"Blonde," my mother said to me last week, "I'm so glad you're home!"
"Well, of course. It's Christmas."
"...Because I need you to go to the grocery store with me."
"Sure. Whenever." I figured maybe she needed to pick up a few last minute things for Christmas dinner.
"Right now. Let's go."
"Um... alright." I dropped my bags in my old bedroom and headed back out to the driveway.
As we drove to the nearby grocery store, I asked, "So, what do we need? Do you have a list? Maybe we could split it up?"
The best plan, I figured, was to spend as little time in the grocery store as possible.
"No, we just need to go straight to the customer service desk."
Wait for it... wait for it...
"Because I was just there. And I told them, 'I'll be back with my lawyer!'"
Yes, that's right. Talk about embarassing. Of course, there was some kid I went to high school with, still working behind the customer service counter as he probably has for the past ten years. What am I going to do, walk up to this guy in his green vest and say, "You may remember me from algebra class, but I'm a lawyer...?"
In talking to him, it turns out that my mother must go in there every week to quibble about some price in the weekly circular - usually trying to get a competitor's price or insisting that the ad is some sort of "bait and switch."
In the end, I used the skills I've developed best as a lawyer - bargaining and persuasion - and absolutely no law at all, to get my mother half-price on an entire cart of groceries. She was thrilled. Finally having a lawyer daughter became useful.
And the customer service kid was thrilled to deal with me instead of listening to my mother again.
Me? I'm the least thrilled. I know this means that I will be dragged to the grocery store, my least favorite place, every time I go home ever again.