Tonight Jane and I were out for dinner at the Highland Grill, enjoying our week without the kids by eating at places that we don’t go when we have kids, which is to say 50 weeks out of the year. Being only two allowed us to belly up to the bar for the only open seats. I miss the heck out of our kids, more than I ever have, but traveling lighter has several advantages.
While we were at the bar I noticed a patron that resembled Jane’s former boss at her first “real” legal job, some 13 years ago now. He was seated across the restaurant; I looked the guy over but ultimately decided the body builds didn’t match, her boss was a Minneapolis guy and we were in St. Paul, etc. Not him.
Well, about 10 minutes later Jane and I were discussing some matter of marginal importance when we both heard the voice of her former boss. At least I was pretty sure it was her former boss. He was standing two feet away from Jane, talking to the waitress behind the counter about some issue with his bill. As he walked away I caught Jane’s eye to see if that was who I thought it was, and her wide eyes told me the answer.
Jane’s old boss, as it happens, was one of the Democratic candidates for Minnesota governor this year, though he left the race relatively quickly after the caucuses. He was a real piece of work, this guy. It was not a happy time in Jane’s professional life, though it was at times entertaining.
Anyway, as I said, that was 13 years ago. Time had drawn a misty veil on my recollection of the exact circumstances surrounding her departure, so I asked, “I know it’s weird seeing him out and about, but is there any reason he’d be pissed at you? Didn’t you leave on decent terms?”
She shook her head as she wiped a doughy pirogi crumb from her mouth. Her eyes narrowed on me in a way that told me I had forgotten something generally unforgettable. “Well,” she said as she folded up her napkin, “Decent terms, depending on how he felt about me walking out with no notice the same day the paralegal filed a discrimination suit against him, then testifying against him in court in said discrimination suit. Depends on how he sees that.”
I looked back over my shoulder at the former boss, now seated again, while I reconnected with that strange time in Jane’s life and the ugly way it all ended. So, yeah, maybe not the guy you want to run into at the Highland Grill, standing two feet from your grill.
Jane leaned in close while I was looking at him. “I also reported him to the IRS.”