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Set ‘Em Up, Joe

I have no love for alcoholic beverages. The last time I had a drink was maybe10 years ago, when I sipped a half a glass of champagne. I share this only because I imagine there’s a part of this story that would be less mock-able and more sympathetic if I could relate more to those who like, or crave, liquor.

The deal to sell my clients’ home was arduous and very contentious. My clients were a handful, and the buyers sounded like head cases. There were title problems, mortgage problems, and problem-problems. Yet throughout it all, the buyers’ counsel was professional.

The closing went on almost all day. The lender’s attorney was blindsided by something that took a long time for her unsnarl, and my clients declared —about three hours in— that they changed their minds about leaving behind a few TVs and a dresser, unless the buyers wanted to kick in an additional $1,000 (they didn’t).

Despite more than a few fists being balled up, I’m happy to say that no punches were thrown. At about 5:00 pm, the buyers had a deed and I had my fee. As I was walking down the hall towards the ladies’ room, the buyers’ counsel called out to me, “Want to join me for a drink?”

I walked back and replied, “No, thanks.” She looked sad and said, “Please. This day really rattled me. I need a drink and I need company.”

Not wanting to sound judgmental or rude, I demurred again. “I haven’t eaten, I have to drive back, and I don’t really like the taste of alcohol.” All valid excuses, I thought, and none too-preachy, right?

“Thanks for being so holier-than-thou,” she snapped. “You make it seem like I’m some sort of DUI candidate. I’m not! It’s just that days like this have to end in alcohol.”

I looked at her with a bit of shock on my face, pointed towards the ladies’ room, and walked towards my destination. I should have wished her well, or defended myself from her accusation, but I did neither.

She was gone by the time I returned to the conference room.
 

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