I was reading a biography of Don Knotts and Andy Griffith today. When Don was eager to get into show biz he went up to New York City and interviewed with an agent with his ventriloquist act.
She kindly told him to go home and go back to school.
This story of rejection brought to mind my many failures to succeed in various endeavors of the past.
I have been trying and failing since 1958!
When I was in junior college in that year of upheaval, I was supposed to exchange babysitting services for room and board. The family lived a few miles away from the college and I paid a fellow to give me a ride.
Then I had an argument with the snotty little kid about her messy room, and was told later that day to leave.
I prevailed on my boyfriend to come and take me back out to the country to the old farmstead, where I licked my wounds and started over with arranging a car pool to drive the 30 miles to college.
After a few years of marriage, I went back to college, but was in the wrong field of studies, so became ill with the pressure, and dropped out for the next 28 years.
The next remarkable fail was when I was living in the desert alongside a glider airport, and was evicted. I suspect the reason was that I turned in a fellow who was parking his RV illegally there, but it blocked my view of the sunrise.
In the 19u80’s I left a perfectly good job at a dry cleaners to try door to door canvassing for a Ralph Nader initiative.
After two weeks I was called into the office and once again terminated as I was not able to sell anything.
My son Rich repeated this kind of pattern years later in New Jersey, having spent the summer trying to sell cookbooks door to door.
We just don’t have the fire in the belly to be door to door salesmen!
I later moved in with my daughter and Significant Other after losing a job through lack of more work. Since I was impinging on their privacy at my daughter’s I was asked to leave even though I was jobless, homeless, and pretty broke.
I later made up for their inconvenience by taking an unpaid leave of absence from my one good job of librarian in New York to come back and care for the same daughter through her chemo therapy.
Every other move or seeming regression of status was of my own choice until 2015.
After living here for a few years I finally joined the Friends of the Library group that was preparing donated books for a mammoth book sale held twice a year.
This time the expulsion was very public and embarrassing for all concerned.
It seems I misjudged the social dynamics quite badly, and was operating under my own quirky standards as to what kind of book would sell. I also liked to go into the sorting room on odd days and work on my own.
To be kicked out of a Friends of the Library volunteer job at the age of 76 was quite a jolt to my ego.
It is ironic that a librarian with a Master’s Degree in Library Science and the experience of working in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Queensborogh New York, would be so publicly humiliated over sorting old books
I have a great deal of caution now when volunteering and always try to check with more experienced members of any club when doing work there.
P.S. Although the biography about Don Knotts and Andy Griffith was the inspiration for this essay, I always thought The Andy Griffith’s Show was about the kid named Opie, and the dumb sheriff’s deputy made me squirm!