In which I take my inspiration where it rises to bludgeon me on the noggin.

When I first met Stacey Nicholson, she had a different surname.  She’s married twice since then and she took her husband’s surname the second time.  On anybody else, it might looked like a cop-out but on Stacey, it looks right.  I can’t say why; and you all know me, I’m a bull-headed feminist.

But this post does not concern why Stacey Meinen became Stacey Nicholson.  So move forward, because I don’t call her either of those monikers.  I call her “Short Stuff”.

Stacey blasted into the Solo and Small Firm Committee of the Missouri Bar’s SFIG (small firm internet group) at a time when I reigned as one of its queens and her stepfather milled around the interwebs among my favorite colleagues.  She sashayed her way to being chair of the Committee right about the time my world crashed and burned, so I didn’t get to see her coronation.  My loss.

Short Stuff practices law in St. Louis.  I would not want to be her opposing counsel, if she litigates with the same verve that she debates curriculum, politics, and the relative virtues of differing versions of damn near anything.  I’d file a brief with the words “I concede” scrawled in red ink.  I’d tell my client to pay the lady and shut up.

I haven’t seen Stacey in a few years, since I’ve been hiding in Kansas City, licking my wounds and preparing to slink away into the western sunset.  From what I see on Facebook, she’s staked her own claim to fame — she and her husband run a Karaoke night at some bar in St. Louis County. and have made a “best in the state list”, to cite just one example, following the chair-of-a-powerful-MOBar-committee coup.  I admire her immensely and would strive to be just like her when I grew up, except it seems to be too late for that. I’d have to age backwards.

Apparently Stacey doesn’t feel as good about herself as I would expect.  She’s gone on a health-regimen, either to lose fat or build muscle or both — I haven’t figured it out.  I see changes in her pictures online.  Her face looks crisper, more defined.  But her attitude shines just as clearly as ever, along with the glow with which she and Mark gaze at each other.  I’d be jealous except it’s hard to hate someone as nice as Stacey (as long as you stay on her good side).  I wouldn’t have thought she needed to do much to improve that compact four-foot dynamite body but I take her word for it.

I woke this morning at 4:30 a.m.  That’s a trend that used to plague me and which I thought I’d kicked but it’s come back in the last week or so.  It might be the owl calling outside my window, worry about finding a job, or the whole lost-our-dog-of-sixteen-years sadness.  Possibly the Stanford miracle drug needs adjusting, who knows.  I’ll find out in June when I go for my six-month check-up with the Stanford miracle docs.  But still, there it is.

I reached for my phone, checking first for news of my critically ill niece (Godspeed, Angie).  Then I scrolled through e-mail; nothing but junk.  Then — and you knew it loomed — I opened Facebook.  The first thread got me.  Stacey had just posted a response to someone asking her what “cheat days” looked like on her new regimen, and she blasted back with this:

Courtnie S***** girl, I got goals! Cheating ain’t gonna get me there!

My tired body snapped to a sitting position and I studied those two sentences, with their bold sentries standing at attention.  I focused on the essence of her proclamation:



Damn, Stacey, you’ve done it again.  You set such a glaring example that even I get it.  Maybe I will strive to be like you when I grow up, Stacey Nicholson.  Maybe I ain’t done growing yet.

It’s the eighth day of the fifty-second month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.




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