I felt nervous that morning as I got ready to meet my son at the superior court building. Lawyers go to court every day, but this was a new experience for me. I knew I would soon have to face some good people who happened to hold a different opinion of justice than I did. As I was contemplating what I would say or do if approached by one of these people, the telephone rang.
My son Jeff was on the other end, asking, "How ready are you?"
I explained I had my hair in curlers and was in the process of getting dressed. He suggested I drive to his house and we take one vehicle to the courthouse. I agreed and told him I'd meet him in about 20 minutes.
"Lord, calm me down!" I breathed.
I finished getting ready, which took a little longer than I'd planned. So, I quickly headed for the door, grabbing my purse and car keys along the way.
I live on the third floor of a fairly good-size apartment complex. The stairways are open to the outside, as are the balcony-like walkways lined with doors to apartments on each floor. Leaving my apartment, I walked down the three flights of stairs and across the parking lot, unlocked the car to my door, and got in.
After starting the car, I realized I was getting low on gas, but I decided to go to my son's house and get the gas later. I am so glad I made that choice.
As I drove, my mind was on the possibilities of what could happen in court. About halfway to Jeff's house, I realized I had forgotten something very important and gasped, "Oh, no!" Disbelief overcame me, followed closely by panic, with another very loud, "Oh, no!" thrown in every few seconds. Let me tell you, going down the road at 40 miles per hour is not the time to discover your memory is not what it was.
I turned the car around and headed for home. Parking the car directly in front of the stairway, I noticed some people walk by as I turned off my car, reached for my purse, and prepared to go back upstairs. Just then, a car pulled up next to me. A woman got out and walked toward the stairs.
I was thinking, "Go to the first floor, go to the first floor." She took the stairway to the top floor--my floor.
I got out of my car and headed for the stairway. As I rounded the corner of the last flight of stairs, I came face to face with the woman I had watched go upstairs earlier. She smiled; I smiled. Then I nonchalantly walked to my door, opened it, entered the apartment, locked the door, and called my son.
"Where are you?" he asked.
"I'm at home," I answered. "I forgot something and had to come back here to get it."
"What did you forget?" he asked.
I told him, and we both roared with laughter. I had left the house wearing everything except my black dress pants. Somehow, I don't think black pantyhose would have been appropriate attire for the courthouse.
That laugh was exactly what I needed to break the tension. I was no longer half so worried about what the other side might say--compared with what they might have seen
! As I walked out the door the second time, I thought I heard a distant chuckle.