“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”—Mae West
One of the quintessential bad girls, no one had to invent Mae’s extraordinary life. She did that on her own, as a satirist, playwright, and screenwriter. And her greatest successes occurred during the Depression Era!
In honor of her hourglass figure and her unforgettable wicked humor, allied soldiers during WWII called their inflatable rescue vests Mae Wests. Imagine, millions of men turning to Mae for salvation! West was in her fifties when she married one of the handsome young musclemen from her show, Mae and her Adonises. Thirty years younger, Paul Novak, was her devoted companion, bodyguard, and the acknowledged love of her life. They stayed together for twenty-six years, until she died
In her autobiography, West wrote she had no regrets about her life: “I freely chose the kind of life I led because I was convinced that a woman has as much right as a man to live the way she does if she does no actual harm to society.”
Lately, times have been tough for me and everyone else as well. And as the downhill slide continue, being bad seems vital and definitely more fun.
What does bad mean? Bad isn’t about being mean or letting the reptilian brain lead, like the hysterics who are showing up at the infamous tea parties. Bad isn’t Madoff. He was evil!
Bad or good? Good or bad? Rolling those attitudes around in my brain always leads me back to four questions about my current status, while adding what would Mae do?
1) How far have I come being good or did I reach my goal yet? Historically the geniuses or people who had tremendous success weren’t cautious! They were passionate, stubborn, and looking for answers where few dared to look! They took the road less traveled.
2) Am I exhausted? Am I playing stewardess—“what can I get you?”—while ignoring my own real needs? Doing something nice can be a good thing for everyone, including the “doer,” as long as it’s for the right reasons. Sometimes the “doing” is a one-off. Bad girls know when yes doesn’t look good on them.
3) Have I dug myself into a ditch with zero visibility? Bad girls shoot past stop signs to avoid being rear-ended and have whiplash! They don’t stay in a rut because ruts just keep getting deeper. If I take to the sofa instead of cleaning the kitchen, I’ll not only be revitalized, so will my creativity. If it’s a truffle tonight or a sugar binge tomorrow, I’ll take the truffle. Bad girls find a way to go over, under or around pesky barriers, which can sometimes prove to be terrific guidance for what direction to take.
4) Who’s handing out this advice? Quite often it’s a) people without vision, or b) voices from childhood we thought we left behind. There are, of course, a whole slew of types who thrive on handing out directions loaded with “caution.” Others are just bossy, some are afraid you might succeed, or lack self-esteem. Remember, bad girls challenge the status quo!
Okay, we’re in a RECESSION, but it’s good to remember that fortunes were made during the Depression. Bad girls hang on to their jobs, while they’re networking, getting feedback and looking for solutions, like micro-financing from a pool of investors. Being a wage slave is a lifetime sentence or while you’re hanging on being “good,” the company you work for may take a dive. Mae’s greatest success as a bad girl was at the height of the Depression.
Good girls are inclined to listen to others instead of their own intuition. According to Einstein “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind the servant.” Psychiatrist, author, and UCLA professor, Judith Orloff in her book Emotional Freedom calls intuition,
Bottom line—bad girls put on Mae Wests when times are tough.
Mae West ABC’s:
A. You’re never too old to become younger.
B. Too much of a good thing is wonderful
C. Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.