In a recent series of conversations with a new acquaintance, I saw with crystal clarity how often I refer to myself as one of the following three characters. I’m pretty sure I’m not schizophrenic, but chances are you’ve heard me refer to myself as at least one of these broads. Allow me to introduce you.
Miss Tallulah Devyne Chardonnay is penultimately feminine, charming and flirtatious. Sequins and pearls and matte red lipstick, fine leather gloves and cashmere sweaters and a walk that makes men dizzy. Tallulah is a soldier in the online dating world. Long legs, sultry voice and big doe eyes. Ever the Lady (capital L), she is the guardian of my “fine china.” Tallulah is responsible for 75% of my shoe collection and all of my Little Black Dresses She wears Big Apple Red on her toes and Bubble Bath on her fingers and has a fondness for cocktail rings and statement necklaces. Her signature fragrances are Angel, FlowerBomb and Prada. She was born in the late 90s while dating a tall handsome tradesman with a penchant for tailored suits, the Bay Tower Room, dirty martinis and Frank Sinatra. She enjoys dancing cheek-to-cheek.
Nana is slightly scattered peri-menopausal, and not quite ready-for-primetime. Nana is learning how to text. She blushes frequently and often forgets why the hell she walked into a room, opened a closet door, ran down to Shaw’s. She is a master knitter who is baking her way through Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Cake Bible. Nana hates online dating and frets over the first meetings. She’d much rather sit at home with a good movie or good book. She jokes -- perhaps a little too often -- about getting hacked to pieces and dumped in the Charles. She parks the car under a streetlight, keeps her keys and phone within easy reach, checks in with loved ones from the ladies room and again when she is home safe in her bed. Nana wears tasteful diamond studs, progressive lenses and Dansko clogs. Her signature fragrance is Inner Grace. She moisturizes and wears a hat in the sun. She refers to her guests as “Company” and uses words like “golly” and “yikes” in daily conversation. Nana evolved out of a particularly troubling relationship with neurotic an older man. She secretly wishes that Rose, Blanche, Dorothy and Sophia were her housemates.
Lelly is secret code for my true self; my essence. She was the bubbly chatterbox at age 7, the wannabe hippy at age 13, the awkward brainiac at age 16, the fractured divorcee at age 39, the spellbound auntie at age 45. Lelly is a bit of a conundrum, counting “Hell Boy,” “Hard to Kill,” “Con Air,” “An Affair to Remember,” “Send Me No Flowers,” “Pillow Talk,” “Lover Come Back,” “Scarface,” “Terminator” and all of the “Child’s Play” franchise as all-time favorite movies. You can easily find her in a crowded room by listening for her laugh (usually punctuated with a snort). She knows that the real reasons that she enjoys knitting and baking and sewing is that they provide real world math problems to solve -- but she’ll never admit it. She prefers “Angel” or “I Love Lucy” over “The Today Show” for her morning soundtrack. She loves dark chocolate, Sour Patch kids, dry red wine with Raisinettes, dirty vodka martinis and the occasional Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
At the end of it all, Lelly is equal parts feminine and flirty Tallulah, kooky, old-fashioned Nana and calm and focused Helen. I blog as Lelly because my ultimate goal for this crazy year is to step out of the drag and live an authentic life.
A Lelly life.
Every single day.