I first became aware of ‘problem pages’ in various magazines my mum had, maybe ‘Woman’, or ‘Woman’s Own’ or even old-fashioned ‘Woman’s Weekly’ which the lady upstairs gave her. Later when there I read teenagers’ magazines at friends’ houses, the problem pages were almost the first thing we looked at!

I don’t remember any of the problems… except one. I don’t remember if it was from a boy or a girl, a girl I guess, who had gone to a party where the first game was that each person was given a badge with a word on it and they had to find their pair; for example, ‘socks‘ might look for ‘shoes‘, ‘orange’ might look for ‘lemon‘, ‘table‘ for ‘chair‘, ‘fish‘ for ‘chips‘.  She was given ‘onions‘, and immediately she saw ‘liver‘ but before she could make a pair, ‘bacon‘ beat her to it so she was left with ‘egg‘. She thought this was really unfair because no way could ‘egg and onions‘, be a pair – obviously it should have been ‘egg and bacon‘ and ‘liver and onions‘! Never could it be ‘onions and egg‘, or ‘egg and onions’!

This seemed such a ludicrous problem because what was the point of seeking advice? The party was over weeks, probably months ago! Was she expecting an apology from ‘bacon’? Did she expect ‘liver‘ to get in contact and ask her for a date? Did she expect the person who organised the party to do something about it? And what about poor ‘egg‘? Rejected by ‘bacon‘ and by ‘onions‘? I wonder if ‘onions‘ ever thinks about it now and laughs to herself at how silly she was?!!

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