This was followed by lunch with Steve (not his real name), who is liberal as the day is long on "social issues mainly" he says, which was cringe-inducing given my own proclivities. We're almost an exact opposites - I can occasionally be squishy on fiscal issues but firm on the social, while he's firmly against the social and squishy on the financial. He's an atheist who says he doesn't ever think about death or what comes after. He was a Marxist who loved the poor when he lived in a rich neighborhood but then found the poor much less to his liking when his family moved to the big city and found them violent. A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged is the famous line, and he would probably call himself a centrist whose friend got mugged. He's seems especially interested in injustice defined the liberal way - the innocent man who is sent to jail or the prisoner who is raped. That is, worthy applications of justice but extremely limited in that the lack of empathy for the million killed unborn child. He hates pro-lifers primarily for the reason that he says they don't show enough interest in making life better after the womb. The problem with that argument is that I suspect that no matter how much pro-lifers did for the lives of children of mothers who considered abortion, it wouldn't be enough. The bar will get higher. It just goes to show how hard it is for right and left to talk.
After work I was torn between getting my haircut at the local spa where I got the equivalent of a 60-minute scalp and face massage with Candace, or going to my old 25-minute barber named Barbra, with the price being the same. The tie-breaker was the fact that Barb was a 15-minute walk away and Candace two minutes, so I dialed what I thought was Candy (if I may be so bold) but it was Barb (I'd mixed up the numbers) and I asked if she had any openings and she did so I got that done. I thought how much more she surely needed the money than newly married Candace and was glad to have gone to Barb even if I thought about how I missed the scalp massage and hot towel treatment. But Barb seems to live life with so little financial margin for error...
Back a lifetime ago, on Thursday, I started the day with a chocolate chip muffin for breakfast because I knew it'd be a long day given all the meetings, but I didn't know the half of it. Didn't know that this would be the biggest day in my daughter-in-law & stepson's life to date - the birth of their first child.
Heard during one of my meetings that she was at the hospital and afterwards couldn't much concentrate on anything else given the eagerness to SEE the child that so long had been hidden in his mother's womb. As evening rolled in the baby was predicted in a couple hours, making the estimated time of arrival around 8:30pm, so I felt like I was in my comfort zone without a long wait, ninety minutes to further whet the appetite of seeing the new baby. But so unlike modern technology, the real world isn't about me, and it's not on my schedule. 8:30 came and went as did nine and ten and eleven and midnight. Interspersed within those hours were missives that gave us a lift: "we're giving her drugs to make the contractions more powerful," and "we'll have her start pushing around 10:00pm." It was 'round 1am that I saw the baby who, along with his momma, rightly took their own sweet time in delivering the miracle of life. The most unbearable part came in the long interlude between the sounding of Brahm's lullabye alerting us to our new family member, and the time we actually got to meet our little-fingered friend.