The time spent conversing with new young friends is immensely enjoyable and enlightening. They have such a fresh outlook on life and often see this London and this world in ways that are unexpected and non stereotypical. Of course, I love it that they like me and that they take time out of their busy lives to read my blog. Nick, the Canadian lad you remember from the March 2, 2017 post, perceptively spoke of my “ability to take your rage and passionate expression in real life, and calmly collect those thoughts and deliver them in a very receivable way.” Wow! That is one of the greatest compliments ever. I ask if I can quote him, use his name and speak of my tears. Nick emails: “ A weep is fair, in such moments, I think of the Portuguese word ‘saudade’. And yes of course be liberal with the name!” I sass back: “I would hardly be conservative with it.”
Pooja and I met for a farewell meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant last night, the place we first met. We exchanged emails and this exchange. Pooja: “I will miss you.” Alexis: You cannot miss me because I will be with you forever! A.” The picture shows us in all of our glory, our Mexican hats and all.
Yesterday I got my final haircut from Cindy at Colll .She and I have decided that coming back for a trim every twelve weeks is a plan so I block out her vacation time out on my diary. I am serious about this, it eases the pain of leaving. Mary is the proprietor of the green grocer next to the hair salon. We make plans for our final farewell picture with the bananas after my hair appointment. When I first told Mary I was leaving she hugged me, cried and said she would miss me. Guess what I did? The water consumption in an effort to stay hydrated is constant and unabated.
I have elicited the help of a man, the same lifelong friend from the February 10th post on passive aggressiveness. I actually need help packing but he lends his helping hand and brain on the subject of misogyny because he is in California and I am in London. The February 19th post refers to him as the Friend Who Is Full of Wisdom which gets shortened to (FWIFOW) and eventually to F guy. Yesterday’s email from F guy referred me to an article in the New York Times about Hilary Clinton and Kellyanne Conway. The U.S. press has the habit of turning every topic into a tirade about their politics which is irritating, therefore, it is very Democratic versus Republican but some valid points are made. There is the comment that the two women are on opposite poles (Dem. vs. Rep) but both ’‘stir up the same lingering cultural discomfort against ambitious assertive women.” “We fear strong women and women with power. These attacks are meant to delegitimize that power.” And again, whether the attacks come from the left or right, there is a persistent anger shown to women who step outside conventional roles. Of course, the Times article has to throw in Trump for good measure. Pres. Trump (how it hurts to write that) repeatedly denigrated women for their appearance and directed his female staff members to “dress like women.” Here is my idea. perhaps he should dress like a woman, it might solve a lot of his problems. He would not have time to Twitter because he would be spending so much time putting on panty hose. It would slow him down tottering on high heel shoes. He would not get into arguments so freely because he would be asking his opponents whether they like his new blouse. A solution to the political situation in the U.S. may be at hand.
The comments in the article, however, give me pause and perhaps, I speculate, the misogyny suffered by me in London is not because of cultural norms different than that of Canada and the US. Perhaps, it is me that is different. I am stronger, I have more power. I am more ambitious and I am more assertive than I was when I lived in the U.S. I have definitely stepped outside conventional roles. I was married during most of my stay in the U.S. to a man who was a bully. I was not so strong, I was not so assertive, nor ambitious. Thanks God! (if here is one) I realize all of this less than a week before I leave for Canada. But the good news is that I am not returning to the bully or to marriage. I am packing up my ambition, my assertiveness, my strength and my power and taking them back home with me.
Leave them laughing is my motto. F guy and I are exchanging emails as I am asking him for permission to use his thinking. This is how it goes. F guy: “Just got out of Marin symphony. Great program,” Alexis: You are such a dear! What was the program at the symphony? It makes me feel that I am with you speeding down 101. F guy: The major piece was the Elgar symphony no. 1. Very well done. Alexis: I was always just mad about Elgar and Elgar was just mad about me. I am in bed, early morning wakening, doing my blog. Second last night here in Dolphin Square. So much to do! F guy: I’m in bed too! Alexis: we are not in bed together, i do not think.
More on all of this later.