If I had said No, I wouldn’t be here now. I might have gone elsewhere and probably still be working in textiles. Or I might have been ‘disappeared’ by the Argentine military, as many of my university friends were, not long after I left.
My story is one of ‘sliding doors’ where I happened to have gone through the doors at the right moment. When I met my now husband in Argentina, where I was born and bred, he was an English researcher in the institute where I worked, living in the country for just a year. We met briefly; we were both involved with other people. He left at the end of his time there and went to work in India next. However, through a series of circuitous and complex events, we got in touch again, and wrote to each other for a year and a half. He asked me to come to England so we could meet again and see what happened. In the sixties, that wasn’t something a well-bred Argentine girl was expected to do – take off and cross the ocean to meet a man she hardly knew. But I said Yes, and eventually came to England. It wasn’t easy – I had to persuade my father to pay for the journey – not to mention lots of other problems to solve first. But it was achieved.
Here we both are, feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, shortly before we got married in 1968.
Possibly because of that experience, I find it difficult to say no - I am loath to miss an opportunity that may not come my way ever again – to miss going through those sliding doors at the right moment. That takes me sometimes into situations where managing the time to do everything is not easy. I’m sure everybody else in this group knows what I mean! But so far I have not regretted any of my yes-es.
(PS: My story is told in the book “DarlingAlicia”)