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Monday, April 23, 2012

4-23-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians – Starter Job #111 (Why England? Lessons learned)


It’s probably worthwhile to reflect over why I went to the U.K. -- and London  -- in the first place.  Fair enough, I was captivated by the people and the places I’d seen in England -- and I thought it was a place of destiny for me.

I also had friends there -- lots of musicians -- and found life there, as in New York, a struggle still but very nice.  That was, until. . . well, more unfortunate things happened to me on a personal level that I can’t even put in words here, on a screen or a page.  I’d met some disrespectful men who didn’t honor the words, “NO!”  It came as a shock to me, and was totally depressing and humiliating. . . and it only happened to me in England. 

At one point, I thought that I’d marry an Englishman, but the closest I came was asking Patrick to marry me for convenience if it came down to that -- if I really wanted to stay and it was the only thing that would keep me in the country.  A true gentleman, he nodded, yes, I’d do that for you.  That thought -- to marry for convenience -- was fleeting, thankfully: I believe in marrying for more legitimate reasons, like romantic/sexual love. . . and stuff that I could go on for quite a while about.  But, mercifully, I won’t!

In London I also learned that, for some reason, I wasn’t being taken seriously as a musician and writer, and I didn’t know how to change that.  Perhaps everyday life as a young cocktail waitress was so full of struggle and distraction that I didn’t even have the energy or the nerve to try to make a change and show how serious I was. I did, however, spend a lot of time clacking away at my typewriter, writing letters home to various & sundry family & friends (I used those blue foldover air letters from the Post Office -- they were economical and forced me to write just the amount that fit, like a journalistic assignment).

In England, there was a common comment about my hair color -- I dyed it black in NYC because I liked that look -- was, “Oh, why are you doing that?  Come on, grow it back to your own natural, pretty brown colour, darlin’.”  Jeez, even when it was brown, it had been hennaed with a reddish rinse from age 20 on.  I never liked mousy brown colored hair: not interesting enough.  Anyway, this lack of being accepted for a dramatic look was kind of tiresome. . . nobody in NYC gave a rat’s ass about my hair color, or at least they had the sense to keep it to themselves.

So. Many strikes were mounting against me staying in the U.K.  And then, I heard from immigration: my visa would not be renewed past November 1982.  I’d have to leave the U.K. unless I did something drastic, like marry Patrick.

Lovely man, great friend, good looking gent, but -- no way!  

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