Growing up I moved every three to four years like clockwork. My Dad was in the military and so every few years our orders changed and off we went. New countries, new states and new friends. Once we lived in a tiny two bedroom apartment, American suburbia, a typical European multi-family home, and a 200 year old flagstone barn that had been converted into an amazing house. My Mom refinished furniture, repainted walls and hung drapes everywhere we went. It was how we lived and I never knew anything different.
My Dad retired from the Air Force when I was in high school and after I graduated and I moved to New Orleans for college. After college I moved to Chicago, in the summer of 2005. I always thought I might move after law school, but as many of you know I met the man of my dreams (cue wedding bells) and I stayed here.
I’ve lived in Chicago longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere in my life, and somewhere deep down inside, I’m feeling restless. I’m ready to move. I watch HGTV with devotion and my Crate & Barrel spring catalog has been given a place of honor in my reading pile, filled with flittering sticky-notes on pages worth returning to. (Side note: on the HGTV show Income Properties, I always feel a smidge sad when the new income property is way nicer than the main unit the landlord resides in. Awwwkwaaard.)
The good news, I suppose, is that this summer we are moving. Most likely (hopefully, please please please) we are staying in the same neighborhood but we are ditching our horrific HOA that has given us many gems to ponder over the past few months- most recently not paying our small private internet provider, who then shut off the internet, and knowing I work from home texted me a cryptic apology begging me to beg the HOA to pay him. It was…not awesome.
Instead of buying a vintage bungalow, gutting it and renovating it within an inch of its life (crown molding! airy curtains! subway tile backsplashes and custom bookshelves in my kitchen for my cookbooks) which is what I want to do I’m instead looking at the pile of crap that resides against one wall of our guest bedroom and imagining how I want to redo it after we move. We call that area the “office” but instead it is a Target desk with a bunch of bins and piles cords and what not filling up half of a room. It is a cesspool of writing paper, return address labels and a paper shredder perched perilously on top of a rubbermaid (shudder) bin filled with extra cords and other…man stuff…that husbands insist on saving. You never know when you might need a 100 foot ethernet cord! they say cheerfully, when come on ladies, we all know the only thing you use a 100 foot ethernet cord for is to strangle your husband when he tries to also keep 4 old laptop chargers for laptops you no longer own. (HYPOTHETICALLY.)
Anyway, all I’m saying is: I need to reorganize my office and buy some mercury glass hurricane jars and fill them with themed stuff that looks really pretty before I start painting walls in a condo we are moving out of in three months. Because if I did that, I’m pretty sure I’d learn what else is in that electronics bin and I don’t have the heart to tell my husband we cannot keep his Palm Pilot from his sophomore year of high school any longer.
I have always been the new-person at work. During my summers in high school in college I worked various retail and waitressing jobs, always something new each summer. Target, the Gap, a fine French restaurant, Victoria’s Secret, a cell phone kiosk (shudder), a rib joint (double shudder, bbq sauce gets everywhere). In college I spent one summer working for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as an intern, which was fantastic – but as an intern I defined the bottom rung.
In law school I clerked, and while I made my way up to “senior clerk” I think we can all agree that being near the top of the law clerk hierarchy is akin to being the worst paralegal in the joint. Then I went on to being a first year associate, which, for those of you not in law let me describe to you: in hell, I’m sure there is someone who sweeps up after the devil. Find that person, and then find the person that scrapes the muck off the bottom of his feet every night. That person is the top ranking first year associate.
I’ve been at my current job for two years now. It is an odd feeling to no longer be the youngest, in fact there are multiple attorney who have started after me. I’ve been through 2 of our major year-end cycles (when we scramble around like mad men trying to meet all of our deadlines) and had my name attributed to some fantastic work.
I was recently put in charge of a big project (!) and suddenly I’m busy attending meeting. Only grown-ups attend meetings (or bored interns who sit in the back with nothing to offer) and it is so surreal to be turned to, in all seriousness but people much “higher” than me who truly want my input. I had my first big presentation and while I was incredibly nervous I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from co-workers on how much they enjoyed it.
I’ve realized, with a jolt, that I have a career. Perhaps not my “forever-job” and I sure would love to ditch my hellish 1.5 hour 29.9 mile commute through not one but two of America’s worst traffic hot-spots…but yet, I’m doing well. People ask my opinion and it isn’t on the donut choices.
Funny, how it all works out.
Lawyers, generally speaking, have to be really careful about typos. Leaving out “not” after “will”, using “shall” incorrectly (SERIOUSLY Y’ALL IT ISN”T JUST A FANCY SOUNDING WORD) or tossing in “and/or” when in reality that is the worst idea ever can leave you and your clients in a huge mess. Without revealing too much about what I do: at my job people can get fired for typos. We take that shit seriously. Ironic considering how many typos I make on my blog, but hey, neither here nor there.
We’ve all seen funny typos (notably auto-correct issues, because, HA!) on the television screen or in the newspaper but typically they are minor and don’t change the story too much. Occasionally you get a funny one, where someone mistakenly attributes a politician to the wrong political party or misspells Mississippi on national television. But this one that I saw early one morning while checking the news was an equal mix of horrific (such a sad subject matter) and OH MY GOD, DO THEY REALIZE WHAT THAT MEANS INSTEAD?
I really hope that copy editor got the shaft. So to speak.
Hi, this is Mary from Mmmmm-mumble-mumble-Dental calling to confirm an upcoming appointment.
Yes? (Wondering why they are calling 7 days ahead and I’m pretty sure I confirmed via email this morning, but hey, whatever.)
So we will see Caitlen and Rory tomorrow at 8:00 am?
What? No…my appointment is next week..Tuesday I think?
Oh dear. No, Caitlen and Rory are definitely scheduled for tomorrow.
No, no, my appointment is next week. Not Caitlen and Rory…(trails off without the crucial explanation I have no Caitlen or Rory because I’m frantically flipping through my day-planner)
Well, but Caitlen and Rory both need their check-up.
There is no Caitlen or Rory. I have a dog. Rhett Butler. He needs his teeth cleaned, but something tells me that isn’t your market. Unless you charge less than my vet. Then I’ll bring him in tomorrow.
Well lets find your appointment then and clear this up. Last name?
(Spell my last name because seriously man, no one ever gets it right) My appointment is at 4:00.
I don’t see you in the system. What is this phone number?
What dentist office are you from?
Where do you live?
Why are you not calling me from your 312 number? Are you in the…(recoils in horror)…suburbs?
I don’t think you are my dentist. Wrong number. Goodbye.