So I got married last year and despite some ridiculous claim that I was not going to use The Knot.com (a useful but sometimes annoying and occasionally addictive wedding website) I totally did. I used the crap out of it: etiquette questions, wedding website setup, to-do lists, all that jazz. The people at the Knot are somewhat devious, however: they have a system set up wherein they can see you through, website-wise, to your inevitable death. After you get married The Knot.com automatically sends you to The Nest.com, a website for newly-marrieds, and then, I bet you can see this coming, there is The Bump.com. I guess after that comes The Box.com, for all your funeral planning needs.
The Nest.com has its own magazine, which I know because I involuntarily receive it. This magazine absolutely drives me crazy, because it reminds me of all the annoying things about bridal culture today, except that it's moved on past the wedding and on to this smug state of upper-middle-class (and higher) heterosexual newlywed bliss that I can't stand. It seems like a quarter of the magazine is about other "Nesties" (yes, that's the cultish name they've given us) who have just gotten married, just gotten a house, just celebrated their anniversary. Excuse me, but I have friends already: they were the people who were at my wedding. Good for people who are living happy lives but I'm not interested in them just because they're in my demographic.
Also, the Nest encourages people, it seems, not to let go of your wedding day. I saw a 'recipe' for sticking a bottle of vodka in a watermelon which actually is a wonderful idea but for some reason the copy tied it into a wedding. "Sure, it may remind you of your wedding day, but you don't have to worry about color coordination!" the text sorta went. Wha? Why does a delicious summertime cocktail have any relevance to anyone's wedding? I hate to see what they'll have to say when they have a recipe for cake.
Another gripe I have is that half the magazine is about buying things. I know, welcome to the world of magazines (especially those geared towards women). But Nest, understand this: maybe you can sell adorable throw pillows, kitchen utensil organizers, party materials and outdoor accessories to people who have just gotten married and who still have that comfortable cushion of checks to rest upon, but we cannot afford all these cute things (and please don't forget, publishers, that a lot of us are also going to get catalogs from Crate & Barrel until the end of the world happens). I mean it was nice that there was a little piece in the last issue about finances, but it was about living on one salary. That must be one big-ass salary if you're going to pay the mortgage, paint the kitchen, accessorize the house, take a camping trip AND buy vodka.
Finally, this is not related to a larger issue of strategic catering to young people at various life stages, but the last issue had a fluff piece on the cuckoo-crazy scenario of "What happens if we ordered off the kids' menu for an entire week?" That just makes me mad as a writer, because that piece is dumb as can be, but I also know there is a writer out there who got paid to do that and I am jealous.
In theory a magazine for newlyweds is not a bad idea but only if it's one where it stops pretending like we're all in this exclusive totally fun club where we're all ("all"=happy rich straight marrieds) endlessly special and happy and shopping and eating macaroni and cheese and drinking watermelon vodka.
Or maybe I'm just mad because that ISN'T my life. I need a website called The Crab.com.