01 October 2005

Your miles may be expiring.

The largest source of junk mail for me is affiliate offers from airlines intended to increase my opportunities to accumulate reward mileage. I routinely shred credit card offers and the like, so I was in no rush to open the letter I received yesterday. The only reason it got opened today was because my internet was being wonky for a few minutes, and I felt like reducing the clutter on my desk.

As usual there is a deadline for action about a month from now, but in an unusual twist, there's actually something I can get for my miles without giving them credit card info. My balance is far from the realm of free flights, and now that I'm back on my home coast, it's not likely to increase any time soon, so it might be worth considering the deal.

When I turned the letter over, I saw that it was a list of magazines, much in the style of all those record clubs I've always avoided. They never had enough albums I wanted to make it worthwhile. The first magazine title I read was: Arthritis Self-Management, so I figured this would be much the same.

I'm not even much of a magazine person. The last subscription I had was to American Cinematographer, and I gave that up a few years ago, so I didn't really expect to see anything I'd want. I was wrong though.

Vogue caught my eye, and suddenly I felt like years of social conditioning had just been reactivated. I'm not a Vogue woman. In blue carpenter jeans, a maroon stretchy waffle knit with sleeves designed to be a little too long, and my faded black, decal-cracking Twin Peaks Sheriff Department t-shirt over it, I am slightly more dressed up than usual today. However despite my comfort first philosophy on clothes, I do like fashion.

Since choosing Vogue would only use about a quarter of my miles, I scanned the list for additional titles of interest. In picking them, I felt a little vulnerable: personality quiz results to be exposed monthly on my doorstep. More accurately, my parents' doorstep. I never expected junk mail could teach me something about myself. My reticence is no surprise, but that I might turn down free schwag for it is. Hmm.

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