Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mr. Attorney Man And I Almost Died (not really but almost)

Court was… interesting, but not in the way that you might think.


As you know I posted on Monday night that I had JUST found out that I had a court date on Thursday morning to extend my Order of Protection. I was freaking out because this blog was born out of an attack that occurred due to retaliation when I got the initial order. Obviously I didn’t want to go through that again so I had a tough choice to make; risk my life and extend the order, or risk the kid's safety and let it lapse.

I was supposed to let Mr. Attorney Man know on Tuesday if I wanted to extend it or not, but due to a ridiculously busy week and a lot of inner turmoil, Wednesday night snuck up on me and I still had not made a decision. When I got a text from Mr. Attorney Man that basically said “I need an answer from you," I responded back with the only thing that I knew for certain; “how am I supposed to make a decision on something that might get me killed when I haven't had time to make any safety plans?”

In the end it was decided that if my ex showed up we would request a continuance on the case and if he didn't show up, Mr. Attorney Man assured me that the order would be "rubber stamped through" (meaning that it would be automatically extended and I wouldn't have to really talk to the judge) and then it should take a few days before he would even be served with the order, so that would buy me a little time.

I was about as OK with that plan as I was going to be with anything at that point, which really meant “I get that this is my best option but I really just wish that I didn’t have to deal with it at all.”

When I woke up on Thursday morning I felt so unnerved and sick that I gagged on my toothpaste.

I then got ridiculously lost on the way to the courthouse.

I knew that there was some construction going on near the courthouse, so I had planned for it and left my house early, but what I was not expecting was over 6 miles of one-way-street detours that took me through neighborhoods, a construction zone, what appeared to be an abandoned commercial district, and then eventually spit me out clear on the other side of town. When I passed a house with a sofa on the front lawn and a hotel that advertised "we have color TV and waterbeds," I realized that I was in the beginning of every scary movie I had ever seen.

My GPS had gone from continuously telling me to “make a u-turn when possible” to eventually just showing what appeared to be my car floating around in space.

By the time I finally made it to the parking garage I was just so happy to know where I was that some of my nervousness over the OOP had abated.

Mr. Attorney Man showed up a few minutes after me and we started walking to the courthouse together. It’s not a super long walk, but it’s definitely a walk. The area where the courthouse is located is not a nice area. Not only is it a city full of crime, but everything is in a state of decrepit abandonment. As we crossed the first street I stepped up onto the sidewalk and caught the back of my heel in a missing chunk of pavement.

You guys, I totally did one of those super sexy rubber leg things where you kind of wobble for a moment but then snap right back into place like "I'm fine, I'm fine, don't look at me, there's nothing embarrassing to see here because I'M FINE."  It wasn't one of my more graceful moments, but because I have no shame I actually thought it was pretty funny.

Mr. Attorney Man was all “whoa, are you OK?” and I’m all “dude if I actually fall, please take a picture because I’m going to need it for the blog.”


We continued walking to the courthouse until the moment Mr. Attorney Man realized he forgot something in his car, then we stopped walking to the courthouse and started walking back to the parking garage. Eventually, finally, we made it to the courthouse where he went in through the attorney door and I went in the door for regular-humans and criminals — my door having a line 35 people long just to get through the metal detectors. I stood in line and I waited, then I waited some more, and then I waited even longer.

Then I saw her.

A nicely dressed, attractive woman, who appeared to be about my age was doing one of those “I’m better and more important than everyone else so I’m going to drive along the shoulder of the road during a traffic jam, and then cut in at the front” things.

I seriously despise those people.

Of all ironies she walked directly up to me like we were sorority sisters, pointed to the 3 inch space between me and the person in front of me, and said with utter cocky-confidence, “you don’t mind if I cut in here right?”

Uh... yea actually, I mind.


Being aware of the fact that I was in a place full of cops and security cameras, I knew it probably wasn't in my best interest to tell her what I really thought. So instead I put on my sweetest voice and said “Oh no, I don’t mind as long as you get permission from the 29 people in line behind me, because I’m not really in a position to be making decisions on behalf of the entire group.”

I so very much wish I had a picture of the look on her face, it was priceless. She positively looked as if I had thrown a glass of cold water in her face and then kicked her dog.


She started to say something, stuttered, and then with a flushed face turned to the guy behind me and said “uhhh (cough cough)… uh… do you mind if I jump in here…?” Unfortunately that guy was all googly eyes and smiles that the pretty lady was talking to him, so he completely failed me and said “SURE GO RIGHT AHEAD AND THANKS FOR TALKING TO ME PRETTY LADY.”


Ok maybe I made that last part up, but the first part of the sentence totally came out of his mouth. She cut in and then just because I was feeling like a bit of a bitch, I turned around and said “glad that worked out for you!” before I was ushered through the metal detectors and into the dark and ugly courthouse.

