Drinkin’ with Betty & Judi

I have this weird thing where I associate certain people in my life with actual celebrities. It could be some level of bat-shit crazy on my part. Hey, I never claimed to be “normal” –> what’s this normal you speak of?? But there are certain people in my life that remind me of celebrities, and I’m rather comforted when I can’t be with these loved ones in person… but I can find them on a tv show or movie. 

Sometimes, it’s because they truly look like these people, other times, it’s the voice or their mannerisms. Occasionally, all three of these characteristics are attributed to my loved ones. 

For example, I have a Julia Roberts — my former choir teacher doesn’t necessarily look like her, but her confidence and attitude, even her voice on occasion… love them both! I also have a Sally Field, an Anne Hathaway, a Jennifer Lawrence, Will Ferrell, even Jim Cramer from Mad Money, Roseanne and Brittany Spears. This is just off the top of my head… there’s more. Oh yes… my fuckedup brain turns just about any gathering into a virtual red carpet of insanity. 

But the first celeb I associated with a loved one goes waaaaaaay back to the 80s.  

Betty White.

I know I didn’t get most of the jokes on The Golden Girls as a kid — but as soon as I saw Rose Nylund — I immediately thought of my Grandma. My Grandma was Betty White… sweetest woman on earth, animal lover, funny, and honestly, smarter than most people thought; Grandma even looked like Betty White on some level. 

And then there was Judi… ever since I saw Dame Judi Dench in GoldenEye, I couldn’t think of anyone but my Granni. Her confidence, the sharp-as-a-tack attitude, her voice (no, my Granni wasn’t a Brit, but seriously… the deep, soothing tone of her voice + the inflections = my Granni) and her look, something about her eyes — for some reason Judi Dench and my Granni will always be connected in my warped little mind. 

Now that my Granni & Grandma have passed… I thought it might be difficult to watch anything starring Betty White or Judi Dench. 

I was wrong.

These hard-working actresses are providing me with an incredible amount of comfort and therapy.

Now, I crack open a beer, tune into a classic episode of Golden Girls, Mary Tyler Moore or even Hot in Cleveland and feel like I’m having a beer with Grandma while I laugh at all of Betty White’s antics. I may tear up a few times, not only from laughter… but because it reminds me of a “Grandma” memory. Possibly a memory I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

I can choose from 7 Bond films to find Judi Dench… along with a plethora of other movies. The Dame’s in everything! Chocolat remains a HUGE favorite, for so many reasons — number one being the delicious Johnny Depp, but Judi is a close second. I can tune into any of these movies, crack open a beer, and I’m drinking with my Granni. Again, the tears may flow, but they are happy tears; as I hear Judi Dench speak, I remember something special about the many deep conversations I would share with my Granni. 

I may not be able to hug them or have face-to-face conversations with my Grandma or Granni today, but on some level, when I’m watching their celebrity doppelgängers on my television screen… I feel just a little bit closer. The gap between heaven and earth feels smaller, as I am temporarily transported to a different time and place. 

We all have to find ways to cope with death. Right now, my comfort food = reruns and old movies. I’ll take it. 

Do you have loved ones who remind you of a certain celebrity? 

Grandma with my daughters.

Grandma singing Jingle Bells with my daughters.

Granni and me, on one of our opera nights.

Granni and me, on one of our very special opera nights.


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  1. Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Love that these fabulous celebrities are bringing you some peace. I associate scents with people, particularly my grandparents. 🙂

    • Lisa
      Posted December 13, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      That picture of granni is great the one of your grandma is too.. that was really nice what you wrote. I replyied to the black cloud blog but it didnt work i dont think. I really really liked that one. I really miss and love my mother(granni). Of course i miss Roger too. Its been really rough lately. I had knee surgery 10/9 and two weeks after i get back i lost my job to budget cuts. After 22u years i have to find a fucking job.
      love you kelli and nice writing things will get better i know!!!! Aunt Lisa

      • Posted December 14, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Sending big hugs your way, Aunt Lisa! I’m ready for the new year to bring in more happiness our way for sure. Thanks for the love. XO!

    • Posted December 14, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      I have a very sensitive nose, so I’m so with you on certain scents triggering memories as well! Thanks for the support, Alissa.

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    Kelli Williams

    Kelli Williams

    Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...

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