Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Quick Look As Her Ladyship Waits

Lady Darley's next letter was actually a single card, dated April 14, 1992. She pined for information that I didn't have.
Dear Chris,

This is just a quick look at a note from me if you know what I mean.

How are you?

Is college going ok?

How did you go on with [your Raytown friend]?

Her Address Is: [Redacted], Raytown, MO 64138

Tel No: 816-[Redacted]

You couldn't do me another favour could you -- when I came to the U.S. a couple of years ago I never got a Kansas City sticker. Could you pick me one up and I'll buy you something here.


[Lady Darley]
Try finding a Kansas City sticker in Columbia, Missouri. Or St. Louis. Her ladyship would have to have patience until I got back to my homeland.

August 11, 1992: Another summer is nearly over for your humble servant as I prepare to enter my junior year at Mizzou, along with the world-famous journalism school. Lady Darley and I are still exchanging letters, albeit at a much slower pace. And still we anticipate each other's correspondence.
Dear Chris,

Thank you very much for your letter. I was quite surprised to return home from my holiday and there be a letter waiting for me. Oh boy, can't I tell that you aren't at college. I go home and when you're at college, I get about two letters a year, when you are at home. I get two letters or about equal number of months. Don't get me wrong, I'm actually quite pleased. When I didn't receive any letters from [your Raytown friend] I got quite depressed. I became more and more pleased when I received letters from my other penfriends.

How did my holiday go? Well, that really is the question. On the whole, I'd say that it was good. But the two girls that I went with got on my nerves more times than I can count on my hands. They'd do little things like walk off and leave me, ignore me when I spoke to them. I think it annoyed them that some guys who were staying in the hotel spoke to me and ignored [Redacted] and [Redacted]. I kept telling them they should speak to more people, but would they? It doesn't really take much to just say 'hi' to someone, and if they're nice back, you can talk. But no, all they wanted to do was eye up the men. I did look, but to tell you the the truth, I wasn't really interested in one of those casual one-night-stand holiday flings which [Redacted] and [Redacted] only seemed too pleased to accept. It was as though they'd forgotten all about AIDS or something. They actually had the nerve to laugh at me when I said about one guy, one girl, and only in a loving relationship, as though my beliefs were out of the ark. Maybe they are, but they're mine. And I really hate it when people take the mickey out of me. I guess I just get a little paranoid, but then really, don't we all?
"Take the mickey out of me" is a British slang expression meaning to take the fight or self-worth out of somebody in a subtle way, according to Urban Dictionary. At this point, my heart just breaks for Lady Darley. She is taking a principled and honourable stand, respecting herself and her virtue, and for that she is mocked. This is one of those times I wish I had said to her, "Don't be defined by your friends. Be defined by GOD."
I did come back from my holiday with quite a decent tan, except I wasn't really the kind of person to bear all so that I haven't got any tan lines, so I've obviously got some white bits. My sister's off to one of the Balearic Islands, Ibiza, on Friday. She's going with her boyfriend [Redacted], and I think that my Mom and Dad are a little apprehensive of them going. But she is actually twenty-one years old. Even if they are having sex, they've been going out since they were eighteen and have this really close relationship.

I enclose a postcard that I was going to send to you from Corfu. But I'm sorry to say that I actually ran out of money -- so I figured that I'd send it to you when I wrote to you again.
She actually didn't enclose it. A note on the outside of the envelope explained why: "I'll send you the postcard soon -- the envelope was too small."
I'm trying to find myself a job until I got to college at the end of September. But unfortunately I'm not having much luck so far. I work both days at the weekend, so I was looking for two or three in the week. I hope I get something soon. What I would give to be sweating at Six Flags.
That was where I was sweating, running games and making cash, mostly for my room and board since my Curators' Scholarship remained in full force. I was going to get through college and come out free of any loans, costing my parents only a paltry sum compared to what they could've paid.
Your brother Mike sounds like a really nice guy. People would just like you because you didn't crack onto people. It really used to ignore annoy me how they'd say to be different is good because I naturally used to assume my sister's different was better than my own. It's only on my good days that I think we're equal, or maybe a little better. He's no better than you!
I don't know what I wrote to prompt that response, but I'll take it.
Paranoia will definitely set in if you spend most of your time wondering what people say about you when you're not there. You could spend your whole life wondering. (Don't worry.)
Up next, I'm not sure what she's talking about.
Which 'silly stupid girls night out' was that? I went on so many when I'd finished my A-levels. We kind of all hung out with one another, laughing and joking and remembering past times. We'd sit and talk about men of the past. One of the most used jokes was my infatuation with one of class clowns. But I thought he was lovely.

I will send you a photo soon as I find them again. When I was away on holiday, my parents had our house re-wired. They took all the stuff out of my room and now I can't find a thing. I will remember -- honestly.

Did you watch the tennis at Wimbledon? I absolutely loved the final. I was at work at the time, but we listened on the radio, which is quite a suspense builder. I think Andre Agassi really deserved to win -- Goran [Ivanisevic] was far too arrogant.
Tennis on radio? Isn't that too quick to call? I've never heard it, but never mind...
I know that a lot of my relatives didn't want him to win as they resented the fact he was American. Not against the American race, but just because my parents said the Americans used to win everything a while ago. I guess it was jealousy. Never mind!
Or hard feelings. They won the Revolution, too.
[Rose]'s getting better at her job. She's being sent on a head office course down to London, gives her greater prospects with the choice of top management. She's on the way up, I think. I hope at least she won't waste her talent.

Half of me would like to spend my whole summer writing, but I really need the chance to get at least a couple of hundred in the bank. Just for the odd thing I need at college -- so I don't have to pester my parents.
Here we go into some current events, like a recent tell-all on Princess Diana.
The 'Diana' book was a lot more earth-shaking to the the British constitution. The Royal Family are really important to Britain, and to be truthful, I don't think any other country truly understands. We feel we have a right to know what they do -- but get angry at anyone who invades their privacy. I got really annoyed at the fact that no one even gave Andrew Morton the benefit of the doubt. To me he seemed truthful, like he really felt that he would help Diana by writing it. Prince Charles seems almost alien to her and that must be awful in the kind of life she has to lead.
We turn to what's on the telly.
I love L.A. Law too. I think we must be years behind over here -- but there's just something about it that really interests me. Yes, Red Dwarf still runs over here, but I guess they're still doing re-runs. That is one hell of a decent show.
I had written to my Raytown friend, the one who had introduced me to Lady Darley in the first place, at Lady Darley's request, hoping to get some sort of an explanation of why she had not been communicating with her British friend. Nothing came.
[Your Raytown friend] really [bleeped] me off when she hasn't even the common decency to reply to your letter. And she couldn't even be bothered to turn and tell me. And I thought we got on well. Please try and get her on the phone. It may have been a long time ago, but I would still like to know what did you write and say to [her], I would really like to know. I can't really imagine what you'd come up with.

Wish me luck because it's only about four weeks till I get my results. If I don't get my results, I will be really depressed. I worked real hard so I really hope I get what I need. Keep your fingers crossed!

Write Soon,
[Lady Darley]

P.S. Why wouldn't you give me your address at college? Are you ashamed of writing to me, that's why you didn't want me to write there so your college buddies wouldn't know?

I'm right, yes?
Actually, no. In my four years of college, I changed dorm addresses four times. As little as we were exchanging letters, it didn't make sense to keep giving Lady Darley new addresses that might not be right for mail that might not get forwarded.

But I would give in to her and send her my college location, at her own risk.

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