Scales and Arpeggios

I thought of this title while thinking of “Scales,” my new friend’s nickname until I can get to know her enough to pick out something more entirely appropriate… Counselor was already taken, and should remain that way, because even though I doubt she’ll show up again, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love her and I’m going to take her nickname away, because I’ve called her that since the moment I met her… and even though she couldn’t represent me because of family ties, I still gave her a dollar just in case. 🙂

Scales reminds me of taking a paralegal course at University of Houston, when one of my professors got the scales of justice tattooed on her ankle when she graduated from law school. She said that a woman on a plane said, “I love your tattoo. I’m a Libra, too.” Then she facepalmed in front of the class. I never did anything with my paralegal certificate, because every law firm to which I applied needed at least a year of experience… and how does one acquire said experience if no one is willing to take a chance on you? And, how much could I have used of said program because I moved to Oregon, and am only familiar with Texas civil and criminal codes? I did decide, however, that if I wanted to be a paralegal or an attorney (having taken Con Law in undergrad and gotten bitten by the bug hardcore), that I would definitely want to be a criminal defender…. because there is far less paperwork. That’s it. I could give a shit whether people were guilty or innocent, just don’t make me fill out things. I could also go my entire life without Bates labeling eight boxes of discovery. However, time is on my side in that respect. Now, there’s software that when you scan a document, it will Bates label for you. When I was in the course, you had to put the label on the document and recopy it….. and we’re talking discovery that could easily lead to 10,000 pages, especially in a civil suit.

One of my bosses at University of Houston (then-head of the Information Systems department) also had a JD and had passed the bar, so he used to joke, want to see my $75,000 card?

However, my legal background has served me once, although I never had to use it. Because there were no assets in my divorce from Dana, and we both just wanted a quick and dirty separation, I offered to go pro se if we needed to go to court. Neither of us wanted to hurt each other, we just wanted it to be over…. and even if there had been assets, I would have been of the mind to let her have whatever she wanted, because all I wanted was out. She could not see the path I was walking, that the Argo situation would resolve itself one way or another, and that life would go on. She would have been horrified at the way I chose to handle the Argo situation, but I can only plead mental illness, and a lot of it. However, even though I was never turned into a newt, I got better. Mental health, like addiction, is not something that has a cure-all. It’s a daily struggle with ups and downs, particularly when I feel like I’ve been treated unjustly or unfairly. My justice-oriented nature, INFJ and perpetual armchair law student, sometimes makes my blood boil, and because I was emotionally abused as a child, pieces of my emotions that are supposed to help me deal are missing. For instance, one of the things that made me the most angry with Dana was her sense of appeasement. Telling everyone I was crazy and that we’d never get back together while kissing me on the sidewalk and wanting to spend time with me. I felt even more nuts than I already was. As far as I’m concerned, with the policy of appeasement, the list goes 1) Dana 2) Neville Chamberlain. Knowing how bad I needed out came over time, because at first, I thought there was too much history between us to ever stop working on our relationship, as painful as it might have been for both of us. But within months, I realized that getting out of that relationship provided me with a sense of self-worth I’d not had EVER. In terms of divorce, the rules are simple.

All that needs to be done is file the paperwork with Multnomah county, and as long as I don’t contest it, the matter is resolved. I thought we might have to go to court only because of the Supreme Court decision, that our domestic partnership might have automatically become a marriage and thus, need of a day in court. In some ways, I am sorry I won’t get one, if only to have a formal acknowledgement. In fact, I would have invited my close friends and family as a sort of makeshift ceremony, because it is just as important for your community to recognize dissolution as it is to recognize that the marriage took place. The UCC even has a liturgy for it, and if I’d thought about it before I left Houston, I might have been interested in having it. I don’t know that Dana would have gone for it, but it wouldn’t have hurt to ask. All she could have said was no, and she never could have said yes if I didn’t ask.

I’ve been asked before why I write so much about Argo in comparison to how much I write about Dana, and the answer is so very simple. Argo was a very short relationship/catalyst to allow me to realize my worth. Dana will take years to untangle. Just years. The chord that runs between us is enormous, and I use the word both in the geometrical sense and the C minor I hope will one day resolve…. although I think the Piccardy third is on me.

And it is as I go through this journey into wholeness, I am looking forward to having dinner with Scales tonight. We’re going to a local Ethiopian joint, because Silver Spring has AMAZING African food. The African population here is quite large, and they cook…. blessedly. I should say up front that I already know I’m not girlfriend material, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to broaden my horizons, especially with someone who is so damn smart. I mean, making it through law school in the first place is taxing enough. But she’s moved past that, onto bigger and better things, and those are equally exciting. We are a talk for five hours kind of pair… and that’s putting it mildly.

And as for Arpeggios, that’s me.

Scales and Arpeggios. Has a ring to it. Maybe one day I’ll buy her a friendship bracelet, you know, after she French braids my hair and we do face masks together.





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