Lost, I tell you.
What the hell am I going to do without Domino Magazine?
I don’t watch television. I’ve never seen a complete episode of 24 or American Idol. I abhor reality shows of all kinds. I watch reruns of sitcoms and Yo Gabba Gabba with Tog. I don’t shop unless I have to. Don’t play a sport or participate in nothin’. What do I do?
I read magazines.
I clench my teeth when TheHusband thumbs through a magazine with disinterest before I’ve even cracked it open. I dive across the coffee table to keep my new issue of Esquire out of Tog’s sticky fingers.
Don’t play with my magazines: my smooth, creamy, glossy magazines.
I know, I know. Print is dead. Yeah. yeah. yeah. Right now, my newsstands are full. So I’m not giving up hope.
I used to subscribe to over twenty different magazines when I was first starting out as a writer. I truly believe that I put myself through an unofficial but vigorous version of journalism school. I studied the magazines consistently, making notes on who wrote what and how.
These days, I read for entertainment.
And one of my very favorites has been Domino, a lifestyle magazine devoted to home interiors.
Now. Let me make something very clear. We’ve talked about my fashion reject status.
Well my new house, a starter home we just bought this summer, is also far from catalog ready.
We’re still in triage mode, working on patching the roof, fixing plumbing issues and just planning out how to make the space our own. And our budget is more Ikea than Design With Reach.
But oh how I love kicking up on my over-sized and outdated Levitz couch with a copy of Domino and a cup of hot cocoa.
Where else can I salivate over a wallpapered room that I don’t think my house could EVER pull off.
How come I feel like this could only work in the pages of Domino? If I did this to one of my bedrooms, I feel like it would immediately smell like moth balls and become really dusty. But in the magazine, it works.
And now, no more Domino?
How else will I know how beautiful and wonderful all the things are that I can’t afford! The custom rolls of wallpaper. The gutting of a farmhouse in the Hamptons. The completely impractical rooms like this one:
I’m not even sure if I like this room. It sort of gives me a headache. But it’s done. It matches. There’s a theme going on. I salivate over the fact that this room is complete.
Here’s what’s in my bedroom, no exaggeration:
1. A bed from Ikea that was put back together incorrectly by the movers so now one plank is backwards and off color and has a white IKEA label on it.
2. One dresser, also from Ikea, that is literally falling apart.
3. Two side tables, ALSO from Ikea. And piles of clothes with no home in our tiny closets.
We have no pictures up. No color. No life. And none of our bedding matches.
It’ll come together eventually.
But until then, I just pretended I live in the pages of Domino.
And then, every single person ever featured in the magazine is always effortlessly chic. The type of people who plan a last-minute dinner party and amazingly have matching plates and silverware for all the guests. Or worse yet, they don’t have matching cutlery, but it’s okay because everything is still kitschy and cute and perfect.
I fantasize about being one of those women. The women who say, “Oh that piece? I picked it up at a bazaar in Marrakech when I lived there a few years back.” Or the women who manage to wrap themselves up in prints and fabrics and not look ridiculous. You know those women. They have homes that make sense, homes that have a theme. They can prop up a picture on the floor against a wall and it looks like it belongs there. I prop up a picture and someone just keeps tripping over it until it falls and cracks.
When I read Domino, I can escape. I can see the good in my house. Like the one hundred year-old hardwood floors that are just begging to be refinished: one day. I see window treatments that could dress up the whackness I’ve got going on in my living room.
I see possibilities. And I can dream.
But no longer. It was announced this week that Conde Nast is shutting down Domino after the March issue. This lack of affordable fabulosity in my life will be sorely missed.
Even the staffers at Domino had it going on. Look at Dara Caponigro, the Style Editor. (We’re gonna pretend we don’t realize how awkward her last name is. And we will NOT wonder if anyone has ever asked her if she’s ever Capped a Negro. We won’t go there.)
Dara is (was) the Style Director at Domino. And I noticed whenever she was featured in the magazine, she always looked as if she belonged there. The same way I’d imagine Anna Wintour only wants girls who look a certain way to work at Vogue. Could a slouch like me with a bootleg house even work at a place like Domino? I doubt it. I’ll bet they would interview you in your home and ask you about how you made your design choices.
In the above story, Dara said something that really resonated with me:
Don’t let anything into your house that you’re not in love with. Be ruthless!
Now, I totally get this sentiment. But lines like that would make me sometimes want to hurl my issue of Domino across a room. I moved from an apartment to a house and while I did shed a lot of pre-marriage crap, had I followed Dara’s advice, I’d be writing this post while sitting on the floor. I’d have NOTHING. Because I am not in love with ANYTHING in my house. Not one piece of furniture makes me say, “well at least I have this…” Nothing.
But even though the people in Domino always made me feel like a failure. (And a poor failure at that.) But I still appreciated the magazine for exactly what it is (was):
Plain and simple. Magazines like Domino function as porn for people like me who salivate over steamer trunks and daybeds. I’m the geeky guy who might never pull a girl in real life. He fantasizes with his dream girl. I fantasize with my dream living room.
And that one-way love affair ends with the next and final issue. And this makes me sad.
This is not the first time I’ve had to bid adieu to a magazine I loved: There was Brill’s Content, George, Suede, Vibe Vixen. Hell, in the seventies, I was hurt when Ebony Jr. stopped coming in the mail…
Dear Readers: is there any publication that you feel this way about? If Essence or Details or King went under, would you feel choked up? Did you ever lose one of your very favorite magazines. Do you still miss it?
I’d love to hear from you…