As usual the elevators were slow, jam-packed, and there was a crowd of people all waiting to smash themselves into the next one and start praying that the 50 year old cables wouldn’t snap and plummet everyone to their untimely deaths.

Mr. Attorney Man and I took the stairs.

When we got to the top he suggested that I wait somewhere in the hallway and he would call me into the room when he needed me.

At first I kind of hid in a doorway and watched the elevators and stairways for any signs of my ex, but after no less than 7 people asked me to move for one reason or another, I found myself a seat on a bench.

I was starting to feel the butterflies stir in my stomach and was seriously wondering how angry Mr. Attorney Man might be if I left without telling him, but before I had time to fully consider what it might be like to see his head explode, a courthouse cop approached the guy who was standing directly in front of me.

“Young man, didn’t they tell you when you came in that you can’t wear hats in here?” the officer asked the guy (who, yes, was wearing a hat). “Oh, sorry, I put it in the x-ray bin so I wasn’t wearing it when I came in. I’ll take it off” the guy said.

Leaning towards the guy's face, the cop glared at him and then loudly accused more than questioned, “Young man, now that I’m over here and I can smell you, let me ask you something, you been smoking weed today?”

“Well yea, I smoked before I came in here” the guy replied in a tone that seemed confusingly confident.

“You had better come with me” the cop said. Suddenly three other cops appeared and they started arresting this guy, three feet in front of me. 

I’m sitting there trying to figure out if I should move, if I even had room to move, and wondering if I even wanted to move — because let’s be honest here, I was slightly intrigued to see how this was all going to play out and I had a front row seat.


What I was not expecting was the sudden commentary from the guy sitting next to me, a guy whose presence I had not noticed until he leaned over and said “what the hell! What a stupid motherf*cker! He gonna admit to a cop, in a courthouse, that he been smokin’ weed? I mean wow, WOW, that is some special kind of stupid! You know what they gun do to him now don’t you? They gun take him downstairs and turn his damn a*shole inside out, that’s what they gonna do. I mean wow, did the short bus drop him off? I could smell the weed from halfway down the hall but to admit to it, you kinda deserve to have you’re a*shole turned inside out." Then he turned to me and asked "Couldn’t you smell the weed?” 
“Uh…” I said, now finding myself in a stutter, “I don’t know what weed smells like” I stammered.

“HOW YOU NOT KNOW WHAT WEED SMELLS LIKE?” the bench dude yelled at me with such effort that he nearly threw himself off the bench. He then slid over, put his arm around me, and said “you’re just a baby! What a pretty little baby you are! Let me tell you about the world.”

“Ok, so this is apparently happening now” ran through my brain like a sports announcer trying to figure out what might happen next, while buying himself some time to figure out what to say about the situation.


I glanced around the hallway looking for one of those cops, but not seeing any I surmised that they were all busy doing things that according to bench dude I probably didn’t want to know about.

Understanding my unfortunate place in society as a woman, I get that there's a fine line between standing up for yourself against the creeps and trying not to infuriate them, and in that moment I wasn't exactly sure where that line was.

“What are you here for baby girl?” bench dude asked me, taking absolutely no notice of the fact that I was frozen in place and barely breathing. I heard myself say “divorce” and I have no idea why I said that, but my guess is that the meaningful conversation part of my brain was on pause while I tried to get out from under bench dude's arm — a feat that was harder than you might think because his watch was caught in my hair.

BECAUSE WHY WOULDN’T THAT HAPPEN.

“Well good for you!” he continued on. “You’re too pretty to be married to just anybody. Good for you kicking him to the curb, you deserve to find a good one. Me? I’m getting divorced too. Should have never married that pill popping Chucky.”

“Junkie?” I inquired, not exactly sure why I was even engaging in this conversation, but slightly interested in gathering all the details for when I would relay this story to my friends later.

“Nope, Chucky” he assured me. “You know what I’m talking about (I had absolutely no idea what bench dude is talking about). A pill popping Chucky! She looks sweet and innocent on the outside, but when she start popping them pills, she becomes a damn freaking psycho. A pill popping Chucky!” he exclaims, his grip tightening around my neck. “I even bought that damn Chucky a car, but do you know what that b*tch did? I put the damn car in her name, but as soon as I take it to the store, she calls the damn police on me and says I stole her car! PILL POPPING CHUCKY!! The next thing I know she is divorcing me, saying I got anger issues. I don't have anger issues, I’M JUST ANGRY.”


Well that's a relief. I'm glad he was just angry and didn't have actual anger issues, because that would make the fact that I'm stuck in the headlock of a random bench dude in a courthouse really uncomfortable.

