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What I’d Like To Teach Men?—Lana Turner

The ABC’s you were taught in grammar school have nothing whatever to do with the particular ones Lana Turner has in mind. ABC’s can also stand for All-time Bachelor Complaints—those horrible little habits that make women wince.

The beauteous Lana had casually mentioned the topic during a chat with us. We decided it was our duty to pursue the topic and convey her ABC’s so the men of the nation could take fair warning.

Lana’s spacious Holmby Hills home was buzzing with excitement. It seems we really picked the time. She was leaving in a matter of hours—flying to Paris to star in MGM’s “The Flame And The Flesh.” Not only was there last-minute packing to see to, there were dozens of instructions for the staff, Lana’s mother moving in to watch over young Cheryl, and answering one phone call after another wishing the star bon voyage.

When we quoted Lana’s remark, “What I’d like to teach men,” we were afraid, at such a time, she’d much prefer to label the interview, “what I’d like to teach reporters,” and her number one point would be to give us a hole in the head. But, we should have known her better. She simply closed off all activity.

Settling comfortably in a wing chair in her den, she took the phone off the receiver, curled up with her feet under her, and school was in session.

“You might think this a bit unusual to list first, but I feel it is important. The date who, every other breath, says, ‘I’ve got news for you’ . . . ‘Let me say this’ . . . ‘The party is a ball’ . . . etc., understand what I mean? Personally, I’ve never liked pet expressions. I think it perfectly fine for a man to brighten the conversation, but not incessantly with such worn-out idioms.

“Haven’t you been on a date and heard the boy use similar expressions to such a degree you say to yourself, ‘If he says that one more time, I’ll go crazy!’ ”

We agreed overworking pet phrases was terribly annoying.

“After awhile,” Lana pointed out, “the girl doesn’t listen to his conversation, she’s too busy waiting for him to say, ‘I’ve got news for you.’ I like a man to talk in an easy, normal way and not try to be cute and wear a date out with the same phrases, over and over.

“Of course,” she continued, tracing her finger over the fabric design on the chair, “if men practice just plain good manners, most of the little things women find objectionable would be solved. Good manners have never gone out of style, and a slight brush-up on some of the basic ones would improve many a male’s standing.

“I was dining out with a group of friends the other night and noticed a girl I know quite well being very attentive to her date. I smiled hello and went on talking with my friends. Next time I noticed, she was sitting alone while her escort greeted friend after friend and got into conversation with each one of them. The poor girl, strictly on her own, sat there 15 minutes, while her date visited about at other tables. Finally, I asked her if she would join our party. She told me how embarrassed and humiliated she was sitting there by herself, but what could she do? Goon Boy was enjoying himself. Rudeness like that is inexcusable.

“If a man invites a girl out, he should have enough good manners and interest to be considerate and never leave her in such an awkward position.

“Another complaint,” continued Lana, “You can’t blame a girl for being irritated if she is dressed in a new evening gown for a party and the boy shows up in sport clothes or minus a tie. I will admit, in the male’s favor, that most of them have improved. I’ve observed in teen-age boys, especially, that the constant urge to be nonchalant and to wear the wrong thing, is going out of style. What girl wouldn’t hedge about making a date if the boy was always guilty of not ing correctly for the occasion.”

Incidentally, we recall one week when Lana attended a charity ball, a cocktail party, and hostessed an afternoon of tennis. For the ball she was dressed to the teeth, careful thought had planned her bouffant gown and jeweled accessories . . . at the cocktail party she was in a navy afternoon dress, not over-done, but in simple and conservative style . . . and at the tennis party white shorts and blouse were her appropriate costume.

Like most women, Lana prefers that men follow simplicity in jewelry. There is something about a man with a flashy diamond ring or cuff links that is far less attractive than one free of jewelry or wearing a conservative gold ring or tie clasp.

“One bit of advice I would like to stress is—a man should never take a defeatist attitude. The shy type, and believe me he is much more in the majority than the wolf that is so publicized, often ruins his own chances by his pre-conceived ideas. He wants to date a girl, but he automatically thinks, ‘What’s the use? She’d turn me down anyway.’

