12th May 1961

May 12th


Dear Diary

My 18th birthday and what a ghastly day it has been.  Jennifer brought my cards up to me this morning and amongst them was a parcel.  Oh, it was such a disappointment when I saw it was from Germany and not from Cyprus.  The only card I got through the post was from Michael, which was sweet of him.  I’m pleased he remembered me.  What a mingy lot of relations I’ve got.

I don’t suppose it was too bad at work.  I got presents from Pat, Carol, Lesley, Margaret and even Penny and I hardly did any work all day.

At lunch time I bought everyone a glass of cider. – pretty potent stuff that – and I felt such a fool when they all started to sing ‘Happy Birthday’.  Pretty loud as well!

Joan Houghton made quite a booby.  She came up and said ‘How old are you, 20?’  She was quite serious as well.  When I told her 18 she said, ‘I thought you were older than that.  You are very mature for your age.’  Made me feel like an old cheese.

At 4.30 I went tearing off home as I was so sure there would be something waiting for me in the afternoon post.  But there was precisely nothing.  Not even one bloody card from anyone here in England, let alone from Cyprus.  I was so, so disappointed.

That’s being unfair I suppose. Jean was waiting here with a present and a card and stayed until about seven.  We had quite a long talk about my little ‘problem’.  The first decent talk I have had about it with anyone.  All the other people I know have seen either Michael or Alan.  Pat and Carol have seen both.  As Jean hasn’t met either of them she was quite unbiased.

I tried to explain to her the differences between them.  I told her that Alan is the quiet solid type and Michael is the light-hearted, good-time type.  But I could easily be mistaken in either or both of these conclusions.  How well do I know Alan?  I knew him for five days and those five days were the last before he went abroad and left his home again.  Isn’t that a good enough reason to make a man quiet and depressed?  He could so easily be different if I knew him in different circumstances.

On the other hand, Michael is twenty, the age when a boy is full of high spirits and likes a good time.  It is possible that in a few years he will become the steadier person that I believe Alan to be.



It helped to talk about it.

It is obvious that time alone can give the answer and time is what I do not have.  I could know in a few weeks Alan’s normal character but by giving myself those weeks to find out I must say goodbye to Michael.

To quote Jean: Whatever I do I am going to hurt somebody.  I must choose right if that person is not going to be me, and so, in the long run, all three of us.  It is a hard decision to rest on anyone.

All letters Maureen's Diary Week 18: 5th- 12th May 1961

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