Welcome to Vintage Paparazzi.

What’s Worse Than A Cheatin’ Woman!—Elvis Presley

“She was a liar and a cheat,” he said. “She was absolutely, totally, one-hundred percent unfaithful. She hurt every fellow who was fool enough to date her, and . . .”

Suddenly, Elvis Presley bit off his words, as if he wasn’t sure he wanted to make the confession. Then he plunged in anyway.

“I knew she was false, but I’d have given anything—everything—to get one date with her!”

Elvis, America’s most sought-after bachelor, shook his head wonderingly. You could see he was puzzled over his own honest admission.

“It’s funny,” he said. “You can’t explain why a fellow will want a girl like that. He knows she’s a cheatin’ woman—but still, he keeps askin’ for trouble. He goes beggin’ for it! It happens all the time. Every man’s known a girl like that.”

We’d been sitting and staring at an ocean that was as phony as the kind of girl Elvis was talking about. The ocean looked real enough, but it was only a painted backdrop for “Girls, Girls, Girls.” And while Elvis was having a break between takes, our talk drifted from girls in general to specific types—the rare girl who’s so gentle she wouldn’t hurt a fly; the flirt who’ll hurt any man who has anything to do with her. And being a woman, I wondered out loud why men persist in pursuing a cheatin’ woman—knowing all the while they’ll be hurt.

When Elvis answered, “I don’t think sense has anything to do with it,” I caught a quick glint of humor in his steady blue-gray eyes. This boy was growing up—he was man enough now to look with understanding on the foibles and frailties of his fellow man. But the smile died away as his memories took him back to the girl who made a sucker out of every boy who panted after her. . . .

“I guess,” he mused, “you could say there’s nothin’ in this world worse than a cheatin’ woman.” He thought about that a bit. “But still, it does seem to me that there is one thing worse. . . He broke off again. Almost deliberately he turned his back on something he decided not to talk about. Instead, he went back to talking about the girl.

Maybe she wasn’t as beautiful as he remembered her—but when he was in high school she could make his throat go tight and the blood pound in his head, just by sauntering past. She had affected every boy in the school the same way. But her favorites suffered the most.

“Only I couldn’t believe that at the time,” Elvis said. “I couldn’t see how there could be anything worse than hankering after her—and never getting a tumble.”

Keep away from her!”

He remembers how the boys would turn their heads as she swished by—their eyes following her every move. And how they talked behind her back.

“Look at her switchin’ along,” El’s pal burst out bitterly. “Thinks she’s queen of the campus—when she’s nothin’ but a lyin’ little cheat!” Elvis’ buddy had been one of the elect—till she rode him to the heights of heaven, then dropped him with a thud!

“The two-timin’ little cheat!” The boy sounded as if he might cry. Elvis didn’t know how to answer. He’d never been one of the elect. He just didn’t know what it was she did to boys to make them moan like his pal here. El only knew that for some crazy reason it hurt him to hear her called the things she was being called.

“El, keep away from her!” his friend warned. “Take it from me—she’s not worth being made a fool of. . . .”

“Yeah,” El said slowly.

But looking at the young witch working her magic by simply swaying by, he felt as if he were going down—down—nonstop—in a very fast elevator!

“Maybe,” he began hesitantly, “maybe she isn’t . . .” But he didn’t finish it.

“Maybe she isn’t what?” his boy friend demanded, staring into El’s face.

“Oh nuthin’,” Elvis said. “Drop it.” He was sort of stunned to realize that he’d been about to defend the girl. What was there to say for her? He’d been brought up to know right from wrong—nobody had to tell him there wasn’t anything worse than a girl who cheats on the boy who’s mad for her.

So Elvis said what he was expected to say. “She sure gave you a hard time, all right.” But an embarrassing knowledge of his own self plagued him. He wished—with all his heart and being—that just once the cheating enchantress would give him a hard time! He wished it even though be knew that whatever they accused her of, was true. He knew he hated her for being what she was. But right this minute he hated his friend even worse—for saying so! For knowing so.

As for himself—El knew that this little snippet with the provoking walk and the knowing eyes had only to waggle a finger at him and he’d come running. He’d be her slave. For one date—just one!—she could even have his most cherished possession: his senior class ring!

In that moment El knew something else of the pain and confusion of boyhood: He knew he could get dates aplenty with girls who were just as pretty as she—and a whole lot nicer. Trustworthy girls who’d never lie or cheat or make a fellow wish he was dead.

But they’d never make him think he’d died and gone to heaven, either.

And that was what he wanted!

“Why?” Elvis repeated my question as we talked about girls. “Why was she what I wanted, and no other?” The glint of humor was in his eyes again. He could laugh a little at his own past foolishness. This self-amusement was a greater mark of new maturity in Elvis than the small cigar he was smoking.

“I reckon that some time or other, every man has been crazy about a woman he couldn’t trust,” Elvis said. And added, “. . . if he’d only admit it.”

He puffed thoughtfully on the cigar. “Why? Well, I imagine every man has a secret feeling that he’ll be the one to succeed where all the others before him failed. He’ll be able to keep her true to him—he hopes—because he’ll be the one she truly loves.”

“Do you mean by that,” I asked, “that Richard Burton would expect that he’d be the one to live happily ever after with Elizabeth Taylor, if they were to marry?”

Judge not . . .”

“I don’t know about that,” Elvis parried. “I don’t know Miss Taylor—so I can’t say how it is with them.

