She had me at “cheeseburger”

Posted by on May 6, 2015

Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for blondes, medical but something told me I was gonna love a certain couple of ladies who lunch.

You can tell just by looking at someone that they have that unmistakable something-something called soul. And you don’t get soul by shutting your eyes and putting on blinders. You get soul by keeping your mind and heart open to all the world brings your way.

The only way that Sally and Bea could have had more soul is if they had eaten one of their simply sensible shoes as a little luncheon amuse bouche. The smiling eyes on their full-of-life faces is what first drew me to their table. Their sass and charm is what kept me there.

“What are you eating?” I asked as they welcomed me over.

“Bea’s having a cheeseburger, look ” answered her friend Sally. “She’s staying with a vegetarian, so she really needed a burger.”

Bea added, “It’s a relative and I‘m treated so well when I’m a guest. But I really needed a great cheeseburger.” Bea’s clean plate confirmed the quality of the meat on the once present bun.

I considered grabbing the hand of this beautiful blonde with the smiling eyes who has high regard for cheeseburgers and rushing off into the sunset, but I remembered that I rushed off into the sunset with a beautiful BRUNETTE who has high regard for cheeseburgers when I got happily hitched years ago and just decided that Bea is one right proper dame.

The ladies were sitting tucked in close to the lobby bar fireplace. They were snug. They seemed as cozy as two friends can be. And there’s good reason. This wasn’t their first trip to the rodeo.

Sally and Bea tell me that they have been friends since growing up in the Washington Highlands area of suburban Wauwatosa several years. As a former Tosan myself, we trade memories of streets and lanes and neighbors. We’re a few years apart, these ladies and I, but something tells me that I would have done a fine job making a fool out of myself to win their attention if we had shared our youths together in the suburbs.

My jaw drops when Bea tells me the real reason she’s here. She is the sister of former Milwaukee Poet Laureate, Antler. Antler is a big deal for any writer, and frankly should be a big deal for any reader (there’s a link to follow in this post if you click Antler’s name and any reader worth his or her salt should do so right now).

Bea is in town from her home in California to attend the memorial service for Antler’s longtime companion and most recent Milwaukee Poet Laureate, Jeff Poniewaz. As Bea talks about her brother and the loss he’s feeling from his dearly departed Jeff, I can see Sally watch her old friend with the silent wonder you give to someone you really adore.

Sally and Bea will finish their lunch and then head up to the second floor where they’ll look for the painting that a long ago family member of Bea’s created. They’ll spend as much time as they can together while Bea is in town, and then they’ll spend as much time as they can on the phone always remembering that there’s a lunch in front of the fireplace in their future again. Sally tells me that she comes to the Pfister for breakfast a lot with her 95-year-old father-in-law and hopes that we’ll bump into each other again.

Hope springs eternal for me that I have a lot more Sallys and Beas in my life. And a few more cheeseburgers with world class blondes, of course.

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