Monday, December 5, 2011

Back Issues: The New York Collection

Culling the fashion magazines stacked in one corner of my apartment was one of the first tasks that I undertook when I realized that my New York experiment had failed. It was no small feat. There were two and a half years of fashion tomes to consider. I took to my floor and made my way through them.

I’m generally not a collector of things. My dolls and stuffed animals were to be played with not enshrined. Many of my favorite books are bent and misshapen from spending various lengths of time in my purse. But the stack of magazines was different. Outside of a dust bunny here or there, they were in mint condition. No scribblings in the margins. No sticky notes. No dogeared pages.

Over two years after the move back, I’m still semi-packed. Suitcases are half full and boxes still untouched as I cling to the idea of this move being temporary. So in a box with books that followed me from college to home to Brooklyn and back again, as well as those picked up during my time on my own, live three magazines. As I sat staring at them this morning, my eyes welled up a bit. I had forgotten how many I had gotten rid of. I must have kept more than this. But at that moment in the spring of 2009, I was determined to be an adult about all of it. No crying over silly things. So I was vicious and hard and lugged pile after pile out to be recycled never thinking that one day I’d be 28 and a half, still living at home, and missing them.

The oldest of the three is the Fall-Winter 2008 edition of Vogue Paris Collections. It is an adult, fashion picture book. Photographs of the collections presented neatly in rows on each page. The last quarter dedicated to headshots of accessories. Good enough reasons for keeping it but not the truth of the matter. This magazine was a gift from my mother, and I kept it to commemorate one of those brief and fleeting moments when she seemed to understand me.

The March 2009 Vogue famously had the first lady on the cover in a pink Jason Wu. The fact that this magazine made it back to Boston barely warrants an explanation.

Lastly, there was the May 2009 Vogue.

It was kept because it reminded me of a magazine from long ago. One that lived forgotten in my mother’s house until recently.

When my best friend entered my apartment for the first time after I had gotten rid of them all, she looked at me in shock. Their absence was the ultimate sign that I was waving the white flag.

My current room, the room of my childhood, has magazines from my second post-collegiate Boston turn strewn about. When it’s time to leave this place, parting with them might not be filled with quite as much sorrow.

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