What could stymie me? Maybe my self-defeating, disconnected life…
The task at hand seemed so simple, so routine. I needed a document notarized before two witnesses.
I called two banks where I have accounts, a nearby law office, a nearby title company, a notary service, Kinko’s, and UPS, the latter two advertising notary services. One bank doesn’t have a notary bond that covers the type of document I needed notarized. The other bank doesn’t provide witnesses; you need to bring your own. Same with Kinko’s and UPS. The law office doesn’t do such things for people, even other lawyers, that they don’t know. The title company doesn’t do such things at any price for people who don’t have escrow accounts within its chambers. The private notary couldn’t provide witnesses either, but she provided the bad legal advice that they weren’t necessary.
My husband and I, both lawyers (but neither of us running for President), could probably be considered self-contained to a significant degree. This makes things confounding when we can produce documents but cannot notarize or witness them ourselves. I’m home with the Cat, who is not legally competent to notarize or witness things.
I am not one to call two people and ask whether it would be convenient for me to haul them to my bank to witness the transforming validation of a notary public sealing a document. When push comes to shove, I wonder if I even know two people.
I called my friend Ken, a lawyer my husband and I have known for many years.
“Ken, I’m stymied.”
“Lauren, what could possibly stymie you?”
I explained. He’s a notary, and he said he’d be glad to help me. But he couldn’t do it today, because his assistant was stranded in Oregon with a broken-down car. She’d almost certainly be back in one or two days. Then he could collar another person from the floor his office is on for the second witness….”I’ll call you mid-week, then. It can wait,” I laughed.
I laughed because I knew why we are friends. He answers his own phone, he works alone most of the time. He and his wife are the good friends we run into at the store every couple of years and get together with at least every ten.
Every once in a while, I am providentially reminded that self-containment isn’t quite right, or at least always convenient; but I am reminded also to be grateful for old friends. I seem to forget to forge bonds the way most people forget where they put their keys. My memory used to be better.