Just behind that sense of ennui, though, lurks the Christmas 1988 issue of Family Circle. It cost 70p at the time. And, presumably, eBay would see this icon go for at least 75p with free postage and packaging. It is a little dog-eared but that just shows it's been loved.
We start, naturally enough with the Editor's Letter. I'm sure you will need no reminding that 1988 saw Jill Churchill still firmly seated in the editor's chair (According to Wikipedia Family Circle was still selling 580,000 copies every issue in 1984 - wowzer) and she provides us with a cracking letter.
First she clears up something that must have been troubling a great number of people, 'If you were travelling between Little Snoring and Great Snoring on September 1st, here at last is proof that you didn't dream the scene below! Father Christmas did pay an early visit to this sleep corner of East Anglia.' Good that she's cleared up that which Anglians had put down to a mass hallucination, but THREE months after it happened? Oh I'm sure she had such fun thinking of the confused farmers presuming mental deterioration had set in early.
Good to know, however, that apart from 'startling a tractor driver' this passed 'otherwise without incident'. Jill conveniently ignores the fact tractors are incredibly powerful machines and a startled driver of one could easily kill hundreds. Never mind that Jill, ey? You had your japes. Jolly old Jill.
Anyway, after callous Jill's retelling of her calculated decision to inflict mental and physical torture on a sleepy part of East Anglia we have Reader to Reader, a collection of tweets basically but LONGER.
Oh what gems lie here for the modern woman who wants to look her best:
'A reader who had lost inches off her thighs through continually stepping over her toddler's safety gate asked for an equally effortless way to flatten her stomach. One answer is to constantly tighten and relax tummy muscles (and bottom, while you're at it) while standing doing the washing up, peeling potatoes, etc. A frequent, painless and effective exercise.' Mrs JC, Burton. Looking through Heat magazine and mumsnet I fail to see this piece of advice. This could explain why women are fat now. Come on, ladies, have a bit of respect for yourself, do the goddam washing up and get yourself thin.
Don't worry, though, the past doesn't just let you look good. It also helps your child be repeatedly bullied at school Mrs SD from Buckinghamshire hated her 11 year old daughter so much that she basically wrote, 'my daughter doesn't like friends and she hates you most of all' on the party invites and now she boasts about it infront of 580,000 people:
'Stuck for small gifts to give my daughter's 11-year-old friends at the end of her party, I bought a pad of coloured writing paper, a pack of similar envelopes, and two packs of pens. We arranged four sheets of paper with matching envelopes and pen, nicely angled on a stiff piece of card, wrapping the whole in cling film. An atractive gift for less that fifty pence.' Mrs SD is a liar. This is not attractive. Nor is it a gift. I have literally NO IDEA what she was trying to make. The idea sounds so fucking abhorrent that my head won't let me visualise it. She is 11, she has probably just started secondary school. She has to spend at least 5 years with these people. They will shape her life. AND THIS IS HOW YOU LET THEM REMEMBER HER. How unpopular were you at school, Mrs SD, that you have to take it out on your child. Jesus Christ, even I went to Camelot and McDonalds for my birthdays and I did actually hate the children I went to school with.
Finally Mrs KV of Doncaster offers advice for all you women (I say that as if any girl would listen to me speak and then think, 'Hey, I'd love to hear more of his foul-mouthed borderline misogynist shouts.' - they only think that because women don't understand irony): 'At a party recently I was talking to a young woman who, when asked if she was married, replied: 'No, I'm a bachelette.' Although said as a joke, don't you think it ofer and attractive alternative to spinster, as well as sounding more positive than single, with its unpleasant 'on-the-shelf' overtones?' What Mrs KV, despite her good intentions, doesn't realise that we men don't judge women on what words they use but what they look like. Oh, pretty little simple creature.
Here we get into typically creepy territory:
As much as I applaud any company that gives a modern take on just wiping your bottom after the toilet I dislike the fact it's now made me worried that I was just wiping where Hakke Moists would have really cleaned. I alos dislike the fact that they've got naked children in their advert. That doesn't seem cool. That family should not be that comfortable together and if they are not a real family that's probably a little bit weird.
This wasn't really Christmassy was it? I do have Christmas games to play. They will go in an edit. Maybe.