I do love a good magazine. Now good can mean anything depending on my mood. A foodie mag, some celebrity gossip, fashion, short stories and writing or lifestyle and home.
Proper girlie escapism all of it.
The thing about a magazine is if you're feeling a bit low you can have a treat for £2 or £3 quid that doesn't contain any calories and no guilt or harm done.
Or so I thought!
But last night I had a meal and long conversation with two great girlfriends about what is expected of women and mothers into today's society.
The pressure to "have it all" is immense, whether we want it or not. and this isn't helped when we are bombarded with not only unrealistic images of beautiful women in amazing clothes looking, slim, tanned and stylish, but unobtainable homes full of fabulous furnishings, relationship advice and really really expensive stuff that possibly the cast (and I use that term loosely) of Made In Chelsea can afford but is well out of my price league.
In one fashion magazine I read recently in their top 20 fashion must haves for the week were two handbags at £709 and £249 a pop, some ragged looking pumps that seemed ready for the dustbin at £190 and a £655 top that works "just as well with jeans as it does with a pencil skirt". For £655 I'd want it to wash, tumble dry and iron itself!
Then there's the lifestyle advice. Lemon Cake Lady gave me some of her posh magazines to peruse before they went to the recycling and it was like reading about a different world. There was an article on children toys with a play tea set made of bone china for £229! There was a survey on when you last had an orgasm (that was easy, it was in Sainsburys two weeks ago when Chocolate Mini Rolls were buy one get one free) and recipes for after work suppers with friends! Amazingly they didn't include beans on toast or calling out for a pizza!
It was like the magazine form of watching Nigella Lawson or a Richard Curtis film where everyone is impossibly glamourous, successful and live in posh parts of London with interesting and quirky friends!
Quite apart from the articles the adverts are just as bad. If J-Lo is to be believed as a successful working mum she can wear a pristine white towel and shave her legs in her enormous walk in shower , then run on the beach with her twins, wrapped in a cashmere sweater and bikini bottoms then put on a sparkly dress and sing at a pop concert all because her brand of razor makes her a goddess. Yeah that's an average day for me in the Random Household. I do that all the time. Well I would if I ever got time to shave my legs! It's been so long I'm expecting Springwatch to call any day to ask to do a feature on the family of Starlings that have nested in my leg hair!
If I ever do get round to doing them I'll no doubt be disturbed by either Oscar wanting to be let in or out of the house, the boy wanting me to read Go Dogs Go for the millionth time or hubby needing to come in a use the loo!
So all in all if women's magazines are to be believed we should all have successful careers and float about in expensive clothes by designers no one's ever heard of whilst playing tea parties with our beautiful, well behaved children on the beach and cook gourmet meals for friends whilst shaving our legs and having multiple orgasms.
No problems. As long as that all translates into working in a normal office in a £4 top and £12 trousers from the supermarket that have dribble, snot and sweet potato on them then coming home to the boy who is more excited to see my car keys than he is me and cook fish fingers and beans for tea standing in the kitchen with my hairy legs that have wildlife in them and going to bed so exhausted you're too tired to even say orgasm let alone have one!
If that's the case then I don't know how these magazines sell because having it all is a doddle......