When I finally made it out of the house the previous day, the evening soon transformed into collecting a cocktail at a newly-opened spot near home. I sat alone at the bar in the then-empty space and put myself at the mercy of the bartender. Not long had passed before a friend came in, followed shortly after by someone who was a mutual acquaintance. We talked, and the conversation turned to my life at some point. I've been told that at some point I'll tire of "those questions". I get that the curiosity is earnest, and to the extent that I feel comfortable sharing, I still do, and did so here. At the end of it, though, just as had happened at the coffee shop the day before, he commented on my wearied look. I knew, I said. But he said something else, something about my posture, that presentation mattered now if it hadn't before. A double-standard, he assured, but I knew not every encounter would be with someone enlightened. However, I was struck dumb. He was right. I knew I conveyed something closer to shame than the meekness I felt, and nothing like the pride that I should have felt. This was not the week to do it, but it was clear it needed to happen.
Step 97: Comportment may not be everything, but it sends a message. Do what you can to make sure it's sending the one you want it to.