Finding the Auntie Mame in You

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Now, when I say Auntie Mame, I don’t mean the classic 1958 version starring Rosalind Russell. I mean the IMDb 3-star-rated, 1974 Lucille Ball version; the version that flopped in the theatre and made Lucille Ball consider ending her motion picture career, version. Contrary to the popular vote, I ADORE this version.  Mind you, the only reason I watched this movie was because of my obsession with Lucille Ball and the belief that she is the best comedian to walk this earth. I do, however, admit to the cheesiness and the ability it has to make me stop to cringe a bit; cringe in the same way that you feel when your Mom brings you soup when your sick and 30 years old. You don’t want to tell everyone else that your still Mommy’s little Princess, but deep down, you love it… yah, that cheesiness.

Okay… now that I am finished being weird, let me go back to Mame. I was re-watching this movie for the 50thtime the other day and I started to realize the rare person that Mame is…. and began to feel how sad that is.  Mame is the epitome of authenticity and to be honest, authenticity is hard to come by these days – in my personal opinion, a rare trait. From the moment you see Mame hit the screen you can tell that she doesn’t give a damn about what anyone thinks of her. She is a wealthy socialite who throws lavish parties for her friends and at the same time is open to being thrust into the guardianship of her deceased brother’s son, Patrick. At that moment, you truly see Mame’s character come out; how she deals with the loss of her brother and now her newfound responsibility as Patrick’s caretaker.

Mame 1974
Mame (film) 1974

The best song, in my personal opinion, in the whole movie is “Open a New Window” which becomes the life message she tries to instill in her orphaned nephew Patrick. I have this song on my Spotify playlist and when it comes on, I normally belt it. It has such a beautiful meaning and instead of continuing this novella, I will let it speak for itself:

“Open a new window,

Open a new door,

Travel a new highway,

That’s never been tried before;

Before you find you’re a dull fellow,

Punching the same clock,

Walking the same tight rope

As everyone on the block.

The fellow you ought to be is three dimensional,

Soaking up life down to your toes,

Whenever they say you’re slightly unconventional,

Just put your thumb up to your nose.

And show ’em how to dance to a new rhythm,

Whistle a new song,

Toast with a new vintage,

The fizz doesn’t fizz too long.

There’s only one way to make the bubbles stay,

Simply travel a new high way,

Dance to a new rhythm,

Open a new window ev’ry day…!”

The song goes on to encourage everyone to live his or her best life and try something new everyday. YouTube it!

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Mame (film) 1974

During the movie, Mame ends up losing her fortune and works a string of jobs to get by. This showed that she is not run by her ego and isn’t “too good” to work. Since she loses her wealth, she struggles to pay her butler and maid, George and Agnes. Even though she cannot pay them, they loyally stand by her and use their savings to help pay her bills. Now, if that doesn’t show that she is an authentic and genuine person at her core then I don’t know what does. Mame does end up winning the heart of some rich tycoon named Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside and ends up with extreme wealth again. Beau ends up getting accidentally killed in an avalanche in the Alps, which leaves her widowed with his wealth.

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Mame (film) 1974

Agnes, her maid goes off to go on a first date and returns six months later pregnant. At this time, her nephew Patrick has grown up and found himself engaged to a hoity-toity fiancé named Gloria. Mame then finds out that this bigoted fiancé that he brought home has an even snobbier family and she wonders what she did wrong when raising Patrick to result in him wanting to be with someone like this. Gloria’s family then ends up showing disdain for the pregnant single maid Agnes, which drives Mame crazy. To refute this, she ends up buying the house next door to Gloria’s parents and decides to name is “Beauregarde Burnside Memorial Home for Single Mothers” which is characteristic of her firm beliefs and clearly riles up the close-minded bigots.

After I watched this movie again, I was flabbergasted over how ahead of her time Mame was and how I wished there were more people in our current world like Auntie Mame. Someone who used their wealth for good, someone who didn’t turn their nose up at lifestyle choices and ultimately, someone who was deep down a genuine soul.  Mame’s attitude shows that she doesn’t care about what other people think of her but rather focusing on living her best life every single day. I think everyone should adopt this personal motto as their own. This movie teaches me to wake up every day with a positive mind and strive to live a genuine, authentic life.

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Mame (film) 1974

So, on days when I am feeling blue and need a burst of inspiration, I put on that song and belt it in my car. With that being said and to end this post, I ask you to raise your glass and sing these lyrics with me…

“There’s only one way to make the bubbles stay,

Simply travel a new high way,

Dance to a new rhythm,

Whistle a new love song,

Toast with a new vintage,

Open a new window ev’ry day!”





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