Something to look forward to: Tinsley Mortimer's star turn
Well, I for one have circled the date on my social calendar.
I probably should have said the date, or the date. Something to signify that March 10th is a date that will live not in infamy, but in fame-y. After all, it's the day when NY socialite, Tinsley Mortimer, is introduced to the wide and wide-eyed reality TV world when her show, High Society, premieres.
Tinsley Mortimer, you might ask?
As well you might, if you're anything like the me of a few short days ago when I first learned of her existence, thanks to my sister Kath and brother-in-law Rick, who forwarded a link to an article on her in the WSJ. (Subscription may be required, but well worth it to have access to this type of reportage.)
At first look, we have nothing in common.
She: Thin, rich, handbag-designing, clothes horse. On the verge of divorcing Topper Mortimer of the Standard Oil of California Mortimers, by way of Chief Justice John Jay. Dating Prince Casimir Von Wittgenstein-Sayn. (That's Tinsley dating Prince CVW-S, not John Jay.)
Me: Unthin, unrich, product marketing, clothes nag. Married to James Diggins of the Bellows Falls Digginses, by way of Mary Kelly of Fenit, Co. Kerry. Never, to the best of my knowledge, have I dated a prince.
But the more I read about The Tinz, her nom de grrrrr, the more I see that we have enough in common to keep me going back to the online gossip rags for more.
Sure, there's blond and then there's blonde, but we're both blondes.
And she graduated from Columbia; I dropped out of a PhD program there. So there's that.
Then there's her first name - Tinsley - and how tempting it is to write Tinsel-y; she just shimmers and spangles. By wondrous co-incidence, my oldest friend's maiden name was Tinsley, of the Worcester Tinsleys of Vernon Hill. Not to be confused with Mount Vernon: The Tinz seems to have descended from half the First Families of Virginia: Jefferson, Madison, Patrick Henry. (Oddly, for one so socialite-y, her father appears to be the scion of a rug cleaning family. Of course, we're talking quality rugs here, not chenille scatter rugs that you can just throw in the Whirlpool.)
As I learned once I began studying up on Tinsley, she has recently been changing her look and feel, come about in a year that:
"...has involved a lot of transitioning. It's been a growing experience, which has been reflected through my style."
She's still hanging on to the baby-doll dresses and Mary Janes that made her a style icon, but now that she's in her mid-thirties, and a single career-gal (c.f., handbag designer; reality show star), she's moving towards a more grown up:
... much darker fare, like skin-tight Hervé Léger bandage dresses.
Okay, here's another thing. At this very moment, I have a bandage on my right thumb, where there was a minor cuticle mishap.
"I'm a girly girl but I'm having a bit of a slightly edgy phase."
That's The Tinz talking here, not me, I will note.
That slightly edgy? A good thing. Because if there's one thing that reality shows like it's edge. Even when they have to script it in.
I hope her reality show takes us into Tinsley's closet. No, I'm not interested in skeletons; I'm interested in duds.
Ms. Mortimer's closet, big by Manhattan standards, is organized by category. On the center wall, top row right, hang a handful of dressy fur vests and fur jackets. In the middle and on to the left are party dresses, a mix of the bright "girly and big and poufy" ones she's been most photographed in but also sleek dark-colored short dresses that are newer additions.
Yet another thing The Tinz and I have/had in common.
In college, I was the proud co-owner - with my sister Kath - of a brown, chubby mouton coat (vintage 1940), and a full length, gray Persian lamb cape (vintage 1930) that weighed about 80 pounds, making it about 8 cents per pound when purchased from the Salvation Army store on Brookline Avenue.
Ah, Tinsley Mortimer.
The Depression gave us frothy movies where fantasy socialites socialized - to the ball, to the hunt, to the yacht - out of sight of Hoovervilles, and out of earshot of "Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime."
And now, a gift from the media gods, we have Tinsley Mortimer bestowed upon us.
What better way to take our minds off of double-digit unemployment, kazillion-digit debt, the warmest winter on record, and a mass of zealots oiling the wheels on their tumbrels, than to read about The Tinz's transition from poufy to edgy. And to watch the noveau 21st century version of High Society.
Thank you, Tinsley Mortimer, for being the very best you that you can be, and for sharing it with us. (I am so over Paris Hilton...)
And, while it may still be true that a lady's name only appears in the newspaper three times - when she's born, when she weds, and when she dies - we all know where newspapers are heading.
No, this is the 21st century, and we all - socialites and nobodies alike - have to get with the program.
I for one will be getting with the program. Come March 10th, I will be tuning in to see Tinsley Mortimer, my near double, in High Society. What a swell party this is!