Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Memory

From the posts below, you can clearly see I've got a lot to be thankful for.  My family, my friends, my purry little princess...  my job which supports my theatre habit, my re-elected boss, my house which needs a new driveway... my local theatre critic gig (which also supports my theatre habit), the internet (which makes the previously impossible possible)... the coolness of my country (which I often overlook when we're being dicks to each other)... modern technology in general, good health, and all the tremendous things humans can achieve when we're at our best.

So, yes, I am all kinds of thankful for the awesomeness in my life.  I'm sometimes afraid that even blogging about it will in some way tempt fate, but I think it's generally a good idea to acknowledge that all the good shit one has isn't simply a matter of desert - for to do so would be implying that those without are somehow fully responsible (which I refuse to believe, especially when you're talking about things like health or being born into poverty or a country of limited opportunity).  So whether one wants to attribute the good things in one's life to a Supreme Being, the machinations of the universe in general, or a very, very lucky confluence of circumstances (of birth, genetics, choices, and a whole lot of being in the right place at the right time), I am, in fact, quite grateful, and send my thanks out generally to the forces responsible.

(That includes you, Mom & Dad.)

Er... that was supposed to be the short preamble... I think I got caught up in it.  The meat of this post was intended to be a memory of Thanksgiving 1991.  Living in Philadelphia, clerking for a federal court judge.  Took a train down to Maryland to spend Thanksgiving with various relatives who live in the area.  Someone (a Great Aunt, can't remember which) forgot to make gravy for the turkey -- a fact which a cousin and I still joke about to this day.  ("Hmm.  This turkey's a little dry.  If only there were a moist tasty substance one could put on it that would make it go down easier.")

1991, though.  That's significant.  I'd taken the California Bar Exam in July, so, of course, every single person I'm related to had to ask me if I'd passed the Bar yet.

Annoying.  Results were out, but this was pre-internet, so there was no way to find out.  The call-in lines wouldn't open until later.  My result, in fact, was very likely sitting in my mailbox in Philadelphia -- but I was in Maryland, so just didn't know.  (The result had originally been scheduled to be mailed to my parents' house in California.  I made various phone calls and sent in a form to change this.  I knew that I could deal with the possibility of failing the Bar -- the one thing I could not deal with was having my mother call me to tell me I'd failed.  Even now, I can imagine her sympathetic "Oh, Sharon" coming down the phone line.  It was probably the fear of that, more than any adverse career consequences, that made my study my ass off that summer.)

ANYWAY, results back in my mailbox in Philadelphia -- me surrounded by curious relatives a couple States away.  I'd been really good about Not Freaking Out about waiting for the results for the nearly four months since the exam, but the combination of knowing that the results now actually existed and everyone asking me if I'd heard yet was driving me up the wall.  But I put it behind me and did my best to enjoy the dry turkey.

A friend drove me to the train station.  (My family had been trying to fix me up with him.  Just ran into him the other day at my cousin's kid's Bat Mitzvah.  He's now married with 3 kids.  Time -- wow.)  I was not the best travelling companion.  Especially when he got lost and couldn't find the entrance to the train station.  I mean, we could see the station, and my train was leaving in just a few minutes, but he couldn't actually get from the road we were on to the station.  I'd been pretty good all night, but if he didn't get me to the station soon, I was going to explode.  (I believe I may have politely said, "Look, I've been pretty good all night, but if you don't get me to the station soon, I'm going to explode."  Come to think of it, it wasn't so politely said.  I may have dropped the F-bomb in that sentence.  Twice.)  Fear, I think, motivated him to new heights of navigation, and I made my train.

The rest, of course, is history.  Got home that night, ran to my mailbox, found the great big envelope from the California State Bar.  The great big envelope had a little pouch on the front with a big "Open This First" arrow which leads you to the letter that begins with "We are pleased to inform you..."  Ahhh.  Relief.  Excitement.  Desire to call all my relatives and tell them.  The first person I shared the happy news with?  The doorman at the Ben Franklin House apartments.

(Man, I am so thankful for that letter.)

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