You’re a leading lady.

The Holiday is one of my favorite movies, despite it being certified rotten.  It is definitely filled with problematic elements, yet I continue to watch it nearly every year.  Earlier this month, I watched it repeatedly after the kids had left for school over the course of a week because the voices of the characters and the predictable happy ending gave me comfort.  I miss my grandfathers, and I grieve the men I needed them to be in my life.  I think Authur Abbott is the grandfather I wish mine could have been.  In one particular scene, Arthur tells Iris, “You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.”  In the film, Arthur is a retired movie producer who bonds with the younger Iris as the plot progresses.  I love to watch their friendship develop, the respect, dignity, and encouragement they both give each other over time.  This gentle admonishment from Authur isn’t meant to shame Iris but to remind her that she is much, much more valuable than she realizes and that it’s ok to believe in that worth and act on it.  This scene is powerful to me and it highlights a reminder we all need from time to time.  Sometimes, we need someone else to tell us the amazing parts of ourselves we just aren’t able to see at that moment in time.  Actually, I think this is why many people love romantic movies.  It’s also why social media is filled with examples of extreme promposals and photos taken in secret followed by epic declarations of appreciation for the beloved in the shot.  Being told how special you are feels amazing, and we all need it.  I’ve seen people scoff at vow renewals because they believe that those vows were said once and aren’t necessary again.  In my opinion, they’re missing the point of those vow renewals.  They aren’t replacing the original vows, but enhancing them.  We aren’t the same people we were when we first said “I do”.  Vow renewals display that spouses love who their spouse is currently, not just who their spouse was.  It’s unbelievably easy to look in the mirror and see who you once were and question whether your partner loves who you are now.  Likewise, it’s easy to stop loving yourself with time too, or realize that you never did truly love yourself and that your self-love was felt through other people’s love for you.  When I think about Authur and what he might say to me if I was Iris, I imagine he might tell me that I’m a leading lady in another person’s movie and ask me what movie I want to star in.  He’d tell me that I’m worth picking the movie I want to be in, not just the movie other people say I’d be good in. 


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