Occasionally I like to have the odd flick through a girly magazine. Yes, you heard me right, but it does my heart and my future career good to know what's out there for young women. I would like to point out, just for good measure, that I often skip straight to the real life stories, gloss over the make-up section (if only to learn that I've been applying the incorrect eye-shadow in an incorrect manner for the past three years of my life), skip through 'This Month's Must-Haves' to check whether tie-dye is back in see if I missed anything on the bargain rail in Primark, before catching the whimsical but pointless list on the back page (this month: '15 Things He Should Do If He Really Loves You'. Etnad scored top marks, making me the smuggest bitch in Christendom) and pass a glance at the generic shirtless beefcake, realising that in my eyes he will never be as lovely as Etnad before falling asleep in a dopey position with my face stuck to the Letters Page.
So anyway. Seeing as though I abhorred any kind of 'chick lit' material until my eyes were opened by a Graphic Design course and my dearest Liz, which was roughly during my last year of College, I must say things might be looking up. Thin is no longer in. Not that I'm happy about that because I hate thin people, being a little more, ahem, voluptuous in bodily volume than your average girl, I just believe it shouldn't have taken this long for people to realise that catwalk models are starving slowly to death. So commences the nadir of the herion waifs, and perhaps a long apogee of curvy women. Fingers crossed.
But one magazine made a horrific downfall. Splashed in the middle of the mag was an article entitled something along the lines of 'How To Get Your Man To Propose'. It was a freelance piece - don't get me wrong; I intend to be one myself, I am merely pointing out that it was not to the magazine's standard - accompanied by a charming picture of a young woman in a bridal gown drawing pictures of massive diamond rings and writing sporadic bursts of marraige-related lexis on an old school blackboard.
The idea behind it: treat your man like an idiot. Abhorr marriage - whine about how you've been invited to a friends' wedding and you hate it, pretend to tie your shoe when a wedding car goes by, yawn audibly through the exchanging of vows. Do this for as long as it takes for him to get the message: you hate weddings.
Now comes the ingenious part: invent an excuse (boiler broken, plumbing being fixed, Hun invasion) to move into his place with him for a week. Then you go from the sublime to the ridiculous (much like this magazine). To paraphrase: "wear stockings and silk shirts and be seen taking a fish pie out of the oven when he comes home." I'm sorry. Fish pie? Silk shirt? Anyone with half a Y chromosome should know that when you bend down in stockings there'll be more pings than a table-tennis tournament. The idea, according to the writer, was to be the most fabulous girlfriend in the world. Which is all very well. But there is with women a certain point during every month or so when we don't want any contact with fish or stockings, we want Bridget Jones's Diary on DVD and some cotton pajamas and the only men we want intimate contact with are called Ben and Jerry. And it doesn't even have to be our 'lady time' either.
I'm just saying, why are women of a certain age assumed to be obsessed with marriage? You'd think with the popularity of Sex and The City, which points out quite well that marriage doesn't mean you waltz off into the sunset possessed with the instant urge to re-populate and everything's sunshine lollipops and rainbows from then on. In my generation, I happen to be of a very slim percentage of two-parent families who haven't yet experienced marriage crisis. A lot of my friends have a mum or a dad living elsewhere, so every day I count myself lucky. But I also dread the day my future husband and I hit our first obstacle: how will we cope?
All I'm saying is that if I can figure all this out at nineteen, why are thirty-somethings still confused? Marriage isn't everything, but it's a nice idea. A possibility, like going to University or seeing the world. I haven't doen either yet, and I don't expect to open a magazine and find someone trying to tell me how to do it the 'easy way'.
Teeny ~ "If you now have 'Sunshine, Loillipops and Rainbows' in your head, I've done my job"