Love Games…an outrageous proposal.
I love this story about Genevieve Lanthelme from Book of the Courtesans! Genevieve Lanthelme was a beautiful actress that was raised in her mothers’ brothel. She was put to work there at age 14. From the moment she was born she had a fierce independence. She rejected the profession fate had chosen for her: being a prostitute. She studied acting at the Conservatoire and even though she was offered a position at the Comedie-Francaise she rejected this. She wanted to perform at the popular theatres on the boulevards of Paris. And she did…becoming a sensation! Audiences were charmed by her performances onstage and off. Audiences were particularly interested in her lovers…both men and women.
One of her lovers was Alfred Edwards who gave her an elegant home filled with the most gorgeous furniture. His wife, Misia, was none too pleased. Misia was also successful in the Paris theatre world. She was a successful producer and very powerful. Misia planned a meeting with Lanthelme very carefully. She studied Lanthelme closely. Misia matched her clothes, dress and rehearsed Lanthelmes’ charming dramatic appeal. Misias’ intention? Confront Lanthelme in “mirror image” and deliver the following lines:
“You have a woman’s heart.”
“Give him back!”
Unfortunately Misia had no idea who she was dealing with. Lanthelme was 3 steps ahead of Misia without even knowing her. Lanthelme didn’t want to burn any bridges with her rivals’ wife. The wife was a powerful player in the Paris theatre world. She knew of Misia’s plans. And was prepared. Upon Misia’s arrival:
- Lanthelme had Misia wait for her in her salon…beneath a gorgeous painting of Lanthelme by the artist Boldini.
- Lanthelme disarmed Misia with her entrance. Not only with her breathtaking beauty, but with the charm at which she greeted her vistor…Misia.
- Lanthelme showered her with compliments, discussed the theatre season and asked if she could help Misia in ‘any way.”
Thoroughly flustered, Misia told Lanthelme that she came to discuss her husband. Lanthelme said there was “absolutely nothing to worry about.” She told Misia he “hardly interested her.” Then she abruptly changed her tactics:
She told her she could “really have him.” On three conditions: “I want the necklace you’re wearing, a million francs and YOU.”
That did it. Misia…not even acknowledging condition #3, removed her necklace, gave it to Lanthelme, promised she would receive the francs in a few days and hurried out the door. When Misia returned to her hotel, a package was waiting for her. Inside the package were her necklace and a note that said:
“I have decided to to forget the money and return the necklace. I am holding you only to the third condition.”
LOL…I haven’t been able to find out much more about Lanthelme except this brief entry in Wikipedia: Geneviève Lantelme She died of an apparent drowning…people think she may have been murdered. One of the dangers of being beautiful, talented and highly spirited, maybe. The reason why I wanted to share with you is that nothing seemed to get this lady down. Not the brothel, the “you can’t do that,” not the powerful woman/rival. She was a woman of passion and determination. She used charm to disarm her enemies. Enemies do not expect to be treated with respect. People competing with you do not think you will treat them with respect. It throws them for a loop when you are charming, helpful and polite!
“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” Bitch 101
Who knows? With a little charm and caring you may turn your worse enemies into faithful friends. Or not. Bottom line: You are handling the situation in an empowering way. And that is what matters! Love, Goddess
© S Stevens Life Strategies