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  • WILLIAM A SLOAN

Marlene Dietrich Cleaned Her Bathrooms

It’s a matter of responsibility.



Apparently, she once said that if you can’t take care of a thing or operate a thing or basically be responsible for a thing, well, you shouldn’t be able to have that thing. Logical. But so rarely considered.


For some reason, this idea came into my head this week, along with a pretty amazing visual. I mean, Marlene Dietrich was, for a period of time, the highest paid woman in the world and also considered to be one of the most beautiful and mysterious and pampered, yet there she’d be, on her hands and knees, scrubbing the tile floors and polishing the porcelain and chrome. In Dior, no doubt.


I bet her bathrooms were spotless. I bet you could perform surgery. She didn’t expect someone else to clean up her mess or understand her personal level of OCD, and she had that stamina and perfectionist streak that come to people who have survived hard times, celebrated good times and understand that both play into the natural order of things.


I like the idea of taking responsibility. I like the rewards that come with it. The clean floor is mine. The completion of a project is mine. Any success along the way is mine. Any failure is mine, too. Why should anyone go through life expecting others to clean up their messes or solve their problems? There’s no one else to blame. Ever.


The point I think is to take charge of every aspect of your life, not just the fun, easy parts, and benefit from the knowledge of a skill learned and a job well done.


Earn your stuff. And own it. Clean your bathrooms, metaphorically speaking, but do it in Dior.

Duties are what make life worth living. Lacking them, you are not necessary to anyone. – Marlene Dietrich

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