Have you ever played that game "Would you rather?"
It poses horrible scenarios and forces you to choose between them. For example... would you rather age from the neck up only, or the neck down only? Or... would you rather be really rich or really poor but find true love?
Well here's a kicker for you... would you rather watch your dream fall to pieces because you wouldn't go to bed with your boss who promised to "make you a star"...
...would you rather give in just that one time to finally get your shot at the career you have worked so hard for?
That one time a 1930's Hollywood Icon Learned How to Say "$&!@ Off!"
Sometimes the things that make a person iconic have rather unusual beginnings borne of necessity. For Carole Lombard, the thing that changed her career path started as a defense mechanism, when she was presented with the same exact "Would you rather?" dilemma. In Larry Swindell's biography Screwball, he repeats a story her brother told. It seems one day his sister came home from the studio full of anger, and with a strange request:
"Without beating around the bush, she said she wanted us to teach her all the dirty words we knew -- when to say them and what they meant."
Indeed, the proverbial casting couch was calling, and Carole wanted no part of it. But how to get the studio executives to hire her otherwise? She knew she would have to become one of them -- and she knew that cussing was a sure-fire way to do so.
It worked. In an era where women were supposed to be prim and proper, Carole stood out. The men were flabbergasted at first... but soon she became not just a pretty face but a worthy opponent... and more importantly, a friend.
"Kiss my ass!" says Carole Lombard. Yeah, girl!
Soon, her rough tongue became part of her legend. "Kiss my ass" became her most legendary put-down, indeed, it was engraved on a brass plate attached to the front door of her Hollywood home.
But underneath it all was something that people found charming about her -- at its heart her tongue was just another way of keeping it real with everyone. She said what she thought. She refused to remain silent.
And not only her peers, but the American people, loved her for it.
So... the next time you find yourself in your own dilemma, whatever form it takes, I guess the eternal question remains.... would you rather?
enjoyed this story? check out these other inspiring stories about the incredible Carole Lombard: