Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Back To School Issue

Are you old enough to remember the Back To School Issue of Seventeen magazine?  I read Seventeen every month but I never subscribed.  Why?  Because it showed up in Murray's Store days before it arrived in my mailbox.  I had to have it right away.

It was thick, filled with advertisements for shoes and blouses and dresses, chock-a-block crammed into colorful pages in which I could get lost for hours.   What would people be wearing when school began?  What colors would I see?  Which three outfits - for I was only allowed three new outfits in the Fall, three in the Spring - would I select? 

I'm getting lots of magazines these days, since Fabletics gives me a subscription for every outfit I purchase.  I chose Smithsonian for myself, and Sports Illustrated and Time for myself and Amphi Middle School, but Shape and Seventeen and Family Circle are just for the teens and tweens.  I never open them.  I put For You From Grandma Suzi because Reading Is FUN! stickers over my address labels and drop them off in the librarian's mailbox.

I don't pay much attention to the covers or the content.  I am merely the conduit for that which was gifted to me.  But yesterday, going through the mail TBG had collected while I was FlapJilly-sitting, I stopped and gasped.

I was 12 or 13 or 14 or 15 again.  I had the Back to School Issue in my hands, and those hands were shaking.  I was thrilled.  I felt a funny feeling in my tummy, as FlapJilly would say.  I thought of myself reading in the Jefferson Chair (what we called the Windsor desk seat), wondering if I were too short or too flat-chested or too something for the clothes.  I thought of my cousin sitting beside me on the couch, concentrating on the nail polish colors as we watched Million Dollar Movie.

It's just a collection of glossy pages, perhaps, to the uninitiated.  For those of us who grew up with it, though, it's a harbinger of Fall.


  1. I loved Seventeen. I think the first issue came out around 1946. I was 15 and the article I remember was the one telling (suggesting?) a person how to get ready for school: "Dress as far as your slip. Apply your make-up.) Man! Those were the days. Thanks for reminding me!

    1. Do you remember the stories? Always a lesson, sometimes a naughty one, as I recall.

  2. I should have googled the date. It was 1944 and I was thirteen.


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