May 12, 2005

"Now, again, we're going back to the 50s... Things were very, very different from how they are now."

So said Priscilla Presley -- through a painfully surgically stretched skin-mask that was once a beautiful face. She was on the Letterman show last night, describing her parents' concern when she, at the age of 14, started dating Elvis Presley, who was 24. After three dates, her father -- so old fashioned! -- insisted on meeting Elvis. They were "nervous" about her "visiting" him.

Letterman: "You... you... you were 14. Uh... uh... he was 21? 24. So that was... uh... I mean ... even today... that was ... it's unheard of ... I would think ... Isn't it? More or less?"

PP: "Well, I don't know about today. I mean, there's older ... well ... in Hollywood ... there's ... uh..." (Grimaces -- to the extent the face permits -- and the audience giggles.) "Little bit ... 30 years ... how about that one? Heh, heh."


Brian J. said...

Plus, he was Elvis.

Mark Daniels said...

"Oh, you know, David...It's like...Well...back in the 50's, superstars were able know, spend time with jail bait. It was like a...sort of a Jerry Lee Lewis thing only I wasn't Elvis' cousin.

"By the way, the skin of my forehead itches. But it's like, on the small of my back. Could you scratch it for me?"

Ann Althouse said...

I hope it's clear that she meant that back then it was seen as a problem but it's not anymore. Not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure of all the facts behind this, but in the South, the marriage age with parental consent used to be pretty low. I'm not sure if the other party was allowed to be an adult.

I know I'm old fashioned and I met my daughters' dates before the first date.

John Thacker said...

Well, the marriageable age in California is apparently unlimited with parental consent still, if Wikipedia can be trusted. I know the North Carolina information is accurate; a lot of states let people get married if the girl is already pregnant or has given birth. Most states allow something less than 18 with either parental or judicial permission, or both.

Contributors said...

No. No. No. Everyone needs to relax. Elvis just shared the bed with her. Nothing happened. They just slept IN the same bed. That always happened at Neverl-- er, Graceland.

And you're right Ann, she was a stunner and now look at her. Sad.

I wonder if Lauren Bacall's had work done. She's edging close to 80 and looked beautiful on Larry King the other night and in that travesty of a movie called "Birth." (A movie Mary Kay Letourneau would turn off.)

Bacall looks naturally beautiful. A beautiful eighty year old. I think it's genes. Work is pretty easy to spot.

Have you seen what Burt Reynolds and Mickey Rourke have done to themselves? Unbelievable.

Simon Kenton said...

Dean, I think 'old fashioned' must depend on your part of the country. I met my daughter's dates while cleaning a shotgun on the coffee table.

Now she meets them with a shotgun of her own.

Mark Daniels said...

That was clear to everyone but dolts like me who, once again enamored of an idea I had, neglected to read your post carefully.


Ann Althouse said...

Mark: I don't think you were the only one. In fact, I started to have doubts myself. It's clearly what Letterman thought she meant, but maybe not. Maybe the point was that in some parts of the south fathers wanted their daughters married young.

Mark Daniels said...

As I recall, Elvis met Priscilla while he was in the Army, serving in Germany. If memory serves, she was the daughter of an officer there, maybe even the commander of the base at which Elvis was stationed.

But that brings up another point. In Germany, I believe that at least today, a child who has reached the age of 14 has attained majority in matters sexual. If that's true and that law prevailed in Germany back when Elvis and Priscilla were "courting," then there was nothing exceptionable about their relationship from the German standpoint.

But, if I had been her parents, I would have gone through the roof! As Brian J. wrote though, "...he was Elvis." So, I guess Mom and Dad overlooked any scruples they might have had. They may have looked at Elvis and seen a cash cow. In spite of their divorce, Priscilla controls the Presley estate and Elvis is in fact, a cash cow for Priscilla and her family.


Ann Althouse said...

Mark: That's one way to get people into the military.

talktostantonandorchard said...

Yeah, it is kind of unbelievable that so many of the Elvis products are still selling. What will become of this industry when the current generation is gone. Will today's grandchildren be filled with Elvis love and be caught having Elvis parties and wearing Elvis sunglasses?