Gypsy Creams

What’s Gone Wrong With My World?

Woman / 23rd December 1967

Here’s a treat: Marje Proops’ “Counselling in-the Round”. We’ve come in at the middle, as sadly I don’t have the issues either side of this one, but this is clearly something more ambitious than a problem page. Marje Proops’ advice is, in my view, spot on. This seems to be a classic case of what happens when a society insists marriage must accompany sex: two people get hitched whilst still riding on a wave of lust, and, as Marje says, either grow to love each other, or things turn sour soon after.

I hope this couple came to understand each other a little better as a result of this, especially as it’s hinted that the ‘other man’ isn’t really interested in sweeping this woman off her feet. Although this is clearly a bit of a sad case, it’s also a fascinating glimpse of a time when your attitude to BBC Two was an accurate marker of your class, and when those class distinctions actually mattered. Of course, there are still socio-economic groups in British society, and although the gap between the rich and poor is wider nowadays than it was even in 1967, there does seem to be a more fluid definition of class for the people in the middle, with fewer real markers of where you fit.

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Kif on 27 February 2011 @ 11am

Glad you highlighted the BBC2 element. It was a real indicator of whether you aspired to be an intellectual or not, as to whether you watched BBC 2 in the mid sixties. The difference between 1 and 2 was more marked than it is today, with 2 very upmarket, even by today’s standards. It’s why BBC 2 in original format was not a big hit ratingswise but it was felt that “any more television” (god knows we had 2 channels already) could only be justified by being really upmarket…

Jamie on 27 February 2011 @ 12pm

“…peculiar films on BBC-2.”

Those were the days.

Leenie on 27 February 2011 @ 12pm

I don’t know.. the villains of the piece? Next week, the other man steps out of the shadows? Reads a bit like a soap opera.

Bec on 27 February 2011 @ 4pm

I like how she parcels out the drama to the readers…and the players of the real-life drama!

This bit of advice seems a lot less blametastic than similar agony aunts of the time. I do snicker at ‘the real villains of the piece’ ;)

Tanya Jones on 27 February 2011 @ 8pm

Oh, it’s dramatic, yes (she did have readers to consider, after all), but there’s a real desire to get this couple to talk properly to each other, which is clearly what they need.

Kif on 27 February 2011 @ 8pm

Marge Proops was very highly thought of by liberals of the day and was probably third only to Anna Rayburn and Claire Rayner as most progressive post war agony aunts in the British press in the era before the present one. Though the late Evelyn Home was also quite progressive too IIRC.

Kif on 28 February 2011 @ 10pm

I had forgtten Marge Proops. In those days she was widely regarded by us trendy sixties/seventies liberal activists as ‘one of us’ and a rare progressive in controversial areas. She stood with Anna Rayburn and Claire Rayner as the three most left wing agony aunts. Some of the others were very Tory in tone, but not those three. – Though I had a sneaking fondness for Evelyn Home in Woman’s Own. – Granny read all the magazines and I borrowed them as a child. As a youth, I learned more progressive viewpoints and gut liberalism from Agony Aunts than from any other source or influence on me.

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