GLAD THAT'S NOT HAPPENING.

Nothing like a good old cuddle assault in the courthouse to start off the morning.

Bench dude then says a bunch of other stuff that I don’t hear because I’m now determined to get his watch out of my hair (without any help from him whatsoever), but I do tune back in when he says “so I filed for visitation and you know what I get in the mail? She has written on my visitation paperwork, 'Aunt Jemima ain’t your baby'.”

HOLD THE PHONE.

“You named your kid Aunt Jemima?” I whisper shriek at him. (For those of you who don’t live in the States, Aunt Jemima is a very popular breakfast syrup)

He looks at me, wide eyed and mouthed open like I’m the crazy one....


....and says “of course not. Her name Jemima and we just call her that.”

Finally breaking free of his watch and grossly inappropriate bench snuggles, my complete and utter inability to shut the hell up finds me asking “so what are you here for today?”

“I’m paying my attorney. He makes me meet him here” he says coldly.

Perfect, so you don’t have anger issues, but your attorney wants to meet you in a public place, with metal detectors, and cops.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THAT MIGHT BE.


Right at that moment Mr. Attorney Man walked out looking for me and I shot him a look that said “For everything holy HELP ME.”

Needless to say, facing a judge felt like a breeze after that. I was in there for less than 3 minutes, just long enough for me to learn that my ex wasn’t there and that the judge was going to renew the order without questioning me. Before I knew it Mr. Attorney Man and I were making our way down the stairs to leave.

Yay!!!

The thing about this courthouse though is that it’s so old that even the non-slip sandpapery sticker things that they put at the edge of the stairs so people don’t fall down them, have been worn away into slick shiny things that actually cause people to fall.

I had zero interest in being one of those people.


So there I am, gripping the railing for dear life, and attempting to make my way down the stairs — that is until I touched something black and sticky on the hand rail.

“GAH!” I said pulling my hand away in horror.


“WHY ARE YOU TOUCHING ANYTHING IN HERE?” Mr. Attorney Man asked in shock and disgust.

“I’m trying not to fall down the stairs!” I exclaimed.

“Then take my arm” he said putting out his elbow, “but geez Miss, don’t touch anything in this place.”

“Thank you, but I’m not taking your arm because if I fall I’m just going to end up taking you down with me” I said in a way that should have assured him that my reasoning was based in fact and not simply just on opinion.

“I have skills, I used to be a wrestler” he countered back.

"But dude," I found myself thinking, "I’m a ballet dancer. I can leap across a stage on my toes and I nearly bit the dust on the sidewalk this morning, so thanks but no thanks, I do not wish to kill you."

Eventually and ten minutes later, we reached the bottom of the stairs and just when I was about to go through the turnstile door to freedom, Mr. Attorney Man stepped on the back of my foot, causing me to run into the door rather than through it.

“Sorry!” he said three times in a row (In all reality it was probably my fault. I did one of those things where I was walking right in front of him and then without warning I stopped while I waited for the door to align with me, so it was basically like when your kid is walking in front of the stroller and they suddenly stop, causing you run right into them and even though you hit them, you still shriek “this is why I tell you not to walk in front of the stroller!” But don’t tell him that.)

This was proving to be a treacherous morning.

Finally we leave the courthouse and begin the walk back to the parking garage — but I have confession to make. That first stumble I took on the way in when my shoe caught on the concrete, it proved Newton’s law right. “An object in motion will stay in motion.” Why am I bringing this up? Because when my shoe caught on the sidewalk my foot kept going and I stubbed my toe inside my shoe.

Ladies, I know you know what I’m talking about, heels have absolutely no give to them, and it doesn't help that you aren't wearing socks. It hurt! It hurt when I was walking to the courthouse, when I walked back to Mr. Attorney Man’s car, when I walked back to the courthouse again, when I went up all those stairs, when I went down those stairs, and then it really hurt when he stepped on the back of my shoe and I stubbed it again.

Dudes, I lost like three layers of skin down to the red part that you're never supposed to see, because it's supposed to remain on the inside of your foot and never see the light of day!

Do you know what it feels like to have the inside of your toe on the outside of your toe?

Not pleasant.

I evaluated the distance between where I was and where the car was and decided that my options were to either stand there and cry, hop on Mr. Attorney Man’s back, take the shortest cab ride ever, or take my shoes off.

Crying seemed unhelpful, I didn't see any cabs, and I wasn't sure how Mr. Attorney Man would react if I suddenly pulled a bench dude on him, so I took my shoes off.

Because it’s me, I felt no reason to explain why I was doing this, which in turn meant that Mr. Attorney Man thought I was losing my mind.

“You are taking your shoes off!? You’re nuts! Why would you do that!?” he said, not withholding one iota of his disgust for my actions.


