I've heard that something becomes a habit after two to four weeks of steady reinforcement. If that's true, then I have a problem, because I've done something for the past three weeks:
I have apparently become a habitual buyer of "In Touch" magazine.
I'm not really sure how this happened. I do know that it keeps happening at the grocery store, though. I'll get to the register, start loading things onto the belt, and then think, "That looks mindless and trashy. Maybe it would be fun to read."
Then I get home, and discover that I had the same thought last week. And the week before.
For those unfamiliar with it, "In Touch" is part of the celebrity tabloid genre of magazines, although the word "celebrity" is questionable in some cases. Is someone who was on MTV's "Teen Mom" a celebrity? Or someone who dated a celebrity but hasn't really done anything themselves? And why is it such a crisis when any of them go outside without makeup? The world may never know, but to spare you the pain of developing a habit like mine, I'd like to share the top six things that I've learned from reading "In Touch".
Hopefully the public shaming associated with admitting to knowing these things will keep me from buying it again.
1) Jennifer Aniston might be pregnant. Or she might not be. I've now read multiple articles on whether or not Jen has been walking around with a baby bump. She might have a little bit of a belly, she might just have made some unflattering outfit choices, or, according to un-named "friends" (Ross? Monica? Joey?) she might be in fertility treatments and praying desperately for a child, and those treatments might have already worked. Either way, if you'd like to see a lot of pictures of Jennifer Aniston with captions like, "First bump photo?" or "Could it be?" and little arrows pointing at her midsection, then "In Touch" is the magazine for you.
Also, her face might be rounder, and her breasts might be fuller, according to "In Touch" and her "friends". They've subjected her body to so much scrutiny over the last three weeks that I'm surprised there hasn't been a photo with an arrow pointing at her crotch and a caption that says, "Penis went here!"
2) Jessica Simpson's weight is in a constant state of flux. One week her "friends" are concerned because she can't shed the baby weight and cannot stop snacking on hot, buttered Pop Tarts, but the next week she's losing the baby weight and ready to show off her new body. The week after that, her weight is no longer newsworthy, and there are no articles about it.
3) The mom of a teen mom on "Teen Mom" thinks the teen mom is a bad mom. Remember, this is coming from a mom whose sole accomplishment as a mother is raising a teen who became a teen mom and whose only accomplishments are being a teen mom on "Teen Mom" and making a sex tape. There's so much bad mothering in this paragraph that I feel like I might need a flow chart to break it down, but I can say with pride that I have never watched "Teen Mom".
4) Amanda Bynes' friends are concerned about her for multiple reasons. The main reason is her recent psychological trouble, and former coworkers and "friends" like Nick Cannon are reaching out to offer their support. However, other "friends" are concerned that Amanda's breakdown is way too close to the one Britney Spears had several years ago: both shaved their heads, acted out, and appeared in public in "wild wigs", all of which "In Touch" is happy to show us with side by side photo comparisons. I can only hope that if I ever have my own breakdown my "friends" will be there to reach out and make sure I don't just copy one from someone more famous.
5) The three oldest Kardashian girls have all made terrible choices in romantic partners. Khloe has reached her breaking point, and will no longer stand by Lamar through his multiple affairs. She has not yet reached a breaking point on the spelling of her first name, though. Kim has been trapped in her home by an insanely jealous Kanye West, according to several "friends". As evidence, they offer the fact that Kim has not been photographed in public since June 12, which is, for Kim, like saying she hasn't eaten since June 12. One imagines her walking desperately from room to room in her gilded cage mansion prison, begging the maids or possibly Kanye to please, just take a casual photo of her. As for Kourtney, sometimes the father of her children, Scott Disick, is photographed eating in public without a shirt on. Based on the photos, he also chews with his mouth open.
I can't decide which girl has the most tragedy, so I'm just going to vote for myself.
6) Teresa Giudice is in a lot of legal and possibly marital trouble. I already knew this from my dedicated viewing of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey", but the very media spotlight that created Teresa's "charmed life" of grifting, mortgage fraud, and theft now threatens to destroy it. She's been worried about her daughters for three weeks, but her shifting loyalties to her husband can't help but surface as the weeks reading "In Touch" pass. According to "friends" (one of whom I guarantee is Kim D.), Teresa was going to stand by her man, but now may testify against him to save herself from prison and to save her daughters from being raised by her "glamorous" arch-rival, her sister-in-law Melissa.
Extra Bonus Fact that I learned:
Kellan Lutz has feelings, too. Gazing plaintively at us over his shirtless pectorals, which are roughly the size and shape of Montana, Kellan would like us to know that "I don't want to be a piece of meat for the rest of my career." He then immediately returned to filming "Hercules 3D", a film where his only costume seems to be a leather skirt.
And that sums up my three weeks reading "In Touch".
From here on out I think I'll stick to food magazines.