I’m not actually on the couch — I’m firmly ensconced in my recliner with my arm wrapped in its foam cocoon. It’s late at night and regardless of taking a full dose of Percoset, I’m in pain and can’t sleep. When I can’t sleep I usually read or sit and ponder the problems of the world. I’m growing weary of the mindless chick lit I’ve been reading of late, so let’s ponder.
Tonight let’s tackle the subject of change. Why must we continuously improve things? Can we not occasionally leave well enough alone?
I subscribe to various magazines. One of these is a cooking magazine, Taste of Home. It’s an unobtrusive little cooking magazine made up of assorted recipes and little vignettes about the families behind those recipes. Along the way are kitchen tips and a fun little game of finding a toothpick that has been hidden somewhere in the copy. Gourmet it’s not. It’s not Food and Wine. It would never be confused with Bon Appetit. It’s simply an unpretentious homey magazine with the foods our mothers and grandmothers made. (Okay, maybe not my stepmother and stepgrandmother because they were Norwegian and couldn’t cook anything that didn’t end up gag-in-the-throat dry but that’s another story.)
While I wasn’t paying attention, some nitwit took my beloved Taste of Home and completely revamped it. The layout, the print, the sections, and the cover, are all improved. Even the recipes are aligned differently on the pages — the recipes used to resemble a 3×5 card you could put in a recipe box. Suddenly the recipes are more up and down instead of printed sideways. (The drugs must be kicking in because even I am having trouble understanding that last sentence.) In other words you used to have to turn the mag sideways to read the recipes but they fit the above-mentioned recipe box.
For reasons I can’t fathom some snot in the marketing office got the bright idea to also change the name — by using only lowercase letters. So instead of Taste of Home it’s taste of home. (But the ‘of’ is in slightly smaller print.) Huh? Why?
The changes don’t improve the magazine, they detract from my reading experience. To add insult to injury, the adorable little toothpick has been replaced (at least this month) with some cheesy clip art version of a ‘tasty layer cake’. I don’t want to search for cake, but for the toothpick.
Change isn’t always good; improvement isn’t always necessary; there is nothing wrong with tradition. I miss my old Taste of Home and I want the damn toothpick returned to its rightful place.