Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Am Married to a Lawyer, So Sue Me

This was originally published as a guest post for our good buddy Law Momma's blog (Spilled Milk... And Other Atrocities).  She wrote a really funny post for us about how dogs and babies are not that much alike
-------------------------------------------------------------------------Since the awesomeness that is Spilled Milk... And Other Atrocities is so much about Law Momma's efforts to balance mommyhood and her legal career, I thought I would do her husband a solid and write how much fun it is being married to a lawyer.  Unless of course he is a lawyer.  In which case, I wish them both luck.  Lots of it.

My perspective is that of someone riding shotgun on the rollercoaster of a lawyer's professional and personal life.  I've been married to my husband, the now infamous Cap'n Coupon, for 13 years.  Our first date was 15 years ago, at the beginning of his second year of law school.  It was 1995 and we were both graduate students at the University of Michigan.  This is significant because most people enter their first year of law school in a serious relationship.  Most people enter their second year of law school single, wondering what the hell just happened and if Prozac isn't such a bad idea after all. 

I think its all part of the "Lawyer Indoctrination Cycle of Sucktitude".  Law schools spend the first year making students feel stupid (which is a total mind-f*ck because most of those students have spent their whole lives knocking themselves out trying to be the smartest kid in the room) and also to be ever so slightly mistrustful of their peers, with whom they are competition.  In addition, first year students -- reduced to the lowly moniker "1 Ls" --  are basically locked in the library and only allowed out for more coffee, sandwiches and occasional rounds of binge drinking (also known as "weekends").  This doesn't leave a lot of time to dote on your girlfriend or beau.

So when I met the Cap'n, he was recently single. I have been arguing unsuccessfully with him ever since.  And that brings us to the first thing you need to know about being married to lawyer...

Arguing with Lawyers Sucks Monkey Balls
In every relationship there will be fighting.  But fighting with a lawyer is like trying to perform your own Lasik eye surgery while drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon.  At the beach.  In a windstorm.  With an unwashed grapefruit spoon.  IT IS NOT ADVISABLE.  They never admit they're wrong; they never stop finding new and annoying ways to make their point; and they never ask you questions that they don't already know the answers to.  Most arguments proceed with the lawyer falling back on a tediously large arsenal of things like logic and reason while their non-lawyer adversary ends up losing his/her schmidt and saying something like: "Oh yeah? OH YEAH?! Well you Mister, are a F*CKFACE. So go suck on THAT. Where's your logic NOW?" 

Plus, they say stupid, implausible things like "even assuming you are right. . . ." when everyone knows they never honestly assume you are right.   Otherwise they would also assume they are wrong (which will never happen).

They're All Gold Star Getters
You need to know this. All lawyers are goal-oriented people. They like to win, and they're willing to work hard for it. But if they can't see that next gold star on the horizon, they start to get all antsy and restless and may make outrageous claims about giving it all up to write novels about crime fighting vampires or start a sheep farm or become a tug boat captain or a QVC hostess/television personality. 


You Will Never See Them
No matter what kind of lawyer you're dealing with, they will work all the damn time.  It's sort of a lose/lose situation.  For you.  Here's a little chart I whipped up:


So as you can see from the above very scientific data, you will basically be on your own for the duration of your marriage.  I knew a woman who was married to a lawyer for 631 years who liked to say: "The law is a jealous mistress.  And that b*tch can have him."  I guess she was tired of having to reschedule family vacations at the last minute and drive herself to the hospital while in labor.  She of course, is not a representative sample.

It's Nothing Like TV

There are a million TV shows about lawyers. And all they serve to do is give people the wrong idea. If they were to do a reality show about what a first year associate at a law firm actually does, I don't think it would be a huge sensation. Perhaps because it would be the most boring show in the history of ever. It would consist of a sallow-faced twenty-something reviewing documents for 6 hours, followed by writing memos for surly senior partners (surly because they missed their 20's in similar work) for another 6 hours, interspersed with eating bad take-out at their desks, and going home exhausted near midnight (or later) while forlornly wishing they could quit their job and go teach high school English.

Always the Cynic
They are often fatalistic and cynical in the extreme. They're always over thinking and playing mental chess (or sometimes checkers). You know why I think that is? The Indoctrination Cycle of Sucktitude again. After working hard in high school and college and struggling with the LSAT and three years of law school, what do you get? A diploma? Oh how nice for you! A diploma you can't use until you pass the Bar Exam. Then comes the least pleasant three months of your life studying for and hopefully passing the exam that will allow you to work to pay off the trillions of dollars of student loans you have just incurred. Every lawyer I know who took the Bar Exam thought they would want to go out after the test and party like the Great War just ended, nurses and all. Without exception, they all ended up going home and curling up in a fetal position for 2 days. That sort of thing leaves scars.

Other Lawyers
Over the course of a legal career, at least half of your spouse's co-workers will be complete ass hats. They're all super competitive and some of them will happily run over their own grandmothers in order to get that next gold star. It's your job to smile and nod and not mutter "douche" under your breathe at the Holiday Party. The good news is, the cool ones are usually really cool.

Even More Good News
If you end up being married to a lawyer, chances are you've got one of the good ones. All the characteristics that make them good at their job also make them good at life:
  • They will challenge you to succeed and keep learning new stuff;
  • They will entertain you with their wit and intelligence;
  • They will expect you to be great at whatever your job is (currently mine is wiping other people's body fluids and buckling small people into and out of car seats);
  • They will fight for you much more than they will fight with you;
  • They will work hard at what's important;
  • They will count on you to keep them honest and call them F*ckface when they get out of line.

 So after fifteen years of observing lawyers, I think I'm pretty lucky to be married to one. Especially one as awesome as the Cap'n. What he has to say about being married to a blogger? That's a whole 'nother thing...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Popular Posts