the importance of being earnest or, “a lengthy explanation as to why i’m such a jerk.”

my friend, des, for whom i have great affection, called me a “bitch lawyer,” today.

actually, in all fairness, what he said was, “bitch lawyer/blogger” (des is struggling to come to grips with my newfound blogginess).

while i refuted his claim, and tried to surmise several other, more affable adjectives to better describe myself, i had to concede that this was not the first time one had laid such an assertion at my doorstep. except for the “blogger” part. as i’ve said, that’s relatively new.

most of my friends do, however, regard me as having some element of mean within me. even my mother and boss have noted a general proclivity towards assholishness. but, i confess to thinking this is something of an unfair, and indeed, simplistic conclusion to come to.  i rather like the way i am.  it has been a long time coming.

by most accounts, i spent the majority of my childhood, and indeed, the whole of my adolescence, in a virtual specter of well-intended goodness.  i set clearly defined goals for myself, colored evenly between society’s pre-determined lines, and was the pride of my parents, who were all too happy to boast the achievements of their non-drinking, non-drug-using, well-mannered virgin. I sang in my church choir.  my report card was chock full of A’s. i took piano lessons for twelve years. i was golden.

as far as other people were concerned, i was personable-enough. what i lacked in traditional beauty, was well compensated for by a bevy of clever talk. i ran for elected positions in high school. i won.

in hindsight,  i am often confronted with how false i probably was. i smiled with about as much consideration as a pavlovian dog. i was the proverbial queen of the grin and bear it. and i bore it. i bore it well.

so i bit into college with the enthusiasm of a starved man, and i swallowed it whole.  you name it, i did it. twice. and after i pledged that period of time that preceded my entry into my most beloved sorority, i set out to be my own woman, free from the constraints of the everyman. no one would tell me what to do, again. i was only going to do what i wanted to do. i was going to say whatever the hell sprung to mind.

law school, the virginia state bar, sallie mae, and the working world made mincemeat of my libertarian aspirations. (if you want to see a REAL bitch, see how sallie mae acts if you don’t have her money).

which brings us to the active present.  an active present where each new day, the lines between “right” and “wrong”  become more blurred. with each passing minute, i give an actual fuck, less and less, and  my working life demands such detachment.  people get so caught up in slamming lawyers for what pieces of shit we are all supposed to be as a collective, but, if you KNEW the garbage i had to internalize on a daily basis, could you blame me?


*setting ______ County Jail, _______, VA,  February, 200_ *

Client X sits before me. He is tall and irrefutably good looking. He is well over six feet tall, with locked hair, and a strong build. the sleeves of his jumpsuit are rolled up to reveal legions of tattoos on sinewy forearms (forgive the Harlequin description. he was sexy as a motherfucker).

Client X is charged with possession and distribution of crack cocaine. he goes into extreme detail about the nature of his arrest, post arrest, where he had been, where he had been going. He then says: “So, yeah, they take me to the jail and that’s when they found ’em.”

I’m writing notes vigorously, at this point, still young yet in my legal tenure, and vigilantly trying to leave no stone unturned. i don’t even look up when i casually inquire, “that’s when they found what?” there is  a silence. it is followed by a rather knowing, “the drugs. that’s when they found the drugs.”

the genuine consternation of youth and inexperience must have sat firmly on my brow, because i saw it mirrored in his warm, caramel eyes when i finally broke to look up. (sorry about the “warm, caramel” thing. seriously, this dude was sexy).

“where did they find the drugs?” i asked. “i’m confused,” i admitted.

i’ll take some poetic license here, and tell you that Client X looked distractedly into the distance when he absently said, “they fell out my butt.”

you ever look a swole mfer dead in the face and laugh at the irony surrounding crack falling out of his chiseled ass?

me-the-hell-neither. which is why i still have both a job, and my upper lip today.

scenario 2.

*setting ________ Restaurant, _______ County, VA, June 200_*

potential Client X is sitting across from me at our working lunch describing his tenuous domestic situation. Client X is again, over 6 feet tall. gangly and lean, but imposing nonetheless, he goes on and on about how “fearful” for his “life” he is of his ex girlfriend, and wants to retain my services. he takes a large gulp from his unsweetened iced tea, and effects, what he probably believes to be, his most sincere, concerned facial expression. “so,” he asks, “you agree with me, right? i have a case, right? you think i should be afraid of her right?”

i look at this man, perhaps with more contempt than i’ve ever regarded any man, and cannot help but think of my friend, nick, who would most ASSUREDLY assess potential Client X to be a “punkmadebitch.” but can i tell him so?

exactly. which is why i kindly took that punkmadebitch’s $3500 dollars, and have regretted it every day since.

so, in my personal life, i have a little edge, sure.

“you know what molly, your ass DOES look fat in that dress.”

“you know what, laura, when you’re not looking, i DO gently caress your boyfriend’s thigh.”

“you know what, kim, when your mama talks she DOES sound ignorant as a motherfucker.”

and sure, when i’m telling stories, i do call my clients “retarded.” i do so knowing full well that “retarded” is damn near blasphemous in the politically correct parlance of our day.

but i’ve worked hard my whole life to get here. to be this “lawyer.”

and it has, perhaps, made me something of a “bitch.”

and now i’m blogging about it.

fucking A, des.


writer’s note: it is worth noting that i often call my friend, des, names like, “asshole,” and today, a “world class dick.” he is a respectable member of the community with a family and child of tender age.


1 Response to “the importance of being earnest or, “a lengthy explanation as to why i’m such a jerk.””

  1. 1 kurlyque
    June 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    This post reminded me exquistely of my sister, who’s been a lawyer for about 2 years. While she still lived with us, we got to hear her stories of all the idiots, imbeciles, ogre’s, and other names for the clients she had.

    I can’t imagine having to deal with other people’s shit all day long, paid or unpaid, i’d be pretty snarky after a while too.

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a history of my meanderings….


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