The Importance of Being Earnest… or whoever you are.

Have you seen the movie The Importance of Being Earnest?  Colin Firth and Rupert Everett are in it.

That’s really all you need to know.

Colin Firth: Mr. Darcy, Mark Darcy, Jamie, King George, Harry… worth the watch all on his own.

Anyway, in the movie, two men (two British men) pretend to be named Ernest because, as the lovely little Cecily says:

“… it has always been a girlish dream of mine to love a man named Ernest.”

Can I ever relate!  Except it was the name Seth that really did it for me. Happily ever after. The end.

(Kidding of course, it was his singing! Car singing… that’s what really won me over!)

Anyway, both Jack and Algy pretend to be named Ernest– Ernest Worthing. Until their fiances get together, find out they’re both engaged to Mr. Ernest Worthing, the men have to come clean, and hilarity (musical hilarity, I might add!) ensues!  Admittedly, I am not done watching the movie (I couldn’t stay on the elliptical that long), but I plan to finish it tonight and I’m pretty sure I get the message:

BE YOURSELF.

And I can get behind that!

You see, my good friend Lee Chim went on a first date with a gentleman suitor this weekend and as she regaled us with the tales of the somewhat dorky awkwardness that the date entailed this morning, I couldn’t help but smile and smile and smile. (Oh, look! I’m smiling again!!) Because that’s who she is– to a T. Lee is a little bit dorky, a little bit awkward, but kind to the absolute center of her core. And she had FUN being herself: dorky, awkward, and kind.  A lot of fun. Enough fun to want to do it again. And so did he! Even though she opened the door for him (chivalry goes both ways, people! especially in the great white north!) and ended the evening with an awkward handshake-hug-pat-on-the-back combo– she was still the vibrant and lovely Lee, just being herself, the “pretty lady” that she is (he totally called her that– swoon!) and that was what I’m certain won him over.

Lee went on her date as Lee, not as Ernest. (See the connection I’m making here?) Pretending to be someone you’re not can be pretty funny in the movies, but seems like an awful lot of work without the possibility of much reward in real life.

I can’t be the only one who finds faking it exhausting, can I? And even more so, frustrating when it’s someone else putting on a front for me!

I love Lee for Lee (she’s seriously amazing you guys, and yes, I’m putting some extra compliments here at the end because I am banking on forgiveness in the morning! but I really do mean it… I cannot tell you how glad I am to have met her!! and to see her have fun on her date!!) and tonight I’ll find out if Cecily and Gwendolyn are willing to love their Ernest Worthings even if they go by Algy and Jack instead (don’t worry– it’s a romantic comedy, all signs point to yes). In my life, I’ve spent a lot of time pretending to be something I’m not. (I’d like to say trying rather than pretending, but I’m also trying to be honest with you here… so I’ll keep it real. Pretending it is.) And not once has it ever paid off.*

I have a sneaky feeling that (if you look for it love actually is all around… couldn’t help it after I started the sentence that way!) Lee would prefer to be loved for being her authentic self, dorkiness and all. That’s why I love her, to be sure! (Dorky is my love language, y’all.) And all the most important people in my life love me in the same way. Warts and all, as they say! (But seriously, I had a lot of warts on my left knee when I was growing up, it was unfortunate.)

 

*Ok, actually, there was that one time… when I pretended to molt at the dinner table for a while and begged for reptilian company to molt with, I did actually get an iguana for Christmas. That paid off pretty handsomely. But that was the only time, I swear.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: unless you’re trying to get your parents to buy you a lizard for Christmas, it’s probably best to just be yourself.

 

PS: Lee Chim is just a super clever nickname– got to protect the innocent and all that! Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is, well, because that’s the point… 😉  I love you, Lee Chim!! <3

6 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Earnest… or whoever you are.

  1. Nice post Rachel. It’s hard to be one’s self all the time especially when we are called to be in different roles at times. I’m thinking of work situations.

    1. That’s a good point, Dad… I guess I wasn’t really thinking of work. I don’t necessarily need to be loved there like I would expect to be loved by my friends and family. (My coworkers just love me because I’m naturally super lovable!) But yes, at work, sometime you can’t be your true self when something else is expected of you. Sometimes you have to be Ernest.

      1. I did like it! Not too much detail/backstory– just a very entertaining story… and Colin Firth. I giggled all the way through.

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