Subscription Unfulfillment

One day, about five years ago, Husband filled out a form online to receive a free one-year subscription to "Time Magazine." No strings attached (yeah, right). Sounds great; right? Until a few weeks later, out of the blue, we start receiving "Stuff," "Maxim" and another magazine whose name escapes me right now, all aimed at a target demographic, seemingly, of frat boys 18 to 22 years old. I wanted to run out to our mail carrier and explain to her, "Really, these aren't ours. We didn't order them," but decided that would just come off looking desperate. When Husband checked the date code on front, it read that we'd be receiving these for about 2 1/2 more years!

Soon we started getting "Field & Stream" (!?!) and "Car & Driver," followed by something I'd never heard of called "Hollywood Life." If you see a pattern here, I'd love you to tell me what it is. Oh, and we did get our "Time" faithfully every week for a year.

So Husband, who's past work has included running a publishing company, informed me that this is what's known as "fulfillment." In other words, when a magazine fails to meet its stated circulation numbers through declining subscriptions, they send out free issues to people (presumably on a list with information like the one Husband filled out for "Time") and they do this so they can charge the same rates to their advertisers.

Now, for those of you out there who think Husband was foolish for signing up for the free magazine, he's the most unfoolhardy person I know; never, ever does anything like that. I guess the prospect of free time was too much for him to pass up (sorry).

After a couple years, we stopped receiving these various and sundry magazines. Flash forward two years. Out of the blue again, we are now receiving "Popular Mechanics," "Popular Science," "Entertainment Weekly," something called "Country Living" and just started receiving "Better Homes and Gardens," which is the only one I read. Hey, I can have fantasies too.

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