At the end of April this year, I made a final trek out to the boondocks to visit the lawyer’s office—which was coincidentally in the office park adjacent to the one where I went to get my junk zapped with laser hair removal. Go figure. I’ve never driven to that part of Richmond, like ever, and all of a sudden I’m a regular out there on Tuesday and Friday mornings for 30 minutes at a time that both made me flinch. (There’s some sort of joke in there if you’re willing to get past the visuals.) In any event, both were astronomically expensive, I regret neither, and both were a really long time coming and life-changing.
I should also point out that the common thread in the lawyer business was civility—not that I didn’t have a few slip-ups and improperly use a garden shovel (that was just once). However, I found a new meaning for “taking it to your grave”—and it wasn’t secrets I was planning to take with me to the end of my mortality, it was the way I chose to behave in wretched situations. I decided how I handled things and was toward the person on the other side of it would be something I could take with me to my grave—and it was much better than the alternatives.
That said, as civil and kind as you want to be, you still have some awkward proceedings to get through. Luckily I was alone for many of these (no need to have both parties present; sigh of relief). But here are a few tips I gathered during that weird, cold, rainy day in April.
1. Wear something tough, yet soft. Masculine, yet balanced. This tends to me my formula 99/100 times these days anyway. I opted for the above silk blouse and jeans combo + my favorite leather jacket and it served me pretty well. (I never took the jacket off.) (Sidenote: This was back in April, and I sorta miss that heartbreak stress diet—dang.)
2. If you have a little ice, now is the time to wear it. If you traded in your old ice for new ice, even better. I would pick a curb chain necklace…
3. If you have titanium balls, make your gorgeous boyfriend be your legal witness. He shined bright like a diamond, speaking of ice. I only almost burst out laughing 2 times when he had to answer wildly awkward questions mandated by the Commonwealth of Virginia about my procreative past.
4. A small flask of Fireball in the glove box helps. I admit, my paws were shaking. It was raining, roughly 10 am, and we sat in the car for a second gathering ourselves while I took nibs off the plastic bottle. (“Tastes like heaven, burns like hell!”)
5. Go out for a boozy lunch afterwards. I had two of these glasses of Rosé and a Niçoise salad, then spent a few hundred dollars on plants. Seems about right.
6. Take a nap. Obviously.
7. Test the health of this year’s mint crop with a bourbon, ginger and mint cocktail. Boots were made for walkin’, and brown liquor was made for forgettin’.
7. Above all else, remain a decent, graceful human being. Being completely serious here. You leave these moments tattooed on yourself and others. How you carry yourself and handle life’s most dreadful situations live longer than you can ever hope they would. Be kind, even when it hurts. The high road—while the altitude up there makes it hard to breathe—is always the better path. I don’t know how many plaintiffs text the defendants afterwards to make sure they’re ok, but I did. And I hope that, no matter how many shitty things happen to me in my life, I can always dig deep enough to find my compassion, caring, and heart.
Even when they’re hiding behind immeasurable hurt.