Dec 23, 2011

Come Up and See Me Sometime

Posted by Tonia at Friday, December 23, 2011
By Tonia

A dame that knows the ropes ain't likely to get tied up.” - Mae West

Some girlfriends and I recently went to see a stage production of Mae West’s play, Sex. It was in a funky, back street theatre that had bleachers and folding chairs for seating. We had to use the GPS to find it, but it was well worth the navigation arguments in the car. (Still love ya, Anna.) Ya gotta’ love a theatre that sells Boone’s Farm and popcorn for refreshments. Pay attention, AMC!

The play was about Margy, a prostitute, who follows her own true path. She refuses to conform to society’s demands and lives an adventure-filled life that takes her from Canada to the Caribbean to Connecticut (guess she was working on the letter C - including her her happiest place, Clitorus-ville). It’s a story that reflects much of Mae West’s (and my) own philosophy about living life on one’s own terms. 

Mae was arrested on obscenity charges the first night that Sex was performed. I was willing to go to jail once for something I believed in - but decided I didn’t look good in an orange. Not on my color chart. Besides, I wasn’t sure that my family would bail me out.

Mae was more than just a bombshell. She was one of the first women to consistently write the plays and movies that she starred in. Her second film, She Done Him Wrong, was even nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture. At one point in her career, she was Hollywood's highest paid star and, unlike many other actresses, she ALWAYS remained in charge of her own career and her own life. She played leading ladies into her 50s and worked into her 70s (maybe there's still hope for me). She was also a friend to gays. An inspiration.

And I’ll always love her for her wit - her innuendo and double entendre that poked at a puritanical culture. Things like:

--“I do all my writing in bed; everybody knows I do my best work there.”
--“When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad, I'm better.”
--“A hard man is good to find.”
--“It's not the man in your life that counts. It's the life in your man.”
--“Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?”

So, for one of your girlfriends’ parties, honor the spirit of Mae West by renting one of her movies and having a discussion about ways you've been (or would like to be) in charge of your own life. Tell us about them here, too! We want to support you!


MsCheeVS on December 26, 2011 at 2:40 AM said...

Hey I was there too and took that pic of mother and daughter watching SEX!!! It was a very cool theatre and i have a new found respect for Mae West. She was a powerful woman who was a pioneer of her time. Wow! Wish we all had her courage!! Mae West! Woot!! (Had a great time Tonia and Anna! Thx!)

growingmygirls on December 26, 2011 at 8:54 AM said...

Excellent! Don't know a thing about Mae West, but do very much want to keep pressing on in terms of living life on my own terms. Thanks for the New Year's inspiration.

Lisa on December 26, 2011 at 2:42 PM said...

I didn't know much about Mae West. Bombshell with a brain. Love it.

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