I am callin’ it. Uncleuncleuncle.
I knew when I went to law school that there would be Times. Times that I had to work, times that life would be tough.
I knew I’d be a litigator, so – really – I’d have to be doing something *wrong* for it not to happen, at some point.
And it took a solid 3 years.
But now I’m in trial.
And dear Jesus God of all that sucks. This sucks. [for context - I'm 2 weeks in, and if a miracle happens, this is the mid-way point.]
Days upon days of 14 hours of billable hours. Of getting home well after dinner (thank you, Firm, for providing free dinner after 7:30. Not-Thank-You for making me BE THERE in order to eat it). Days upon days of less than 12 hours (“a mathematical certainty,” I suppose) turn around in the house.
It’s the SAME two weeks that is the girls’ start of the school year. Still wonder why I’m crying uncle?
The other day, I walked to work talking to myself the entire time. I pretended I won the lottery.* And then, I pretended I quit my job. Then, I pretended that the World’s Best Across the Street Neighbor (who in not-pretend world really lives across the street from me) said, “Suzie! What are you doing home??!” and then I pretended that I said, “oh, I quit my job!” and then I pretended that she said, “oh! [and I also pretended that she was a little confused, not understanding how I could afford to quit my job], so what are you doing now?” Guess what I pretended I said?
No – really.
In my pretend world, I had 30 million dollars. And I quit my 14 hour day job that ends up being 16 hours when you think about riding Boston’s accursed T system.
So guess what I pretended that I said?
“I’m cleaning my house.”
And honestly … that was my fantasy.
No laundry turning into a living, breathing creature in the master bath. No dust bunnies in ever corner. No cat hair on the stairs. No dust bunnies in the hall.
A dream. One that requires lots and lots and lots of money.
Actually … I can’t write anymore.
I need to go cry, now.
*”You can’t win if you don’t play”: Look. With all but one of my closest friends (who I married, and have sex with), I don’t admit this. But I play the lottery. I buy tickets. Sometimes compulsively – depending on the misery that surrounds me. I buy tickets for one of the multi-state games, every single draw. But never a scratch ticket. Because that would be tacky. and maybe even “trashy.” But I buy the other kind. I’m super-shady about it. I look over my shoulders … worried someone I know will see me. I plot where I will buy, depending on whether someone I know may or may not be there. I won’t buy them if I’m commuting during rush hour, becuase what if someone I know comes in during the transaction? I’d be devastated. Once, WD and I were in Stop & Shop – where they sell tickets – and I would not buy them, because someone I knew came in. He was not-really-laughing at me, as I insisted that I could NOT buy them there. I NEEDED him to drive me to the 7-11 down the road after we bought the groceries.
Wanna know what else? I won once. Not millions, but $10,000. It was so awesome. And maybe I should have concluded that I used up all of my luck – all of the chances that the odds would be in my favor. But instead, I concluded that there is Still Hope. Hope that I can own a home in this Fucking Expensive Town. Hope that we can have a house on that island over there off the coast of this state. Hope that we can show these girls Paris before they are married with kids of their own. And – oh yeah – Hope that we can pay for their college.
I already did the other aspects of the American Dream. I grew up, I was the first in my family to go to college. Then I took a leap of faith, and after 10 years post-college, I went to law school.
And it’s not even that my story ended with, “But then I couldn’t get a job, and now I’m struggling.”
I got a job!
I work in a Top 10 Law Firm.
And still … I need the Hope of 1 in 100,000,000 odds to make me think I can pay for my kids’ college.