Under Analysis: My super secret/superhero identity

Lisa Henderson-Newlin, The Levison Group

I have a secret identity. I guess it isn’t so much a secret if I’m widely admitting it in this column, but I figure only a handful of you read it anyway, so my secret is probably safe.

Still want to know what it is? My secret is that by day I’m Lisa Henderson, Lawyer Extraordinaire, and by night, I’m Lisa Newlin, Citizen Extraordinaire. Okay, I may have elaborated a little on the extraordinaire part. I’m not that great of a citizen. I’m just a normal citizen.

Either way, my legal name is Lisa Newlin, or at least that’s what’s on the court documents that have been sealed by the federal authorities. However, in the legal profession, I’m known as Lisa Henderson. I suspect I’m known as other choice nicknames as well, including the female version of a lovable puppy, but I like to tell myself that’s a good thing.

Everyone loves puppies.

With this alter ego of sorts, I think of myself as a superhero, or at least someone with a super secret identity. I may not save the Earth from nukes, but I save my readers from boredom in the middle of a work day, which I think is equally as important. (Yes, everyone knows you read this column in an attempt to look busy at work when what you’re really doing is calculating your golf handicap. I’m fine with that.)

Now that you know about this super secret identity and superhero status, I know what you’re thinking; “Does she undergo a transformation from Henderson to Newlin each night? When she kicks off her sensible work shoes, what does she change into?”

These are all excellent questions, and the short answer is that yes, a transformation occurs when I change from Lisa Henderson to Lisa Newlin. It starts with my wardrobe, which varies greatly between Lisa Henderson and Lisa Newlin. Lisa Henderson makes an attempt to look professional and not mix navy pants with black blazers.

Lisa Newlin, however, makes an attempt only to look where she’s walking, and not mix margaritas with vodka tonics.

With either identity, I usually have a stain on my shirt.

Although my transformation involves a change of clothes, it’s typically not done in a phone booth; mostly because it isn’t 1982 and there aren’t phone booths anywhere in the free world. If a phone booth was required for the outfit swap, I’d probably spend half of each evening locating one.

I also don’t have anything mechanical or bionic on my body, other than the screws in my ankle that resulted from an unfortunate injury while vacationing in Mexico. Other than that, I’m not made of steel or adamantium. I also don’t have cool gadgets or motorcycles, although my car’s windshield can detect precipitation, so I don’t have to adjust the speed of my windshield wipers.

If that isn’t superhero powers, I don’t know what is.

It’s fun to have two different personas in the real world. It’s a great way to determine how I know someone. If someone calls me Lisa Henderson, I know we’re connected through the legal world. If someone calls me Lisa Newlin, I know we’re connected through the regular world. If someone calls me Misty....well....as I said before, those documents are sealed.

The downside to having a secret/double life, is the confusion it brings. It’s mostly confusion on my end. If I make a call during the day, I’m acting in my capacity as Lisa Henderson, lawyer. That’s a standard rule of thumb, unless I’m calling for pizza delivery from my favorite local restaurant. Then I’m Rebecca Demorney, as there was an unfortunate pizza incident with Lisa Henderson, and she’s now banned.

However, if I make a call at night, chances are good I’m calling as Lisa Newlin, the person, except for the three times a week I’m Rebecca Demorney at home as well. (Extra cheese, please.)

The confusion arises when I make a call acting as Lisa Newlin during the daytime hours. My head practically explodes.

Calling my doctor’s office is particularly confusing, as they can never find the medical chart for Lisa Henderson. When they ultimately realize I’m Lisa Newlin and not Lisa Henderson, they congratulate me for figuring it out and then immediately write me a script to see a therapist.

I can only imagine what the notes in my chart say. I suspect there are scribbles of “identity confusion” and “needs to lay off the sugar.”

So the next time you see me, before saying hello, think about what time of day it is, and where we are. If it’s daytime and I’m in my legal role, I’m Lisa Henderson. If it’s at nighttime and I’m in my citizen role, I’m Lisa Newlin.

Either way, I’ll be wearing a cape.


Lisa Henderson-Newlin is a member of the law firm McAnany Van Cleave and Phillips. Contact Under Analysis by email at comments@levisongroup.com.
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