Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ask Capitol Hill Barbie

CapHill Barbie,

I'm sitting here at my makeshift corner office dreaming about when my boss leaves town on Friday. I'm thinking about all the things I can do!!

I can go back and forth to the bathroom without my Blackberry in hand (that buzzing sound in the stalls is seriously disturbing) and walk at a normal pace, instead of a sprint.

I can finally cure that case of scurvy I've gotten from eating out of the vending machine all the time.

And I can actually read something other than the Congressional Record, Roll Call and The Hill (well, and of course, your blog!). I'm super excited about the September issues of magazines that are bound to be hitting the newstand soon, but with all that reading material, I need a strategy! What to do???

Thanks...Daydreaming in Dirksen.

Hey DiD!

I know how you feel! The second that gavel hits announcing the recess of the session I'm running out of the building like those kids in Dazed and Confused with "School's Out for Summer" playing in the background. Anyone want to haze the incoming staffers by paddling them and spraying them with ketchup and mustard?

I too have been dreaming of the days where I can tote around an issue of Vogue the size of the Peoria phonebook and pore over glossy photos of clothes which would cause certain death by heat exhaustion if I wore them now.

But with so many magazines arriving, you must have a plan.

First, if you are like me and subscribe to most (okay fine, almost all) fashion magazines, the September issues can cause serious Mailbox Buckling.

It is important NEVER to let your mailbox go unemptied during a day in August, lest both Vogue and InStyle arrive on the very same day. It is possible that your mailman will keep one or both until there is more room, creating a neverending cycle of backlog which is very bad.

It also helps here to grease the palm of your mailman so he doesn't get mad at you for contributing several extra pounds to his sack. Since federal employees cannot accept gifts worth more than $10, try to catch him on a hot day and offer to buy him a Frappucino or a cold glass of iced tea or something. A little goes a long way here. Your magazines will arrive in pristine condition from now on.

Second, this is a good time to throw away all back issues of magazines clogging up your apartment, blocking air vents, hiding pets, etc. This also creates goodwill with anyone with whom you happen to be sharing an apartment. Especially if he is prone to saying, "How many magazines can one person read??? And why can't you ever throw any of them away??"

Third, since you are cleaning out your stash, this is also a good time to bring the most recent month's stack to someone who likes magazines but doesn't actually read any, like a friend or coworker. This can also be a sly way of saying, please throw away those acid washed jeans or short sleeved seersucker number you've been swanning around in. Newsflash, even though a Bush is in the White House and despite what you see on VH1, the 90's are over.

Fourth, if you simply cannot wait for the ones which you have already subscribed to, go for a fast-food-esque fix with one that you wouldn't normally read. The ones hitting the stands first are Marie Claire and Shop Etc.

Fifth, once the good ones start trickling in, prioritze. I like to save the best shopping ones for last if I can, especially Vogue, Allure and InStyle. Lucky gets consumed first, because it comes early in the month and is conducive to a second read-through later. Bazaar next, because there really isn't ever anything to read.

Sixth, when they arrive, flip through and rip out any card inserts right away. Even if you will not read it until November, trust me, it saves time, energy and frustration later. Imagine you are enjoying a day of leisure, sipping iced coffee at Patisserie Poupon in your best faux-Euro-cool outfit flipping through Vogue (the only acceptable magazine in the presence of someone French) and a card for a "free PINK panty" from Vicky S. falls out and skids across the courtyard. Can you spell gauche? I can.

Seventh, make lists!! Make lists of what you want for fall, use those little tabs in Lucky, rip out articles, etc. This will help you prioritze when the weather is actually cool enough to shop for wool without dry-heaving.

Eighth, yes, I am a total anal retentive lunatic. But only for this month....

Also, seriously, email me with questions. Otherwise I plan on making up softball questions for myself like those lobbed by Jeff Gannon. Make like Helen Thomas!


BabsieD said...

Now that's a plan!

I keep running home every day after work thinking one of them HAS to arrive. The only thing that's keeping me sane is my non-stop online search of summer clearance items that will carry into fall!

caphillbarbie said...

I know how you feel. I am desperate for something good. Lucky is my favorite, but I doubt that will be here until next week. Then it's the long wait until Vogue arrives.

DC Celine said... could just plan another trip to NYC and hit the stores before the mags arrive... ;-)

caphillbarbie said...

Funny you should mention that! I am actually headed up again this weekend!! But it's so hard to shop for fall stuff when it is so hot out. I prefer to stay in the air conditioning and plot my plan of attack.

Although I'm sure there will be a little shopping...

(Lucky arrived yesterday and it's HUGE!!)

Anonymous said...

Great "Q&A"! And I'm super jealous that your Lucky arrived already ((pouts))

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