“Because I don’t want to wear them anymore” I said, taking them off.

“These sidewalks are gross!” he said, his voice dripping with horror.

“I have baby wipes and hand sanitizer in the car, I'll clean my feet off when I get there. I’m good” I replied.

Then in a final attempt to get me to see the error of my ways, he insisted “YOU COULD STEP ON A HEROIN NEEDLE."

“I’ll watch where I’m going” I said, making sure that at no point any part of my filleted toe was going to make contact with the ground, and then changed the topic to Bench Dude and his crazy antics.

And oh the irony of all ironies, right as Mr. Attorney Man was pointing out that Bench Dude has basically named his kid Mrs. Butterworth, he steps on a sewer grate that moves just enough to send him into one of those full blown “I MIGHT ACTUALLY DIE RIGHT THIS SECOND” kind of stumbles.

Limbs flailing, the whole scha-bang.


I will give him credit though, the man did not fall even though the ground was moving (a lesser man would probably be missing a few teeth after that), but I did get a chance to see those wrestling skills in action when he almost took it to the mat.


I think I'll stick with the railing.

Thankfully we made it to the car in one piece and an hour later I was at my next meeting and starting to get a little freaked out that my ex was going to be served with the order soon.

I am actually scared of that, but on the plus side, I did not have a PTSD brain explosion, I did not get lost going to the courthouse to the point where I ended up in Mexico without a passport, I was not punched in the face by the woman I refused to let cut in line, I was not caught in the middle of an arrest brawl with weed guy, I survived Bench Dude, I did not fall down the stairs, the sidewalk did not claim the lives of Mr. Attorney Man or I, and bonus, I did not step on a heroin needle, so maybe my luck is starting to turn.


Fun times.




25 comments:

  1. I cannot believe that woman had the cheek to try and push in front of you! Is that a thing in the U.S.? Occasionally in a supermarket queue a person with one item might plead to go in front, and I've seen rugby scrums on public transport, but to just walk up to a line assuming someone will let you push in front when you're an able bodied person is inconceivable.

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    1. Congrats on getting the OP extended btw, I had a feeling your ex wouldn't show up for it.

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    2. That's America for you. Everyone seems to think they are better than everyone else! You should see them driving!!! Or on Black Friday! People literally get killed fighting over TVs that are on sale bc they get trampled running through the door. It's disgusting.

      *hugs*

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  2. Awesome! I'm so proud of you. Never stop fighting. Your family will be in my thoughts!

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  3. Yay! I'm glad you made it. Prayers out for your safety. *HUGS*

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  4. Nice! Good for you for fighting to keep yourself and your children protected. It was difficult, but so worth it. Best of luck to you!

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  5. Hope you got a chance to unwind/decompress tonight!
    http://www.laweekly.com/.../moving-company-will-help-you...

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  6. Way to go stay stay strong smile emoticon

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  7. I love that you can see the positive and humor in any given situation, you are a special lady:)

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    1. I simply can't imagine what you've been through are what you're still going through. I wish you well and a future filled with well deserved happiness.

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  8. Do. Not. Touch. Me. Words I've had to use. Even punched a guy in a bar who kept putting his arm around me. Don't eff with ny ladies.

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  9. Posts like this are why I adore you so much! People who can see the humor in the darkness are my favorite type of people. I'm glad that you had a good source of distraction to keep your mind off of the pending appearance in front of the judge. I was going to suggest something like trying to watch a movie or play a game on your phone, but that didn't seem distracting enough. Fortunately, the universe provided! Your gaurdian angel turned out to be a creepy guy with no respect for personal boundaries. No offense intended, but (for you) this makes sense. ;)

    Glad everything has worked out so far! Hope your toe feels better.

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    1. Aw shucks. (shuffles feet). Thanks :)

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    2. Oh and you can't bring phones in the court house so it is BORING!!

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  10. *giggles* Oh, Eden. You couldn't have given a better visual of what the courthouse is like if you'd had a camera. I love it! Where else could you find so much insanity in so small a space??? Glad you (mostly) survived!

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    1. RIGHT? I always say it's like the Disney World experience of people watching at Walmart.

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  11. Yeah for the pink glittery cloud!

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  12. Okay a little late (since I can't comment on my phone for some reason) but I think I just thought of a new YourTango article for you: I Was Married To A Meth Addict But I Still Don't Know What Weed Smells Like :D

    But seriously. Glad your ex was too busy scratching imaginary bugs off his face to even come in, and that this was the worst you had to deal with. And that the OOP was extended. Stay safe, all three of you!

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    1. Haha!! "Imaginary bugs off his face." Truthfully he probably didn't even know! I didn't even know we had a court date and Mr. Attorney Man found out on accident!

      I like your idea though... I may use that someday...

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