Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, September 20, 2019

Sequins and charley horses

Last night, I had an attack of leg cramps, what some call a charley horse. My left leg cramped and then my right. I laid in bed writhing in pain and muttering for it to stop. The more I fought it, the worse it got. Aside from just moaning through it, there was not much I could do. It happened at midnight, at two am and then at four am. On the last attack, I started crying and my husband woke up and comforted me, kneading my calf.

By five am, tuckered out, I got up. Chewbacca was already whining to go out and I left my husband in bed trying to get some sleep.

I feel as if life has been like this lately. I will be doing all right, feeling peaceful and then something will hit. Adrian's brother untimely death, my foot issues, work stressors, and then, Chewbacca's chronic heart condition will worsen. I keep waiting for the next shoe to drop with a thud that upends my life and leaves me crying for it to stop.

Last night, ironically enough, I attended a dinner for the Riverside County Bar Association at the Mission Inn. I wanted to look good so I had my hair blown out and wore a sparkly sequined blazer over my black work dress. I picked up my colleague Jen and she looked gorgeous in a flowered blazer.

Driving over, we felt great. Then, I walked in and saw all of the suits and I had a flashback to my law firm life so many years ago. The late nights, the never ending social functions and dinners, the travel and the stress of it all. Of course, I made my way to the bar to get a beer.

It is not lost on me that the night I attended a gala with many law firm people in attendance, I had cramps in my legs all night. I had a great time, don't get me wrong, the dinner was beautiful. I mingled and made small talk and even (thank god!) saw a writer friend. But, I was uneasy. Eventually, I sweated my blow out away and could not cool down, no matter how hard I fanned myself.

You see I never fit in with the white shoe law firm crowd. Never. No matter how hard I tried. And believe me, I tried.

At the public defender's office, I have always fit in, from day one, and there are people way more quirkier than I. Here, at my work home, I am not an anomaly. Instead, I am one of the tribe.

I guess what I need to realize from it all is that I am lucky to be where I am. Where my talents are used to their best for society and where I may attend a fancy dinner at the Mission Inn, but its not mandatory.

Walking to my car, two young men of color sauntered down the street. One of them, who was wearing a fabulous silver lame fanny purse, looked at me and said, "Girl, I love that jacket."

I looked at him and smiled and said, "Part Golden Girl, Part Bowie" and we all burst out laughing. I felt like I made a real connection on the street in front of the Mission Inn on a Thursday night in Riverside. Finally, I felt like I could be me.