So we're going to trial on a case that I was more or less sure would settle. I don't know why I bother guessing anymore, because I've been wrong so many times. The one I'm positive will go to trial settles way before mediation, the one where I'm sure we'll settle, nobody blinks and we're at the courthouse for days flinging unrelated side motions at each other. When we go to trial we're very damn good at it, thank you, but we'd rather not. We'd rather just reach a good settlement for our client, because trial is both expensive and risky, and hard on everybody from a nerves and exhaustion standpoint. But a "good settlement" is often hard to define, and our definition doesn't match the other side's definition by the time we're talking about whether or not to go to trial. So, off we go. Hope nobody needs me the second and third weeks in September because I'll be indisposed. Busy, too.
Meanwhile, the Talk Thursday topic-o-meter is down to me and Cele. I'm not sure how that happened, but I have scads of good topic ideas, so don't worry, Talk Thursday fans. I'm just kind of wondering what happened to everybody. Maybe that whole life-getting-in-the-way thing again. Me, I think I'd go a little crazy if I weren't writing this column (or another novel or--or something). So I keep churning out the words, resigned to my fate. Or somebody's fate. What happens if you get the wrong person's fate? Do you get to trade it in? Seems like there should be a fate exchange someplace, because I think I'd be a great marine biologist or test pilot or Buddhist monk or inventor of nifty office products.
Not that I'm not a fine paralegal, but I'm sort of having a midlife crisis here. Or menopause. Or something. First sign: Driving like a maniac. Or like a Texan, more to the point. Listen, I used to drive in L.A., and Texas drivers flat out scare me. When I start driving like they do, something is definitely wrong. Second sign: Sugar. I'm not supposed to be eating sugar in quantity. It messes me up, plays hell with my meds and makes me feel rotten, after I feel good for maybe ten seconds. I'm trying to get off it altogether, and I have uneven success; three days free here, four days there, maybe two days over there. I got up to 60 days once. When I suddenly start eating lots of the sweet stuff, something is definitely wrong.
Third sign: Forgot my laptop this morning. I think it's been at least two years since I've forgotten my laptop on a Thursday, especially seeing as this is the first Thursday after Eid-al-Fatr and therefore my first opportunity to get back to Afrah and snarf down some of their amazing pita bread. Something is definitely wrong. And has been wrong for a while. And so, after seventeen years of marriage and roughly six months of continuous nagging from my psychiatrist, I'm seeing this guy.
Yeah, okay, this guy is a psychologist/therapist. So it's not as exciting as it sounds. But this is interesting. I've only been to see him three times and it already feels like a matter of life and death. As in, I'd better show the hell up and work hard or who knows what could happen. This isn't a problem; I'm very obedient with health care professionals. After all, I'm paying them to tell me what to do. It would be kind of stupid to pay them to tell me what to do and then not do it. (Well, okay, there's this one exercise my physical therapist gave me that I'm kind of slacking off on, but I'm doing all the other ones.)
I've been down this road before, or a road like it, or at least a road that had similar signposts and a big statue of Sam Houston in the middle of nowhere. (I-45 south of Huntsville on the way to Houston.) That guy (they're always guys; women therapists make me really uncomfortable) told me when I moved to Texas that I needed someone to keep an eye on me. In contrast to my usual being-obedient-with-healthcare-professionals thing, I completely ignored him. In retrospect, he was probably right. I find this both embarrassing and annoying. I am, after all, a grown-up. Looky: House, car, job, cats, wife. I should not need "looking after." But then, I shouldn't need to go to OA meetings, and I totally do. I should not need to avoid alcohol, and I totally do. I should not need all kinds of things that I'd probably shrivel up and die if I had do do without. So you might say I'm resigned to needing things I wish I didn't need.
Here's another thing I need: I need to dash off to work now. Because sooner or later I'm going to need a pay check.