Sconnie Girl

by

Wisconsin.

I heard you tonight.  I heard you in the voice of a native son from Milwaukee.  Ya know.

Yeah, I do.  I hear you in me every once in a while as well.  And I think, maybe, maybe, maybe one day I will make the great migration back to the Midwest.

It won’t be any time soon, hell, I feel like I just made the great migration back to the Mission.  The last thing I want to think about is moving again.  Fingers crossed, the last of the “home improvements”  will be happening on Friday.

I am home for a little bit.

But when you hear some one from your home state, you notice.  You wonder, would I have dated that person in Wisconsin?  Actually, in a different form, I definitely dated this guy, he reminded me of some one I use to hang with, that’s for sure.

My best friend is coming out from Wisconsin in April.

I have Wisconsin on my mind.  I am afraid that if I say it in my mind one more time I will say it out loud and the accent will fall out of my mouth.  Things that you should know about Wisconsin.

Cheese is good.

Brandy is better.

Beer is the best.

Brats soaked in beer are also highly regarded.

Hunting season is awesome.  Green Bay Packers are Gods. Deep fried cheese curds with ranch dressing is elevated eating.  Fried fish in southern Wisconsin and fish boil in northern Wisconsin on Friday nights.  And Ash Wednesday.

I remember being at the Essen Haus one Ash Wednesday and this S.A. (service assistant, aka glorified busser) came back into the kitchen in tears after having been yelled at by a customer.  Who’s entire meal I think I ended up comping, I was the General Manager at the time.

Mickey, that was her name, she was cute in a pixish kind of way, was in tears after having wiped the ash smudge off a customers forehead.

Oops.

I met Stephanie at the Essen Haus.  She was one of my trainers.  She wore a blue dirndle the night she trained me and had flowers nestled in her hair and cornflower blue ribbons.  She asked me why I was working there.

I had no idea what the hell she meant.  I needed money?

Yes, but she wanted to know what kind of money?  Was I working there because I wanted to buy a cute pair of shoes at East Town Mall or did I need to pay the rent?

I needed to pay the rent.  Bad.  I was one month back to my boyfriend.

She nodded sagely and said, this is the place for you.  And she trained the hell out of me.  And we became good friends.  I have known her since I was 21.  I have known her eighteen years.  My best friend.  She has seen the worst of me.  And the best.

She is also some one that I am usually my utter complete self with.  I have never laughed longer or harder than with her.  She was the first and only girlfriend that I ever had a fight with and we made up.  I don’t even know what it was about but I remember that it was really important to me to make sure that we stay friends.

She does the best Bob Kozel impersonation ever and always makes me do my impersonation of Jason Fricke–two beloved drunks from the Essen Haus and the Angelic perspectively–having his tail chopped off by Ralph, the owner of the Angelic.

I stayed with her when my ex-boyfriend went off the deep end and hit me.

I helped address her wedding invitation.  I sent her a stuffed Eeyore to New Zealand when she was there with her fiance for work.  I called her when I was in the worst place of my life and she was there.

She is my rock.  I love her more than anyone else in the world.

She is a true Sconnie Girl.  In fact, I had never even heard that term until it popped out of her mouth on the evening of her wedding in Minnesota.  She had her reception at this beautiful historic hotel in Red Wing–where her grandparents got married.  And Minnesota happens to have a 12:30 a.m. bar call.

Well, Red Wing happens to be on the Wisconsin border.  No one wanted the festivities to end, so the next thing you know, she is rounding everybody up and we are going to the “sconnie side” of the river, last call is 2a.m. call at 2:30a.m.

I will never forget her picking her way with her skirts of white and tulle held up like dream froth over her cute little shoes buckle wedding shoes, through the gravel parking lot of the bar to the river.  We all sat around on picnic tables and drank bottle Budweiser.

The King of Beers.

It was not our normal default, we were all beer snobs at that point, the majority of us at the wedding having either been baptized upon the fount of imported beer from the Essen Haus, or the award-winning beer from the Angelic.  But when in Sconnie you drink what they got.

Once we were up at her mom’s cottage in Northern Wisconsin and we went to a karaoke bar and I was doing shots of, wait for it, Apple Pucker, and swilling Budweiser from long necks.  She looked at me and grinned, her cheeks all aglow like soft apples in cream, “you’re drinking those like a Nascar driver”!

I was.

I don’t miss drinking and all the attendant misery it brings me, but I did have some fun and some of my best times were with Stephi.

She was always good at poking fun at me.  And she has a memory like a steel trap.  She likes fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and she does this cute little thing with her fingers when she really likes what she is about to eat.  It is so adorable I could throw up on her if I wasn’t entirely enchanted.

She sends me sock monkeys as jokes.  Once at Jolly Bobs, it was her bachelorette party and she very definitively said “NO PENIS STRAWS”!  There was no penis paraphernalia to be seen, well, except the little tiny wind up one I got as a joke, I couldn’t help it, it walked on little feet.  I just about peed my pants laughing.

Her good friend Wendy was there and Wendy like to nick name people things–Stephi was  a little strawberry, Steve was an owl, Beth was a turtle (when Beth first got her tag from Wendy, she thought for the longest time she was calling her turd), and well, I wanted to know who I was.

I was also deep into a snifter of Jamaican vanilla rum and quite lit.

“Well, honey, you, well, you’re not going to like it, but I think that you look like a cute little sock monkey”.

Oh, fuck my mother.

A sock monkey?

Oh, yeah, the big red lips.  Great.

I have been Stephi’s sock monkey ever since.

I don’t regret a single moment of it.  I can’t wait to hang out with the original Sconnie Girl, Stephanie Sargent Fox.

I may even let my accent slip out for the weekend.

 

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