Tag Archives: life choices

Funny Girl

I seem to be making all sorts of life connections with movies this week. My productivity levels regarding university work are utterly out the window, only this time because I can’t stop singing the soundtrack of the Barbara Streisand hit “Funny Girl”. As an appendage to my account of Tinderella throwing off both glass slippers at the ball and running out the door, I contemplate if being a funny girl really does make”life candy and the sun a ball of butter”. Well Babs, I can’t decide if my parade is being rained all over (maybe someone will get the reference- please?) or if I’m okay with the kinda persona I seem to have picked up among certain circles. How does life in practice as the funny girl play out?

If you’ve ever seen the movie, great-it’s wonderful. If not- watch it, it’ll change your life.

A young Fanny Brice (yes Fanny, before it picked up all those lurid connotations) falls in love with Nicky Arnstein. She’s feisty and  an absolute hoot who charms Nicky with her humour and brazen attitude to life. We follow her journey as she ascends from chorus girl to Broadway star. She’s certainly not a girl’s girl. She’s rough around the edges and everything she does is hysterical in some way, intentional or otherwise. I’m not the melodic diva she is nor half as attractive,but watching it I felt a lot of similarities in how I’m perceived in terms of relationships and my social life. I’ve been told on numerous occasions, “Nicole, you know what. You make me laugh when you don’t even mean to be funny” by my ladies. And from the male compadres (of a romantic nature) “Nicole, there’s no one quite like you”. And although this would seem a welcome compliment , I know that it’s a synonym for hysterical really. I’ve learnt this over time.

At first in all this I was glad someone thought I was funny. I finally had a word that could be attached officially to a description of “me”. With friends, it makes you feel secure in knowing they’ll always keep you for comedic factor, and in some capacity you’re not readily replaceable. In day-to-day life, it can be a little frustrating. The moments in class discussion where you come out with what you think is a fairly insignificant one liner, and everyone laughs. You think to yourself, am I failing to observe some basic rules of social etiquette that everyone else is in on? Am I just really funny? Do I look funny? Is something on my face? And when you move beyond situations where you’re just dying to be taken seriously like a discussion on politics (funnily enough a prerequisite for participation in my degree) you hit a totally new set of frustrations in relationships.

When you have a talent to present a constant lax attitude to life’s trials and tribulations (whilst harbouring the secret/or not so secret if you know me, that your mind runs at a 100mph), combined with an innate ability to make most grim scenarios light hearted, you’ll know when you try to express how mad you are it rarely is communicated. Especially to a partner in which you’ll get a variation of responses. “You’re so cute when you’re mad” or failing that…they’ll merely laugh. It really is a double edged sword being the “funny” one.

But for now if i’m keeping everyone entertained, much to my class debating detriment, I’m okay with being the funny girl.

But she’s a real phony..

“You’re wrong. She is a phony. But on the other hand you’re right. She isn’t a phony because she’s a real phony. She believes all this crap she believes. You can’t talk her out of it.”

Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

When you move to London you’re confronted with the widest scope of characters imaginable. The quiet reserved bookish types, the arty farty to the hippy dippy and the downright bizarre. When I saw all these people I was in awe at how unique and off the charts they were, both  impressed at their “out-there” way of thinking and absolute disregard for how they are perceived. As if it were all really just for them. But once the first glimpse of the untouchable individuals had passed, and I looked for longer than a glance, the dream, so to speak, started to collapse (a little like inception)- a dream within a dream within a dream. Layers and layers of something that did not stick.

Thinking of one case, as I got to unravel this one particular individual, I was amazed at what I thought was a natural charisma, a raw magnetism all as a result of looking and sounding as if they’ve stepped from a world decades ago, their air of you don’t know me and never will, multi-faceted exterior and utter lack of gravity toward THIS reality. But, I became to see the situation for what it was. An impeccably constructed image, but barely even an image it ran much deeper than appearance; an idea. Through voice, and senses and attire, the pauses between their spoken words- each carefully thought out so as to exude a breathy sumptuousness that none is born with; that part should have at least been apparent.

Stumbling upon the reality of what they WERE as opposed to what they had formulated, I could not buy into it any longer. However, whether this was my own issues or not, I began to question the line between being inspired by the movies you love, the music you listen to, the way it makes you feel, the places you’ve been and how you want to completely embody the essence of these things…and question the line between inspiration and transformation of the self. What this train of thought brought me to was an apt quote from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A Truman Capote line I never really understood until I was confronted with it’s message- ” the real phony”.

As intertwined as the whole thought process became, and as unsure as I was if I was just getting stuck in a line of thought that was irrelevant whatever it’s outcome, I wondered if we were all real phony’s. Whilst I had always thought we were influenced by our likes and loves, I now questioned if my whole persona, much like the phony I had so unforgivingly dissected, was as carefully constructed as theirs. Had I missed that I had been articulating every taste and passion verbally to others, through my appearance and pictures, only to add to an exterior image and perception I wished others to gain of me? Furthermore, were those typically handsome bearded men, the coffee drinkers, the bookish types that I had lusted over (and still do really) as some romantic “idea” been an “idea” themselves? Was anyone a true reflection of themselves, because of just loving the things they loved… without becoming them? And in fact…was this even possible?

Nonetheless, why did it matter if I, or they, were a phony…

because in the end, at least they’re a real phony?