Getting a Word in Edgewise 2016

Some things never change. And that’s a good thing! The Babe’s (Julie, Carolyn and Karin) met once again in Milwaukee in October 2016. It was a whirlwind of shop talk, catch up gossip, shopping and eating. The only change was scheduling issues to accommodate Julie’s new work schedule, teaching at UWM.  Her academic  gig is “good.”

Karin and Carolyn spent the first afternoon admiring all the nooks and crannies of Pier I and Crate and Barrel then a coffee stop at Panera Bread.  Leave it to sweet Carolyn. It wasn’t until the day after she was gone that Karin would discover, hidden in a cabinet, that lovely mug she’d admired at Crate and Barrel. She’d wondered what took her so long to check out and now she knew. Carolyn and her hostess gifts. She is so “good.”

They then headed to Julie’s for evening activities. Karin and Carolyn were in for a real treat, a chance to be with children. Julie’s daughters Natalie and Lydia were scheduled to appear in an all school concert that evening. At first, Julie insisted she didn’t want to impose so they had to nearly beg her to let them attend. Couldn’t she see what a great opportunity it was for those without kids to get in on the action!

It was a delightful evening with grades 6 through 8 each taking the stage to do a medley of songs all in a beach theme. Lots of familiar music from our younger days. The Beatles and Beach Boys dominated. Kids in hula skirts, with lei’s and bare feet.

What a marvel how Mr. Shue, the very competent and energetic music director, orchestrated (pun intended) the logistic miracle of getting each class, 30 plus students each, on and off the stage without a major collision. Karin refused to be corrected grammatically, insisting the girls “sang good.”

Julie’s parents (Lynn and Jerry) joined them for the concert; on the way home, in the car, Jerry offered a long explanation of Julie’s habit of always being overly sensitive to other people’s feelings, not wanting to impose. Julie laughingly reminded her dad that she was in the car and was hearing everything he was saying. So, it was no surprise when Jerry and Lynn insisted on leaving early, so as not to impose on the girlfriend get together. Now we know where Julie got that oh so annoying habit, Karin joked.

Some other things also hadn’t changed. Skeeter still loves Karin and hopped on her lap as usual. Put an MD (Julie’s husband, Dennis) and a Nurse Practitioner in the same room and the conversation surely turns toward such hot button issues as reproductive rights and the latest OB/GYN procedure. Put an MD, a Nurse Practitioner and two Social Workers in the same room and the conversation surely turns to the state of the world, training advances, educational imperatives and the election.

Julie recounted the challenges of parenting eleven year old twins while managing her demanding lecture schedule. Carolyn’s massive preparation for her bat mitzvah scheduled for December was admired. A thorough analysis of her relationship with Lawrence, approaching its second year, was dissected. He passed with flying colors. Karin’s named scholarship with the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and her recent writing successes were praised. All of the women’s latest accomplishments were declared “good.”

Carolyn was the first time user of Karin’s new sleeper and gave it her own good housekeeping seal of approval. Next day, Julie joined the party later and dinner was the plan. Julie knew a “good” place in Wauwatosa. Getting there was another story.

Why can’t these highly educated women get from one place to another without a major glitch? Missing the first turn in Wauwatosa (and we know how easy that can be) led to a cat and mouse chase around corners and down narrow back streets amid laughter and jokes. Oh, I know where we are…my sister used to live up that street…….this road doesn’t go through… but I know which one does…..turn left…no right.

They finally arrived at Juniper 61 and settled in to a “good” meal despite Julie’s bath of a spilled drink down her back. The waiter still got a “good” tip. Back home for more talking, something they never seem to get enough of. And isn’t that the basis of the best friendships.

Not meaning to get schmaltzy, it’s truly amazing how these three women who worked together over twenty years ago are still connected. It’s one of those situations where though you haven’t seen someone for a while, you can pick up right where you left off. These relationships are not only precious but “good.” They’re planning for the next time already.



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