Priscilla Presley Said She Matured Quickly Because the ‘Pain of Living Without’ Elvis Was so Overwhelming
When Priscilla Beaulieu met Elvis Presley, she was 14 years old. He was 10 years her senior and one of the biggest celebrities in the world. When reflecting on their relationship, Priscilla said she believed Elvis liked her because she was more mature than her years. She said that the period of time when she was separated from Elvis made her mature quickly because of the pain she endured.
Priscilla Presley believed Elvis liked her because of her maturity
When Priscilla told her parents she was in a relationship with Elvis, they could hardly believe it. They couldn’t understand why he was interested in their teenage daughter. They grew even more confounded when Priscilla told them she and Elvis were in love. She wanted to move to Memphis to be with him, which they reluctantly allowed. She admitted that she had similar questions.
“In truth, I was as mystified as my parents were about why Elvis wanted me to come live with him,” she wrote in her book Elvis and Me. “I think he was attracted by the fact that I had a normal, stable childhood, and that I was very responsible, having helped my parents raise my younger brothers and sister.”
Also, by the time Elvis asked Priscilla to move to Memphis, they had been living apart for two years. During this time, Priscilla sat in constant waiting for calls from Elvis that only came sporadically. She believed that the pain of this waiting period aged her.
“I was more mature at sixteen than I was at fourteen, when he’d met me, not only because I’d gone through the normal growing period, but also because I’d experienced the pain of living without him for those two years.”
Priscilla Presley admitted Elvis also liked her because she was his type
Priscilla had the physical attributes Elvis looked for in a partner. She was also young and eager to please enough that he could shape her looks to his preferences.
“I also had all the physical attributes that Elvis liked, the fundamentals he could use in turning me into his ideal woman,” she wrote. “In short, I had everything that Elvis had been looking for in a woman: youth and innocence, total devotion, and no problems of my own. And I was hard to get.”
Over the course of their relationship, Elvis told Priscilla to dye her hair, wear more makeup, and dress in new styles.
She vowed she would make their relationship work
When Priscilla moved to Memphis, she vowed she would do everything in her power to make her relationship with Elvis work. This meant dealing with the rules at Graceland, never talking about her problems, and molding her appearance to Elvis’ liking.
“I intended to do whatever I had to to hold him, because if he had ever sent me home, it would have meant not only that I’d been gone in going to him, but that my parents had been wrong for having permitted it,” she wrote. “I firmly resolved to make our relationship work, no matter what.”