Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I can hear your comments already - "WTH? She's posting about a plain old roast beef sandwich??" 

Yes, but there's a reason.

To me and My Beloved, roast beef sandwiches have special meaning. 'Way back when we were youngsters, we had our first "date" over a roast beef sandwich at Michael's, a beloved neighborhood watering hole in his home town of Scarsdale, NY where they made rare roast beef sandwiches that make this one look wimpy; they know how to make real sandwiches, thick, juicy sandwiches, in New York. 

He had been deputized to keep me company during Christmas break of my first year of college. My Dad had gotten emergency orders at Thanksgiving to take over command of the Navy's Seventh Fleet off Vietnam when that war was at its height and the previous commander had fallen seriously ill. 

At first, my Mom thought the rest of the family would stay stateside for Christmas but, in a surprising move, she packed up the household, gave away my cat, and headed for Japan to join him, all in the space of two weeks. I heard about these plans in a letter she sent, which arrived the day she was moving. She farmed out my sister, who was engaged to be married, to one aunt and me, who was in my first year of college, to another. Nancy was happy to stay behind. I was emphatically not.

So, before I arrived at my aunt's house for Christmas, she sat her two sons down and told them both to include me in their activities. My Beloved, being the knight in shining armor that he is, took her admonitions to heart and invited me to go with him to Michael's that very first night.

He had always been my "big cousin," the one a few years older than me and the one who, as we grew up, was more interested in hanging out with his older friends than with some pesky little girl. He did teach me to water ski, but then went off laughing with his pals. There's a big difference between 11 years old and 14; there's a lot less difference between 18 and 21. I was surprised that he invited me, but I went anyway.

We had a fine time together that vacation - he'd set me up for dates with his friends and none of them clicked, but it was fun talking them over with him afterwards. We stayed out too late, went into New York City to bars with peanut shells or sawdust on the floors, and thought we were very cool and cosmopolitan. He took me down to the Bowery to see the bums and hustled me home in a hurry when seeing those lost souls made me weep. It only slowly dawned on me that I didn't love his friends, but I did love him.

And he loved me back, to our parents' dismay. I'm sure they had visions of Habsburg chins or Romanov hemophilia; their objections were not personal to us, only to our genetic relationship. I won't go in to all the lectures, tears and heartache that followed, nor the buried emotions we felt over the years after our parents' pressure finally prevailed and split us up. I'll skip over the intervening 30 years by telling you that My Beloved and I eventually married other people and had good lives - he had two beautiful daughters, too. 

But, when both of our marriages were crumbling, through what I can only deem a miracle, we found each other again and have been together ever since. We have our happy ending now. 

So, when we eat a rare roast beef sandwich, it's more than just a plain old roast beef sandwich.


Blogger namastenancy said...

Lovely story - now I have tears in my eyes. I'm off to make a sandwich but don't have any roast beef (alas).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Thanks, Nancy. Your comments are always so kind.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012  
Blogger Greg said...

Happy ending! Some things are meant to be.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, that's a nice way to put it. We would agree.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012  
Anonymous jann said...

Some people are just meant to be "kissing cousins" and you two fit the bill.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012  
Anonymous jann said...

AND there is nothing plain about a delicious roast beef sandwich.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Jann, you made me chuckle.

Thursday, August 16, 2012  

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