13 Mar 2014


Letter Q

When finally I had managed to slip through primary and highschool and had finished which is supposed to be the best time of once life, the question for my father was now, what to do with this girl and found out what qualifications she had. I wanted to be a make up artist for actors in a theater, do the make up for monsters, witches, or beauties, together with the costume creator. For that I thought I really had the qualification. I only had to look for an adequate school. Of course this profession was not good enough for my father as those people were workers and I had at least to be an educated employe. So I did nothing but amusing myself by going out a lot. My father certainly hoped that I would find a rich husband who could entertain me for the rest of my life. But that was the last thing I wanted to do.

School finished, what a relieve !

Finally he took me to a vocational adviser who did some tests with me and the result was that I could do anything except languages, for that I had no qualification at all.

We found a compromise. I should go to a French business school a very expensive and posh one, still in the hope to find the right husband there. It was a mixed school, the boys were mostly sons of company owners who wanted their son to take the business over, but unfortunately the son was too stupid to go to university so he had landed in my school. The best thing was, they all already owned a car, which was rather seldom in the 60th and I had the opportunity to be invited to posh parties in huge mansions or even castles. It was a very interesting time and I learned a lot about people.

Despite the fact that I had no qualifications for learning languages I learned French rather quickly and also commercial correspondence in French, typewriting and business knowledge. When I had my diploma I was hired immediately by a Belgian import-export company for leather clothes, not for my French, but for my German. I did a little bit of everything there, answering the phone, writing letters, paying the tailors and served as model when one of the models was sick. I learned to walk like a model on the catwalk and had quite some fun in my first job. When my boss started to find out if I had other qualifications for example in his bed, I quitted.

Meanwhile I had met my first big love who was an Italian too and surprisingly learned Italian rather quickly. Then I looked for a new job and found one in an American company. Now I could use my French, my German and even some Italian. With English I had no problem I had learned it for 9 years at school. First I was a little rusty but improved with the time.

I wished I could have met this vocational adviser, and tell him that despite his judgement that I had no qualifications for languages, I now worked in four. Ever since I am very suspicious about these advisers !

My father had to wait with my marriage, I enjoyed life very much. I earned good money, could afford my own apartment and bought a car ! With 23 I was free, I could do what I wanted and started traveling through Italy together with my first love and my Volkswagen.

In Italy

Again I had been a big disappointment for my father, as I hadn't found a rich husband, and had dared to learn four languages, had found a good job and didn't depend on him anymore ! That I think was the worst ! He loved to have control over everybody, and I swore to myself that I would never depend on a man !

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday


Fun60 said...

Your post was an interesting insight into your life as a young woman. How adventurous and talented you were with your flair for languages.

Linens and Royals said...

I love reading your life stories. They are so much more fun and interesting than mine.

Andrew said...

"and the result was that I could do anything except languages" Yet you speak four languages! Ok, that was what I planned to say but as I read further, you said the same yourself. Right, your first love was Italian and Mr G is Italian. Are they the same person?

Cathy Kennedy said...

It's interesting how the times have changed where once the mothers & dads had hopes their young daughters would marry a rich man to care for them so they would never want anything and today parents are instilling in their young daughters the value of an education and self reliance. I enjoyed reading about your qualification very much and found it rather interesting. Thanks for sharing with the classroom.:) PS: I did not do my homework today, but I hope you'll decide to stop in for a visit all the same.

Jo said...

Oh I just cracked up when you said the vocation adviser said you had no aptitude for languages. And there you speak in FOUR. And now you said you worked in all those languages and found your dream man. Good on you for making such a success of your life!

diane b said...

Love reading these instalments of your life. How talented you are and adventurous. A good looker too.No wonder the Italian men fell for you.

carol l mckenna said...

Good for you! What a fascinating, productive and creative life you had and have ~ Great post for Q ~

artmusedog and carol

Mara said...

You certainly are very qualified!

Loree said...

You have had such an interesting life. Loved the photos of when you were younger.

Esther Joy said...

Interesting post! Maybe the adviser was just using reverse psychology on you!

fredamans said...

Such strong will and perseverance you have! Good for you for becoming a self-sufficient woman in those times.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I have a friend who went to school to learn to turn ordinary people into monsters for movies.

There really are schools where you can learn that! Maybe it isn't too late?

A Lady's Life said...

I also believed that advisers or counselors as they call them here, are useless.
In the first place they dont know you so how can they base any opinion.

I am a believer that if you want something bad enough, you can do better than other people who may have talent but not the focus or
diligence, so I tell young people
you want something, go for it.
I also tell girls today that you can't depend on men like before.
Pays to keep your identity which you keep by having a job.Sad really because its nice to have couples who are soul mates and that love stays for ever.

storybeader said...

I didn't understand why you went to an French business school when the adviser said to stay away from languages. You showed them! That's one thing about European countries: they are so close to each other - a great way to learn about different cultures, and languages! {:-D

EastCoastLife said...

Wow. You have an active and fulfilling life which is so captivating to me. You were a superwoman in those days!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina - you're very lucky at being able to speak so many languages and you've made good use of that skill. Love the photos ..

Cheers Hilary

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Loved this! You're qualified for any darn thing you want to do ... and obviously that's been true ever since you got out of high school! Way to go ... you are a great example of a modern woman!

Betty said...

When my husband was in the Navy we lived in Italy for 2 1/2 years. My Italian vocabulary consists of 20 or so words...on a good day. I definitely am not good at learning another language, so I think it's great that you were able to learn so many. I enjoyed your story. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

You go! What an inspiration to be independent and free and do as you please!