Posts By Millie Noe
Remember when there was no need for bottled water? When you just took a drink because you were thirsty? When you ran full speed ahead to the bubbler at the park and you were all sweaty, and you stood on the bottom rim, turning that rusty knob with your dirty little hand? And remember gulping down a half a gallon of relief before jumping off and returning to TV tag or Red Rover, Red Rover or dodge ball?
Well, my sweet Sven does too.
Only he didn’t play TV tag or Red Rover, Red Rover or dodge ball.
He was too busy kissing Miss Kitty up in that wagon in that barn behind his house. Because he always got to be Matt Dillon while poor Eugene always had to be Festus, and they sent Festus off hunting down the bad guys in whatever direction they pointed.
But that was a long time ago.
And we all grew up.
Maybe it was that story about the sterling silver rat earrings that Sven gave me as a gift that did it.
Or it could have been the one about the surprise Christmas bowling ball.
Or possibly it was the ear wax removal kit that was wrapped and under the tree that I happened to tell the world about that pushed him over the edge.
Whatever the case, when I turned the big six-oh, in March, my sweet Sven had a surprise for me.
“What is it?” I said, looking at two fancy red ribbons tied into two fancy red bows on two beige and red glossy cardboard envelopes.
“It is what you love,” he says. I got you two, so you can take a friend.”
“Pedicures?” I said.
“This is for two pedicures?” I say.
“Millie what is it that you love?”
“No. You love massages.”
You might not guess that I am a bird watcher at first glance, because I don’t wear binoculars around my neck like Miss Jane on The Beverly Hillbillies.
But that is only because binoculars make me nauseous, unless they are hanging around my neck. But if I look through the holes and try to focus I have to close one eye, which takes the bi right out of the word.
Then they are just noculars.
And noculars are shitty for looking at birds.
Or anything, really.
And secondly, even if binoculars are just hanging around my neck, not making me nauseous, they are not my style.
I was my father’s favorite.
“What’s that Louisa?”
Let me rephrase that.
My Dad liked me best.
“Hey, this is my story.”
The first words that I can remember my dad sing, went like this.
“Down by the station, early in the mornin’.”
I was sitting cross legged in the bathtub and was up to my chin in bubbles, with my two younger sisters, Louisa and Kiki, on either side.
“See the little puffer-bellies all in row.”
I’m not sure how old we were, but, it has been five decades since we all three fit in a tub together.
“See the station master pull the little lever.”
Boy could my dad sing.
The first thing I ever won in my life was a complete set of children’s encyclopedias from the grocery store. I was twenty-three and seven months pregnant.
My second big win came the day they drew my name out of a hat for a random drug test at work. I got to visit the nurse and pee in a cup.
“Hello?” I answered the phone.
“Is this Millie Noe?”
“Congratulations, ma’am. You just won a vacation for two, which includes a two night stay in Orlando, a three day, two night cruise to the Bahamas, four nights in Daytona Beach and three more nights in New Orleans.”
“What?!” I screamed. “Me?”
“It’s a trip for two.”
“Me and Sven?” I screamed.
My girlfriend says she wants jewelry for Christmas.
What do you think she means?
Thanks for your help,
It sounds to me like your girlfriend means that she wants jewelry for Christmas.
But let me tell you a little story.
Years ago, my Sweet Sven went on a trip to Dallas to partake in a builder’s convention, leaving me at home with three kids and a dog and a cat or maybe there were two.
I pictured him partying it up and having a crazy good time.
It turns out that he and the gang he went with got real wild one night. They ate hot wings at Hooters as they admired the scenery and then they stopped for some ice cream before going back to the hotel.
I could tell by the three large canvas bags of shit, with things like Barbie Doll tape measures, hammer-shaped-pencils, yo-yos, hats and one thousand pamphlets about solar panels, shingles, windows, doors, nails, nail guns, skill saws, table saws, wood flooring and cabinets, that he’d visited each and every booth at the convention.
Who does that?
I could also tell by the three rolls of film that he had developed, that in his spare time down there he was out snapping pictures of grassy knolls and suppository windows, gathering evidence to solve that lingering question that drives him nuts, “Who really killed J.F.K.?”
I am twenty-eight.
My girl, Suzette is the pertiest thing anybody ever did see. She’s got the kind of knockers I only used to look at in magazines. I don’t want to blow it. My mama told me that if I screw up this time, I will be out of her basement. It is cold here this time of year. And I can tell that my mama means it. What can I get for my gal for Christmas? She is very particular. She likes her coffee with those fancy creamers from the gas station and she only wears those socks made of wool that she says is smarter than me.
I was thinking I should get her something practical to show her that I am a real man.
Cleon from the heart of Bismarck
Your gal sounds lovely. It is hard to please those that are so particular. And if she is all about those gas station creamers, she might possibly be out of your league already. But since I know she means a lot to you and I hear there is a blizzard heading your way, I will try to help.
First of all, never go practical.
Practical is stupid.
I was not looking forward to the price the girl with the bleached smile was about to quote us.
“Well,” she starts, “We have a room for $350.00. It’s a king with a Jacuzzi and a balcony overlooking the lake. All of our rooms either overlook the lake or our downtown area.”
I knew it.
Sven’s mouth wasn’t working.
“That’s a little steep,” I said. “Anything else?”
“We have another room for $250.00 with two double beds, a balcony and a jacuzzi.”
We just stared at her.
“And there is one with a king that faces the lake, for just $199.00.”
“Anything else?” I say. “Anything cheaper?”
“Well,” she drops her voice, “We have one for $179.00. It’s on this side of the building and it faces the parking lot.”
Life started out briskly the other morning.
Dried poplar leaves twirled a foot above our driveway.
Silhouettes of dark clouds were on the horizon.
“LAST CALL,” read a handwritten sign at the sweet corn stand.
“What?” I thought. “They are flashing the lights on and off already?”
Instead of giving mouth to mouth to my once vibrant impatiens, I ripped them out of the dirt by their long legs and put away their pots.
My Sweet Sven’s calling in life is to gain knowledge. He likes facts.
And so this sentence came out of his perfectly formed lips.
“Hey Millie, did you know that we are going to lose two minutes of daylight every morning and every night this month?”
“It’s already Daylight Savings time?” I gasped.
“What? No. In September we will lose an hour and a half of daylight.”
Because of these harsh words, I, me, Millie Noe, now have a hankering to can my garden.
I don’t mean can it, like kick the can down the road.
I don’t mean can it, like doing the Can-Can.
I mean chop it all up. Put it in jars. Seal the lids shut in a double boiler. And stack them in the pantry.
Which is really weird, because I don’t have a garden. I don’t have a pantry. And I don’t can.