“Me? Why, I’m an architect.”

I tell people that I’m an architect. I really do. I did this long before ever knowing that George Costanza employed the same artful fib, and will probably continue to do so into perpetuity.

 While many of the falsehoods I tell on a daily basis are mere functions of my otherwise principle-bereft, morally untoward, and ethically bastardized sub-human psyche, the one I tell about my profession is of a different ilk. It is a lie of necessity. My reliance upon it is something of a defense mechanism. It protects me from the barrage of ridiculous things people say to me upon first learning that I’m a lawyer.

 And really, it serves people right. They invite this lie. They welcome it into their homes and offer it warm cider. DC is obsessed with what people do for a living. Obsessed. I’m nearly certain, “So what do you do?” is the starter query for roughly 98% of all conversations initiated here. And when I say, “architect,” it kills the vibe. Cause really, who the fuck knows what an architect really does? I know I don’t (the one flaw with the lie when you have an overly inquisitive suitor).

 Anyways, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of the top 4 things people assume when someone tells them I’m a lawyer (note, I’m not the one doing the telling in this scenario. See aforementioned paragraphs where I explain how I lie and say I’m an architect).

 1. That I Care About Things.

 Let’s lay this puppy to rest right now. I don’t. Like, not even a little bit. I’m not overly committed to some greater ideal of social justice. I’m not compelled to be a savior of mankind. I’m seldom moved by depictions of abject poverty I happen across while flipping through my cable channels in search of late night soft-core porn. So, stop assuming that I do. More often than not, people take my young, black lawyerness and turn it into some celestial, stigmata-inspiring visage of Thurgood Marshall. And really, it’s just wrong. It’s just—plain—wrong. Look, I’m 28. I have a subscription to Us Weekly. The only significant and consistent internal agony over which I toil is whether to timely pay my Sallie Mae bill versus buy new clothes. Stop trying to ask me these exacting questions about exciting new legislation. Did Lil’ Wayne write it? No? Then I’m not interested.

 2. That I Date Other Lawyers.

 “Ohmygod! You’re a lawyer! I have this great friend, and he’s a lawyer too. Y’all would be great together!” Uh-No. As a matter of fact, I can’t think of a worse idea than putting two workaholic megalomaniacs together for a fitful night of bodybumping. Seriously, most days I can barely stand myself. Why on earth I’d want to bide my time with an exact replica of me, complete with ego, sassy mouth, and asshole, then wrapped up nicely in a big, red, testosterone-covered bow is beyond me. Seriously, I’d rather date your first cousin Ernest, who lives in his grandmother’s basement, collects stamps, and wanders the streets at night looking in peoples’ windows while clothed in a rhinestone studded diaper, holding a bow staff than meet your boy, Paul, from Dewey for drinks. Any attempts to set us up will result in an intractable and irreparable FAIL.

 3. That I Practice Every Kind of Law Imaginable.

 Look. I practice approximately 5 types of law. I practice roughly two of these types well. And I’m a rarity. We specialize, people. We might not get fancy certificates, or become board certified, but we specialize. If I spend a half hour waxing poetic on the inherent flaws in DWI practice in Virginia, don’t segueway into a question about complex commercial litigation. I don’t know shit about it. More importantly, I don’t practice for free. If my revelation of profession leads you to a quick, “ooh, lemme ask you about this one thing, right quick,” I can guarandamntee that you will be met with a firm, “I don’t practice that kind of law,” even if I spent the last 4 years of my life writing the book on it. Listen, Booboo. Just like your monkey ass cousin, Jojo, doing his “bid,” “offa some ole bullshit thang that wasn’t even no thang,” I have bills to pay. Now, you can come up off $350 for my time, or twelve bucks for an amaretto sour, but you will come up off something. I don’t work for free.

 4. That I Want To Hear Your Lawyer Jokes.

 Bloody fucking Hell, people. STOP telling me these. STOP. I want to hear your lawyer jokes about as much as I want to hear your black jokes.

            Number one, they’re not funny. And people who call attention to themselves only to share unfunny things should be pistol whipped in the mouth. Repeatedly.

           Number two, I’m sure I’d be regarded as the HEIGHT of all things elitist if I sat around and pitched shtick about your unfortunate position as a register jockey at the local Piggly Wiggly, so I’m necessarily at a disadvantage. My good job precludes me from making fun of your piece of shit job, because that’s just snobby. Meanwhile, you’re at liberty to assail me with a never-ending stream of scenarios surrounding my entry into a bar with a hooker and a rabbi.

             Number three, throughout this nation’s history, lawyers have been the architects of privilege, the champions of the disenfranchised, and the harbingers of every civil liberty we enjoy today. Thirty-five of the fifty-five Founding Fathers were lawyers. Twenty-five of forty-four American presidents have been lawyers. Lawyers have given this country the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. And know what? When your whoring husband leaves you, when your doctor amputates the wrong arm, when your misfit under-aged son gets wasted and makes sweet love to the neighbor’s cat, you sure as shit aren’t gonna call the dentist. We have been the caretakers of justice and the emblems of democracy in this country for two centuries, so limerick that, you asshole. You’re fucking welcome.

 So, you see, it’s easier if I just tell people I’m an architect.


1 Response to ““Me? Why, I’m an architect.””

  1. 1 Donn
    November 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Try “lawyer” with me when you meet me. I’ll roll my eyes and go looking for somebody else. I mean, you’re all the same, right?

    I was born and raised in DC. I still live here because when you didn’t come here from someplace else just to Make Your Name, you can see what a great place it is. (Best thing about it? How easy it is to be someplace else, when you want to be. Easiest place in the entire country – on the entire continent, maybe in the entire world – for that.)

    Architect? I’d actually be interested. They, you know, *do* stuff.

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a history of my meanderings….


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