I laughed out loud multiple times as I read Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis. Sharp, sassy, and snarky – Ellis’s writing is hysterical. Her mantra: If you don’t have something nice to say, say something not so nice in a nice way. This collection of twenty three short essays covers a gamut of subjects targeting her life as a southern gal from Alabama who married a New Yorker and lives in Manhattan. Her accent, white bread, and mayonnaise go far as she lives life.
Chapter Title is Today was a Good Day some examples of Helen Ellis’ writing- I didn’t yank oxygen tubes out of my nose. I didn’t chop off and bleach my hair in a gas station restroom. I didn’t fall to my knees and scream “Noooooooooo.” I didn’t raise my hands toward the heavens and scream, “Whyyyy?” I didn’t choke on a cupcake for breakfast. I didn’t make a deal with the Dirt Devil and get my soul sucked out by a vacuum cleaner. There were quite a few more examples that made for a good day. Funny stuff.
p.126 In regards to recipe books - “Vintage” is Southern Lady Code for dog-eared, with ballpoint notes in the margins. You want the word cheese log to stand out. Slather on Ritz crackers. Sour cream in everything. Apparently her parties are legendary. Women in Manhattan who live on lettuce swoon over her homemade tubs of fattening dips and Ruffles potato chips. No celery sticks to be seen.
Per her grandmother, “Give your guests what they want.” That’s Southern Lady Code for: There’s nothing less fun than caviar on toast point.
I highly recommend this book to brighten your day. Helen Ellis is the kind of woman who enjoys the mystery of a manila envelope; who has bouquets of pens instead of flowers and never runs out of stamps. (p. 198). Southern Lady Code – read it with a drawl and a smile.