The more things change…
Yesterday I was at a deposition in Ohio. As is usual, attorneys from most of the major law firms in the U.S. were there defending various defendants. However, what was most unusual was that all but one attorney was a woman. Furthermore, of the six women, three were ethnic minorities. Further yet, of the three minorities, two were African-American.
After almost four years of being mistaken for court reporters, secretaries and legal assistants while practicing law in NYC, it took a trip to the heartland to finally arrive!
Of course, after the dep was over the other two attorneys of color and I decided to use our five hours until take off, to cruise the city’s mall looking for a movie theater. In business suits and briefcases, we headed up one flight of escalators looking for a mall directory.
We located one right between a Godiva chocolatier and a diamond jewelry shop.
Although it didn’t have a movie theater (like all the teen angst movies about middle America suggest), the mall had hundreds of stores. We were charting out a game plan of stores we wanted to visit (on a side note, I am now developing a Hollywood treatment about fat people and skinny people trying to cruise a mall together. “Fatties to the left; Normies to the right.” Believe me, hijinks aplenty.)
After about twenty minutes, a rent-a-cop pokes his head around the directory:
“Excuse me?” I ask.
He fully steps out in front of us now, his left hand on his hip and his right hand cradling his walkie talkie.
“Are you all lost? Can I help ya find something?”
The other two women, shook their heads.
“Well, is there a movie theater here. In the movies, these malls always have a movie theater,” I pipe in.
“No, the closest one’s out bah the pike.”
“Oh, too bad”
“Well, let me know if I kin help y’all find something”
“Thanks, but we thought we’d check the handy directory board that we’re standing in front of, before we take you away from your busy rounds.”
Skipper’s grip on his walkie talkie tightened (I named him Skipper in my head after he said the word pike, don’t ask me why.) Slowly, he looked us up and down:
“Awright, y’all take care.”
He walked off, but glanced back at us once more before disappearing around the corridor.
The three of us stood there watching him go.
“So, did he think we were casing Godiva or the diamond store?”
The other two laughed.
“You know, I didn’t want to say anything because people always say I think things are too racial,” said the other African-American chick.
“No, that was definitely a DWB-type stop…”
“Well,” said the very rational Asian chick, “it could be that he wasn’t sure if we could read and understand the very large, brightly illustrated map we were standing in front of. I mean, really.”
All in all, not a bad trip.