“What I think,” he went on, “is that a man doesn’t really let himself accept the verdict that the woman he wants is no good. And maybe he’s right—who’s to be the judge of another person? Maybe she’s not so bad.”

He stopped short.

Now I’ve known Elvis a good while, and though some writers think he’s closemouthed and hard to interview. I’ve never found him uncommunicative. Slow to answer perhaps, when it’s something that hurt as deeply as his mother’s death. But Elvis was never glib and full of slick, pat phrases. He was honest as a boy and now, maturing, he is still the unaffected, fundamentally good person he’s always been. And yet—this was the second time he had clammed up at a promising point in the conversation. So I prodded. “What do you mean, Elvis? What’s worse than a cheatin’ woman?”

But he went along with his own thought.

“A girl,” he said, “may seem pretty heartless but still not be—and who’s to say if she is or she isn’t? You’ve got to know all the circumstances.”

This was the Elvis who, as a child in a country Sunday School, used to get many a gold star pasted beside his name for correctly reciting memory verses—like the verse: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

Elvis has a long memory. He’s known for that. He never forgets a kindness done to him on his road to success. He never forgets a friend (which is why I’d been invited onto a closed set). He doesn’t talk freely about his hurts, but he hasn’t forgotten them, either. And he has never forgotten the strong moral influence of his childhood, when his mother taught him that poverty was nothing to be ashamed of—provided it wasn’t poverty of spirit.

Suddenly, Elvis leaned forward intently and said, “All right, I’ll tell you what’s been on my mind. I didn’t want to discuss it, because I wouldn’t want it said that I hold with unfaithfulness—I certainly do not! I’m no cheater and I sure wouldn’t want my woman to be. But I do say there’s one thing worse than a cheatin’ woman. . .

“And that’s the so-called decent, honorable man who wouldn’t dream of cheating on his woman—but who’s so stupid and unfeeling that he drives her to it!

He waited a minute for this revelation to sink in.

“Listen,” Elvis said earnestly, “don’t make me sound like I think I know all the answers. All I know is how I feel about things. And I feel that in courting a girl, a man’s got all the advantages. He sees the girl he wants and he can go after her—direct and open—to win her. A girl can’t be so obvious. If the man she sets her heart on doesn’t notice her, she has to wait patiently till he does—or now and then resort to a little trickery to wake him up. That’s not what I mean by cheating, though—that’s just being a female.

“But here’s the male with all the advantages. And you take this kind of a man—he marries his girl, he promises to love her forever—her and nobody else. She’s up on Cloud 9 with him and she doesn’t come down for some time—not till she finds out the truth about the husband she’s married—that he has a mistress. Oh not another woman—I told you, he’s a decent man. But he gives so much of himself to his job that there’s not enough of him left for his wife. He’s made his job his mistress, and his wife is lonely and disappointed and hurt. Ripe for trouble! So if she wanders off the reservation—who drove her to it?

“And that’s not the only way a man can be stupid enough to drive his woman to cheatin’ on him,” Elvis continued. “What about the one who takes her so for granted that she might as well be an old shoe as a wife. Sure he’s comfortable with her—but if he’s too comfortable to perk himself up and tell her all she means to him, she’s finally going to believe she means nothin’. And that’s enough to make any woman miserable—she’s got to know she’s loved and needed. When a man gets around to saying, ‘You should’ve known I loved you or why else would I marry you?’—that’s generally too late. She’s already gone out to find love! And whose fault was that?”

A Jane is not a Joe!

Elvis threw away what was left of his cigar and warmed up to his topic. “Some girls are such good sports,” he said, “that a man sort of forgets she’s a girl and treats her like another Joe. And that’s wrong, too. Because she can be the best skate in the world, but she still wants her man to remember she’s a woman. That’s why he courted her in the first place, isn’t it? And if he misplays that part of their relationship, then he’s not going to keep her happy. That kind of woman is usually too honest and forthright to relish the idea of turning cheat on her man—but if she’s pushed too far and rebels against being treated like a Joe instead of a Jane—her man had better watch out!”

Last but not least, Elvis brought up the selfish man with eyes and ears only for himself.

“All he can talk about is his problems, his successes, his ambitions and his hopes,” El said. “It never occurs to him that maybe once in a while she needs a shoulder to cry on, or someone to tell her, ‘Good girl, you did that job fine!’ or even, ‘That was the best apple pie I ever tasted.’ If his wife ever told him how she lies awake wondering what love is all about, he’d be shocked. But she’ll never tell him. And if she goes off the deep end for the first man who shows her some tender consideration, you’ll hear one outraged husband screaming about a cheatin’ woman!”

A messenger came to tell Elvis he was needed on the set. He stood up and said, “Break’s over. I have to get back to work.”

He was walking toward the cameras i when he stopped and called back, just soft enough for me to hear. “But like I said, I don’t hold with cheatin’—not in love or marriage or anything.” And then he added, “That’s why I’m taking my time finding the girl I want to marry. I’m not looking for the most perfect girl in the world—just the right one for me, and me for her. I want to be sure that we’re so right for each other that so long as we live, neither of us will ever look at anybody else.”



See Elvis in UA’s “Follow That Dream” and “Kid Galahad.” His next film is “Girls, Girls, Girls” made for Paramount.



1 Comment
  • zoritoler imol
    2 Ağustos 2023

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across. What a perfect site.

Leave a Comment

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger