at the hip? WTF. Or how about: "I try not to nag my husband but sometimes I really need to remind him of the things he needs to do. He says I hassle him, so how can I come across nicer?" Here's a hint: He's a dick, and you're a nag. Get a divorce.
Here's how some of their readers "veg" out: "We get into bed and play rock, paper, scissors. Loser has to get up and turn off the light." "We rent a movie and go for a walk to get it. Sometimes we stop for dessert along the way." "Watching Scrubs reruns while cleaning up the kitchen."
There's a decorating section and a cooking section ("5 Yummy Weeknight Meals"), and an article on how to fake a clean home. And an advice column about "your space squared": "My husband always pulls the top sheet up so that it slips out the bottom of the bed and looks sloppy. How can I make the bed look neater?" Or: "We just bought our first place and I am so stressed about picking out paint colors! Where do I start?"
Then there's a hideous spread, which is also on the cover, of two video-game controllers, called "Marriage: The Video Game." "His" controller has buttons called "Butt Blocker: Activate to prevent her from asking whether her butt looks too big in an outfit," and "Mute: Hold down during spazzing episodes. Warning: Overuse reduces button's effectiveness" and "Reload: Push to have chip and guacamole supply replenished during the game" and "Turbo Boost: Press rapidly to make her bolt from shoe stores." Har har! "Hers" has buttons for "Upgrade: Touch to receive peonies in an elegant vase, not a mixed bouquet with filler in a wicker basket" and "Instant Replay: Press for him to do beer-gut blasting sit-ups" and "Fire: Press to transmit mild shock when he says your haircut looks 'interesting.'"
In the "life" section there's a couple pages about pregnancy. Just to, you know, prime the pump, we suppose! Including a "message board slang decoder," so when you're trolling UrbanBaby or whatever you'll know that BD means "baby dance" which means SEX. OMG SEX. SEX SEX SEX. Seriously, they can't say the word "sex"? Also SH means "stupid/silly husband."
It's like every stereotype about relations between men and women was codified by a bunch of women at a Tupperware party in South Orange in 1957. Please, someone, tell us that this isn't really how it is? Please?