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R&J Have Nothing on Us

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Philip was so excited. Today was Friday!

Last week, Daddy had promised (he promised) that he would take Philip with him to work one day next week. To work! With Daddy!

He'd gotten up super early on Monday, snuck into Mommy and Daddy's closet to borrow one of Daddy's ties so he'd look like a Professional Young Man, but then the closet was dark and the carpet was soft and he'd fallen asleep. And anyway Daddy had already gone into work that day. Tuesday he had the very smart idea to sleep next to Daddy, so Daddy waking up would wake him up, but Mommy said the baby was crying and needed to sleep with them, so that was out. Wednesday Philip decided not to try, because Wednesday was Central Park Day, and even though he wanted to go to work with Daddy he also really really wanted to go to the zoo. There were animals there! Thursday Daddy said he was sorry, but today's work was not for Professional Young Men to look at, but he promised (he promised) that Friday they would go in together.

And today was Friday!

Mommy had taken one of Daddy's old ties and made it into a tie just right for Philip, and he still fit into the suit from Uncle Philip's wedding. Daddy smiled when he saw, and told Philip he was a Professional Young Man Ready to Go to Work With His Father.

Philip wanted to jump up and down and shout, but that would not be Professional Young Man behavior, so he just smiled and told Daddy thank you. He was very polite. Mommy had to cover her face with her hands, she was so proud of how polite Philip was.

The ride to work was long and boring, and Daddy got Upset with some people who weren't driving very smart. But then they were there. At Work! Philip nearly jumped up and down even though it was Not Professional, he was so excited. Daddy introduced Philip to everyone they spoke to on the way to Daddy's office. It was a lot of people. Daddy was very popular! Philip said it was nice to meet every person and shook their hands. He was very polite. Everyone thought so! They told Daddy how polite he was, and they smiled!

They finally got to Daddy's office, which was full of books and papers and a big computer on a big desk. It looked a lot like Daddy's Room at home that Philip wasn't allowed to go into, but Daddy said to come in so it must be different. Daddy told Philip to sit in a chair by the window and gave Philip paper and coloring stuff! Some of them were skinny and he couldn't tell what color they'd be until he drew with them. Some were thick and smelled funny, and the color went through three whole pieces of paper. One of them was like the pencils at school except it was red instead of black. Philip liked that one the most, he used it a lot.

He got tired after he'd colored three pictures (one of Mommy and Daddy and Philip and Angie and Alex and the baby, for Daddy's office; one of Daddy and Philip At Work for Mommy; one of Daddy's secretary that she asked him to draw when she saw he was drawing). He wanted to talk to Daddy, but Daddy was On The Phone and Philip knew that meant he was doing Busy Important Things, so he didn't interrupt.

He looked out the window instead. There was another building over there - not as good as the one Daddy worked in, of course, but it looked nice. Right across from Philip was a window, and inside that window was - a girl!

She looked a little younger than Philip, and she was looking out her window too. Philip smiled and waved at her, and when she noticed him she waved back.

Philip found more paper and one of the thick smelly markers, and wrote HI on it in big letters. He put it in the window so the girl could see. She left, which made Philip a little sad - but then she came back! With paper and a marker of her own! HI, said her paper.


ME TOO, she wrote.

HE'S A LAWYER. (Philip had to ask Daddy how to spell that one.)

She left the ME TOO paper in the window. Cool!


She took a long time to write this time. THEODOSIA.

Philip didn't know how to say that. He checked to make sure Daddy wasn't On The Phone (he wasn't) before pointing out the window and asking how to say that name.

Daddy looked out the window and frowned. No no no, he said. Philip, that's Theodosia Burr.

Philip knew that name. Daddy Did Not Like Mr. Burr. He wouldn't tell Philip why, because it was for Grown-Up Reasons, but Philip didn't need to know. If Daddy didn't like somebody, they were Bad.


Theodosia frowned, and left the window. She came back with a grown-up man - her daddy - who pointed at Daddy and said something. Philip couldn't hear because they were all the way in another building, but Daddy seemed to understand, because he laughed and said something too quiet for Philip to hear. Then he and Mr. Burr both left.


That was mean! Daddy wasn't mean! Philip wasn't mean! Philip was a Professional Young Man and very polite! YOUR MEAN, he wrote back. Then he stuck out his tongue at her and turned away.

He felt bad about sticking out his tongue later, because Mommy said that was Very Rude and Not Nice, which meant he was mean. But his Daddy wasn't mean! She had started it, Philip decided. And you could be mean back if someone else was mean first, so it Didn't Count.

I don't like Theodosia Burr, he told Daddy. She's mean.

Thank God, Daddy said.

"And yet, here we are!" Pop says, waving an arm at Philip and Theo. He's had more than his fair share of the open bar, but really, if anyone deserves some alcohol today, it's him. And Philip's new father-in-law. "Twenty years and you've gone from "She's mean, Daddy" to "I love her, Pop"! I guess I shouldn't be surprised," Pop sighs. "A love of Shakespeare runs in the family." Mom whispers in Pop's ear, and he raises a glass. "May they get a happier end than their literary counterparts. To Philip and Theodosia!"

The room echoes the toast.

"And you were so worried," Theo murmurs in Philip's ear. "That was positively congenial, coming from your father."

"Yeah, I'm a little more worried about yours right now."

Theo snorts. "Please, Daddy loves me. He won't dare make a scene."

"Are you implying something about my dad?" Philip says, half-joking. Theo frowns - god, but Philip loves when she gets angry, the passion in her - but someone starts tapping on their wine glass before they can get into it. Philip's not surprised to see Aunt Angelica holding her glass up high, grinning as she taps. She's always loved the vaguely nauseous look Pop and Mr. Burr - Aaron? no, definitely still calling him Mr. Burr - get when he and Theo kiss.

Philip's happy to oblige her.