“Now really, what kind of approach is that? A man should never assume he hasn’t a chance with a girl unless he’s told so directly by her.

“Another point, even closer to my heart, why do men often assume that just because a woman has a job she is a hopeless, dyed-in-the-wool careerist? Many girls have to work to earn a living, others use a career as a stop-gap until they settle down and marry. It is really a shame that every woman who works has to be labeled ‘careerist. That word may apply to some few females who actually do prefer business to home life, but they are in such a minority it’s wrong to hang the title haphazardly on others.

“I love my work, but can honestly say nothing can replace the love of family and home. Often, people have the idea actresses are so wrapped up in their careers they never think of anything else. Believe me, I would love to have someone else earn my bread and butter for me. Other actresses feel the same way.”

We could just hear someone criticize, “If this is true then why does Lana make so many pictures—why not leave more time for home?” Lana, to be sure, has had a particularly crowded movie schedule, and for a very good reason. She did one film after another during the past few months so she could save up her vacation for this European trip.

Lana’s young daughter, Cheryl, will stay here in school until June, then Lana’s mother will accompany the youngster to Paris, where the trio will start off on a vacation. It will be a wonderful European holiday for Cheryl, one that may be the highlight of her life, so far.

“Every woman would probably breathe a grateful sigh of relief,” continued Lana about faults in men, “if men would realize that a girl doesn’t want to marry every man she goes out with.

“There has been so much publicity on how to get a man, that males automatically seem to vision every woman is out to lasso him, unwilling victim that he may be, into marriage. This is so untrue.

“Also I’d like to caution males against another thing. The average man, if he does become interested in a girl, immediately becomes quite possessive. Yet, if she is possessive of him he screams out loud. He feels he’s trapped and doesn’t like it at all. Well, this possessiveness works both ways. Some men want a woman to do everything in the world to please them, while they do nothing in return. Yet how these men resent it when the girls demand the same rights for themselves.

“Now there is a fault, I must admit, of which women are equally as guilty as men. It’s the annoying habit of forcing friendship. What is it with people like this? They hardly know you, and by pretending to be such close friends, they are making it a positive fact that they never will be. A person was brought to a party at my house and casually introduced to my friends. None of my friends, except the one who brought him, had ever met him before. Yet, it later came back to me from several sources that he had been name-dropping all over town telling about his dear, dear friends and what they said at dear Lana’s party. At first, the whole thing was amusing. Then I couldn’t help but feel irritated. Needless to say, he’ll never be invited again to my house.

“Males should never heap compliments on a girl the minute they meet,” Lana cautioned. “The ‘you’re so beautiful . . . you’re the kind of girl I’ve been looking for all my life . . . we’re so emotionally alike,’ etc., etc. sort of approach is ridiculous. Any intelligent girl sees through it and knows it’s an obvious line. For how in the world could anyone possibly know such things on so brief an acquaintance? After all, if you have just met how is it possible to know if you are emotionally alike or not? If such compliments roll on with ease, you can be sure he undoubtedly says the same sweet nothings to every girl he meets. This Goon Boy should be promptly listed as a person to avoid completely, but completely.

“Now,” Lana smiled, “we girls like to be complimented by a man, but one sincere, simple sentence, honestly meant, is worth a bushel of the others.

“It is a mistake for a girl to change herself too much to please a man. Eventually, if she makes herself over, he’ll suddenly exclaim, ‘Where is the girl who first attracted me?’

“By changing, nine times out of ten, she loses the very thing that first attracted him.”

Lana, who made her first picture at MGM in 1937 at the age of 14, has changed remarkably little. From her second film to this day, she has worn her hair in the platinum shade that has become a trademark. She still loves to dance. Prefers to wear the same light pink shade of lipstick and favors blue and white in both screen and private wardrobes.

“There’s one last thing I’d love to teach men: Tell them if they, themselves, would keep all the rules they want their young ladies to keep, it would be a happier world!”





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