So there it was—Joanie Shaw, Joanie B., as she liked to be called. Not a big looker, most of the time, though I had seen her gussied up once— she cleaned up okay, when she took the time. It was clear from her daughter’s good looks, she’d been sparkly once; now she was getting a little saggy around the edges. Could have been age, but something told me it was more like, she put her energy into her kids—she had two. Her daughter, that we’d run into at the park, and a boy that was already off married somewhere in Ohio—Joanie had family there, and the boy used his connections to get a good factory job, making cars, I think.
Now Joanie wasn’t the most talkative customer I had, but she was one of ‘em, and a little bit flirty, too. We had “see-you-in-the-next-life kind of smile we used between us. Not that I was really interested, but it kept her happy and kept her business, and it was fun, too. Older gals like it when you pour on the charm just enough, not too much—and Joanie wasn’t a senior yet, but she was old enough to want some extra male attention. Her husband was kind of a pill, dour, not given to compliments. So me, and the butcher, and the old boy that delivered their milk, we stepped in, and got our share in return. Tips, business, a happy customer. Nothing wrong with that.