Posts By Millie Noe
Ever since the Yankees won the World Series in 1996 and the camera was forever on Joe Torre’s expressionless face and all the fans living it up behind the batter, I have wanted to sit behind home plate.
I knew way back then, that someday, I, me, Millie Noe, too, would be one of those fancy people, right there in Yankee Stadium.
But that didn’t happen.
New York is a long way from Wisconsin.
And I was more of a Milwaukee Brewer fan.
So I decided that I would sit behind home plate at The Milwaukee County Stadium instead.
But then they went and tore County Stadium down.
But not until they put up Miller Park in its place.
So I thought, “fine, Miller Park it is.”
And then just a couple of weeks ago my dream came true.
All because my grandson is one of the chosen few.
Remember back when you were the same age as the amount of times you saw The Wizard of Oz?
It was an especially big event for our family the year our next door neighbors brought home a brand new color TV.
Due to their purchase, we got to go over to their house to watch the annual showing along with our next door neighbors’ kids.
And the next door neighbor parents came over to our house to not watch The Wizard of Oz, with our parents.
We were flopped on their couch, strewn over their chairs and stretched across their living room carpet, in our pajamas.
I was lying on my stomach on the floor, chin resting in my palms, pushing my budding-two-front-fangs inward with my thumbs, the way my mother always told me to while watching TV.
The lion roared.
The movie started.
This is a story of a day where nothing really goes right and nothing really goes wrong.
I needed new glasses.
“What’s that Louisa?”
You will have to excuse my sister. She is always interrupting me.
“Yes Louisa, this is the pedicure day story.”
I have been wearing, bent up, Sponge Bob Square Pants bifocals at the office for the past ten years.
And every so often a person has to make that call and set up an appointment and get a new prescription, especially when that person is having a difficult time telling the difference between threes and eights and her job is all about reading numbers and her job does not exclude certain numbers, just because she is having difficulty reading them.
What I really wanted was a dog.
And I wanted a leash.
I wanted a dog and a leash.
So that I could take that dog for a walk.
I was fifteen years old and in my opinion at the time, halfway to middle age, when that dream came true.
But it wasn’t my dream alone.
There were eight of us jammed into the cracker box house on the corner. Six of the eight happened to be offspring. And we offspring all wanted a dog. Even the baby. But we also enjoyed eating. So I suppose it would have been hard for my parents to choose which one of us would have to go without breakfast in order to take on another mouth to feed. And we might not get that second book read to us before bedtime with another creature looking for attention at the same time.
My guess is these were the reasons that the answer was always, “No dog.”
At least my parents tried to suffice.
They did what they could with a limited budget and limited space.
Calvin, my older brother came home from the pet store with a couple of tiny turtles.
We tried to convince those turtles to have races across the living room carpet. But they weren’t really that interested in it. They were turtles. Except for the one named Speedy. Speedy could have won every race handily, if he would have ever run in a straight line.
It was exasperating.
It was before Nafta and it was back when vertical blinds were popular.
I know this because I worked in manufacturing, packing vertical blinds.
And we were busy.
We were so busy that my department was on mandatory overtime.
I don’t know about you, but I find the word mandatory to be abrasive. And if you put an abrasive word like mandatory in front of another disturbing word like overtime, and both of those words are referring to your life, it is not good.
You’ve heard of The Thomas Crown Affair and The Maltese Falcon.
You’ve seen Ocean’s 12, Once a Thief and Entrapment.
Who doesn’t talk about D.B. Cooper?
But why the silence surrounding The Big Heist?
No book. No movie. No Nothing.
Well, I am here to tell you the whole story.
I was right there.
It was 3:00 PM.
I’d just gotten off work and smelled of French Fries, rubber soled shoes and panty-hose.
My friend and I were in the break room of the soda fountain shop, stripping out of our rayon dresses, the brown ones with the white stripes and the zippers down the front and sliding into our blue-jeans, with barely enough room for all four of our elbows.
We were racking up the pool balls by 3:15.
Cindy was good at billiard games.
I was not.
I didn’t know her very well at the time and now I don’t know her at all. We had one of those summer friendships because we were waiting on tables for a living and we both had a couple of hours to kill, so we’d walked on over to a place down the way and met up with my younger sister, Louisa.
I was lining up the cue stick with the cue ball and I was aiming at a nervous red and white striped victim that I was supposedly going to knock into the corner pocket.
That is when I saw something strange over in the corner.
I paid for my gas at the pump on that cold morning in November before the sun was up, and went inside to buy a cup of coffee.
That is when it all began.
“Hello,” she says.
“Hi,” I answer, pushing the button on the dark roast carafe, getting high on the aroma.
It wasn’t my fault that I was addicted to the stuff.
While so many had made New Year’s Resolutions that they would never keep, I’d decided eleven months prior that I was going to stop in every Friday morning at that particular gas station and buy myself a cup of that really good coffee, instead of brewing my own at home.
I wanted to be able to keep my resolution.
“Millie, the name is pronounced Rah-chester. Not Rock-chester.”
“No it isn’t. It’s Rock-chester.”
“There’s no K.”
“Just because there isn’t a K, doesn’t mean you don’t pronounce it.”
“What is wrong with you?” she says.
“There are lots of words like that,” I say.
It was one AM and Giselle and I were safely back in our hotel room via, the cab and we were having a night cap.
I should have known better than to argue about this with Giselle. She makes her living by correcting the misuse of punctuation and circling misspelled words.
My son is married to Giselle’s daughter. They have four children. One being thirteen year old, Iris. Iris happens to be a dancer.
A very good dancer.
Lobster Night is special.
It is one evening a year that a certain gang of friends convene at Chez Maggie’s to enjoy sisterhood, laughter and lobster.
It is a time to rehash old stories, bitch about class reunions and to roast our unsuspecting husbands.
This year’s Lobster Night, which really happened to be last year’s Lobster Night, because last year’s Lobster night didn’t make the cut of events before the end of 2016, which was actually 2015’s Lobster Night, because that year we missed it entirely, was coincidentally on the same day that the American Red Cross was stationed at my work.
I am merely stating these facts in order to prove that none of this was my fault.
Because I, being the good samaritan that I am, had dutifully signed up for a 10:15 AM appointment.
Ninety-seven percent of the time, giving blood doesn’t affect me, except for that one exception when I ended up lying unnoticed on the floor in my little office cubical for twenty minutes, before crawling back into my chair, which was not that easy because it is on wheels and it swivels.
I finally made it up there.
I rolled my way over to my desk, shut my computer off and went home.
But that’s okay.
Giving blood saves lives.
And I like to save lives.
That is just that way I am.
Especially when The American Red Cross is conveniently parked in our cafeteria, during my shift.