What if Marilyn survived! Part 1. Norma Jeane’s first marriage

19 June 1942. I do

norma jeane

“I wish my mother was here on my big day,” said Norma Jeane to her aunt Ana.

“I know, sweetie, but you know – she can’t. Maybe, if she gets better some day you’ll be able to see her more often.”

“You’re right,” answered Norma adjusting her veil. “I wonder if my life will change from now on. I’m sick of these awful foster homes, of travelling from family to family and of being a burden to everyone around me. I know that you all want to get rid of me as soon as may be and I don’t blame you for that. I just hope that I can rely on Jim.”

“Sure, you can, sweetheart. Jim’s a great guy. And, besides, after all you’ve been through, he might change your life for the better,” said aunt Ana, hoping that Norma won’t change her mind. She’s been hoping to marry off Norma Jeane for a long time.

norma jeane

“Well, Norma, I think, we’ll learn everything soon. I also would be happy to see your father walking with you down the aisle instead of me…”

“Yes, but I don’t believe that a man who never cared even to get to know me would be suitable for this role”! exclaimed Norma with regret and anger in her voice. “Let’s not spoil my wedding day, Ana.”

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norma jeane

25 September 1942. For better, or worse?..

“Hey, Mrs. Dougherty, how is the married life going”? asked jokingly aunt Ana taking a seat at the table.

“It’s fine, I guess. We do have fun sometimes, but I also have to do a lot at home and I’m getting a bit tired of it.” said Norma. “You know, when I dreamt about marriage no one told me that I would have to do so much and my husband will take it for granted. I thought – marriage is more like a companionship, only with sex. We go to the movies occasionally, but it’s only when Jim wants to. I mean, I don’t mind going dancing, but fishing and skiing is not really my thing.”

“I understand, but a woman has to listen to her husband, my dear. He provides for you, you should remember that.”

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norma jeane

“I know that you’re right, Ana. But it’s not what I want in life. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to become a housewife – to wash the dishes, to clean, to cook… I want kids, yes, but I don’t want to become a housemaid and just wait for my husband every evening,” exclaimed Norma. She wasn’t sure now if it was right to have this conversation with a woman who was “happily married” so to speak.

After her aunt left Norma began to think what she could do with her life. She was only 16 and had no idea of the possibilities she could have in life. The girl had no money, no connections. Only her beauty and her uncertain future ahead.

After thinking quietly to herself for several months she has remembered the words of her friend, who was a photographer, and had already taken some pictures of her on the beach: “Norma Jeane, go to the Fox Studio and try to audition for anything they offer! You’ll be the biggest fool I know if you waste your looks sitting in this kitchen!”

19.07.1946. The first screen test

Norma Jeane felt a bit uncomfortable because of her new hair colour. It was too flashy, she thought but the men around, on the street, looked at her differently now. And she liked it! She knew that her idol, Jean Harlow, had the same hair style and Norma felt more confident now, entering the giant building of the XXth Century Fox for her first screen test.

“Aren’t you a cookie?” said a young man passing by, and she thought that if the person she would meet in a couple of minutes would say the same, she would have no problem fitting in.

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"It’s Jean Harlow all over again," said Ben Lyon, the executive of the studio. “You’re hired, Miss Dougherty, come and see me tomorrow about the contract.”

To be continued next Tuesday!




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