The Way Things Are



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That slippery slope of slackitude.
2006-06-29, 7:45 p.m.

Hey, sorry – I’m starting to slide down that slippery slope of slackitude. But my attorney/friend’s mother died, and I had to drive up to the far side of Austin (Pflueger-hell) for the funeral today. Well, didn’t HAVE to – chose to. You know, when you’re having a funeral, it’s kind of nice for your people to show up. So I try to show up to all of my peoples’ peoples’ funerals.

It occurs to me that most of the funerals I have attended in the past few years have been my friends’ parents’.

I think I need a bigger brain. The one I have now is focused on all the shit on my desk, and it doesn’t seem to have room to talk or think about anything else. I hardly know how I got here – that’s how unaware I am of the things around me except this:

Yipes.

It’s kind of funny. My attorney’s wife – let’s call her, um, Sara – Sara is a worky-friend. We’re all of us in real estate together. I mean, when we’re in the same place at the same time, we’re friends, and sometimes we socialize together, like in work-oriented groups, but I never call her up and say “Hey, Sara. Wanna go get a beer?” which I probably should, but you know how I am, and I reckon you’re the same way because you’re here with your imaginary friend in the shiny box, rather than out having a beer with your real friends.

So anyway, it’s kind of funny. I really, really like her, but I always look at her as being kind of out of my league, friend-wise, because she’s all professionally highly successful, and she’s all put together and everything. And I feel like her husband, my work attorney (we’re not talking about KB here, my personal child support attorney - this is my work attorney) sees me at some of my worst professional moments, i.e. when I’m being sued, being cross-examined, in a panic, etc. So I feel kind of like she must KNOW what a mess I am, or what a mess I feel like I am.

So here’s the funny part. At her mother-in-law’s funeral today, she got up and talked about this woman, and even though I had never met her mother-in-law, I was tearing up and trying not to cry. She had the whole room in tears with her heartfelt words of love about this woman. But I didn’t see a whole lot of people there who I would suspect are Sara’s own personal friends. I saw a lot of attorneys I recognized, as well as a lot of guys from my line of work – you know, a lot of her husband’s friends and colleagues, including me, but I wondered, where are Sara’s friends? Wouldn’t you show up at your friend’s husband’s mother’s funeral? I would.

There was a little receiving line thing at the end, and I considered sneaking out the back, partly because I’m shy and tend to stick my foot in my mouth at funerals because WHAT THE HELL DO YOU SAY? I tend to blather…but where was I? Oh. Partly because I’m shy, and partly because I realize at a funeral that I’m kind of an ancillary person – I’m just there to let my friends know that I’m there, and I feel it’s really not my place to be hogging the receiving line, and demanding attention and recognition. This is Family and Close Friends Time, not Laura Time. Or Hammer Time.

So I got over myself, and went through the little receiving line, and Sara GRABBED me in a hug, weeping onto my shoulder, telling me how glad she was I was there, how beautiful I looked (the image of me vomiting chili cheese fries over the side of a boat two years ago on a deep sea fishing trip is burned into her retinas, so any little improvement in my appearance is notable to her), and just kind of let go on me.

I was shocked, but in a good way. It certainly made me glad that I went. I didn’t really see any other women around our age. It occurs to me that she was surrounded by her husband’s stodgy lawyer friends and apartment people, and hell, maybe a goofy, frumpy woman – one of her actual people – was a sight for sore eyes.

HA. I hope they find this where I called them all stodgy. YOU’RE STODGY – ALL OF Y’ALL LAWYERS!

So I’m not patting myself on the back or anything, but if you ever are tempted to attend one of your peoples’ peoples’ funerals, do it. Go. You just never know. They might be really glad you showed up.

****

Here’s an example of my blathering at a funeral. Here we are, at the front door, as I enter and hug my attorney/friend, who is surprised to see me, which makes me feel very self-conscious.

My Attorney/Friend: Mrs. Flea! Bless your heart! I’m so glad you came. I can’t believe you drove all the way up here. You didn’t have to do that!”
Me: Um, well. But I did. I mean, I wanted…of course I came. It’s my pleasure. Er. Dude, it’s what folks do! You just, uh…”
My Attorney/Friend, clearly giving me up as a lost cause: Well, thanks!

I’m Chris Farley, and I’m all “GOD! I’m such an IDIOT! I suck.”

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