Tonight, Sue, the grumpy but super efficient cashier at my favorite diner called me Honey. I add this to a lifetime of breakthrough achievements with severe-seeming older women like Doris, who looked like she was going to shoo you off the summer porch but taught me to sail a sunfish. Like Rose, the tough boss of the Interlochen housekeeping department who gave me a broom and a summer job. Like Ruth at college work study who paid me to xerox packets of class materials for professors that I revered. Like Joan, my principal’s administrative assistant who ruled Cranbrook with well-polished nails and a shrewd phone delivery. Like Judy, the chain-smoking artist in Provincetown who could copy-edit an office doc until it resonated like a bell. And yes, the four octogenarian ladies of Cedar, Michigan who I danced the polka with at Cedarfest when I was 19 and was later greeted by local police who slapped me on the back and treated me to a beer.