I was a little heartbroken when I learned that Helen Gurley Brown had passed on earlier today. She was an inspiration for millions of women by giving Cosmopolitan its “meow” from 1965 to 1997, and her books Having It All and Sex and The Single Girl have long been gifts to the young women working under my charge in publishing — despite the disapproval of my female superiors.
Miss Gurley Brown referred to her own charges as “girls” — often with multiple exclamation points and over-italicized fonts — encouraging them to have sex, even with married men, provided he didn’t break their hearts. These dog-eared hardcover books included five quotes that always made me long for her at my dinner table:
Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody.
A working girl should invest her money in the most expensive overcoat because it is the one item most men will see you in.
One shouldn’t be ashamed to bring a bullion cube on a date and merely order a hot water at dinner.
Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlep.
Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.
Good girls may go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere, but here’s to hoping this Mouseburger is living the high life… wherever she is.