The 40 In 40 Days Project.
 

7. The First Hissy Fit (1964)

Main Index

The Au Pairs
The Step-stepfather
The Simulated Wank
The Toy Store
The First Single
The Queeny Put-Down
The First Hissy Fit
The First Gay Club
The Rent Boy
The Heterosexual Phase
The Lifestyle Switch
The Empty Floor
The First Poem
The Amsterdam Weekend
The First Time
The Perfect Moment
The Year In Berlin
The Trade Years
The First Memory
The Anniversary Party
The Incompetencies
The Pricking Of The Bubble
The Club Residencies
The "Tales of the City" House
The Musical Epiphany
The Worst Thing I Ever Did To Anyone
The Royal Procession
The Parental Disclosure
The Concept Albums
The Romantic Obsession
The Failure
The Apotheosis of Queer
The Shove From Above
The Interrogation
The Professional Rut
The Rebirthday
The First Boyfriend
The "Catharsis Of Joy"
The Funeral Address
The Falling In Love

Chronological Index

troubled diva

I only have my parents’ word on this, but it has the ring of truth about it.

My sister has just been born. Aged two, I am already a precocious child, with a fondness for the poetry of A.A. Milne. My favourite of his poems goes like this:

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She's crying with all her might and main,
And she won't eat her dinner - rice pudding again -
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
I've promised her dolls and a daisy-chain,
And a book about animals - all in vain -
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She's perfectly well, and she hasn't a pain;
But, look at her, now she's beginning again! -
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
I've promised her sweets and a ride in the train,
And I've begged her to stop for a bit and explain -
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She's perfectly well and she hasn't a pain,
And it's lovely rice pudding for dinner again!
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

Clearly enchanted by my early love of poetry, my parents decide it would be a lovely idea to christen my sister Mary Jane. Understandably, this is not a name of which she is particularly fond, shall we say. OK – she hates it. It is shortened it to Mary as soon as she is old enough to have her opinions taken seriously.

She returns from the hospital. A great fuss is being made over her. Friends and relations are pouring round to ooh and aah. I am used to being the centre of attention round these parts, and I do not like it. I do not like it one little bit. Something has to be done.

So I decide to chuck myself down the stairs. That will get their attention back. Now, they’ll all come crowding round me again! Me, I tell you! MEEE!

This is my first recorded instance of drama queen tendencies. But not the last. Oh no.

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