ESSENTIALS

29

A Dirty Little Secret

Character, as they say, is destiny. And nothing imbues a gentleman with character quite like his very own inconvenient truth.
Photo: Everett Collection

Now there's a man with a secret: Orson Welles as Harry Lime.

A proper gentleman needs a dirty little secret.  Not a murder—too gory. Nor even a mistress—or at least not me. I’m too middle-class for that.

But we have to have done something bad, that only our best friend, and probably not even our inner circle of loved ones, knows about.

Why is this secret essential?  Because it will imbue you with character, authenticity.  The most minute flaw makes the diamond all the more real, and appealing.

Were you caught smoking pot in the bathroom at work?  Are you in love with the babysitter? Did you fail to pay any taxes for three years?  Did you join the Tea Party?  Did you wreck your car when you were trying to change a CD?  Do you Google yourself compulsively? Do you play World of Warcraft all night long, every night? Does your online alter ego wear square-toed shoes?

The possibilities are endless.  The scope for embarrassment considerable.

What’s my dirty secret, you may want to know? Well, I don’t plan on telling you.  And I hope you’ll never find out.

All I can tell you is: Get your own dirty secret.  Hell, you read Gilt MANual, you should already have one. A good one. Now nurture it. Treasure it. And reveal it, sparingly, occasionally, only to the right one or two people, with a fanfare, a flourish, or a sheepish grin.  If it’s a good one, it’ll be the making of you.

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Essential #28: A Dirty Little Secret | Gilt MANual -- Topsy.com

  2. Gabriel says:

    so you mean I shouldn’t tatto the name of my dwarf beatsmaster on my forehead?

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