It’s been almost six months since the love of my life, my soul mate, died of a heart attack while visiting family in Samoa. It has been a very difficult six months to say the least. People have been very supportive and kind. Others have tried to be supportive in very strange ways. I chose to post this mainly because Jeff would have laughed. I can almost see him doubled over, trying to catch his breath, as I relate this experience.
For those of you who are dating, married to or wanting to date a lawyer – listen up. There are some good tips in this for you.
I have a friend, who has for some reason insisted that I start dating again since maybe a month after Jeff passed. It’s been annoying but she’s good hearted so I haven’t committed any crimes against her, as tempting as that might be. Instead I’ve just politely said no thanks.
Her response to my polite deferring of the subject was to give my cell phone number to a man named Chuck. Now I don’t know Chuck and turns out neither does she, really.
So Chuck calls me and explains how he got my number. I’m really pissed but I calmly try to tell him I’m not interested in making new friends. The rest of the conversation follows (remember to save the laughter to the end – it’ll be worth it):
Chuckle-head (aka Chuck): No I totally get where you’re coming from. I divorced my wife three years ago.
Me: Yeah, well I’m sorry about that but I’m really busy right now and I really don’t want to speak to strangers. Don’t mean to be rude but there it is.
Chuckle-head: You’re a lawyer. You’ll love this. My wife went after me for child support. She lives in California.
Me: You probably don’t want to tell me this. I have to go.
Chuckle-head: You’ll love it. Just hang on a sec because you’ll really love this.
Me: I doubt that but go ahead and then I’m going to hang up – I’m in the middle of a million little things.
Chuckle-head: So I can appear in court in California by phone so I’m a floor layer and I make a lot of money under the table. [Charming] So I told the judge I can’t afford to travel and I file taxes for $400 a month so they only made me pay $70 a month in child support. That’ll teach her. She’s crazy anyway.
Me: Where did you get my number again?
Chuckle-head: xx’s friend gave it to me. She said you were single.
Me: She’s mistaken, badly mistaken. Got to go.
Chuckle-head: Okay, call me babe. My number …
[dead line – probably because I hung up]
While I really don’t see a future for Chuck and I, for reasons that should be obvious, he is a good reminder of an all too common phenomenon. While I never did go on a date with Chuck, there are unfortunate numbers of him out there and he is, sadly, not the worst of them. As single lawyers, if we are at all interested in dating, we need to weed through the Chuckleheads.
Here are some general tips for dating lawyers:
Don’t try to impress us how you lied to the Court to get around a legal obligation or otherwise cheated. Think this through. Would it be impressive to any other professional? A tradesperson? Let’s try it out and see. “Hey doc, let me tell you about the time I convinced a dumbass doctor to sign my medical forms for a Workers Comp claim. You see I really broke my foot jumping off my roof while I was drunk…” nope… not impressive. Let’s try again “Hey engineer, I helped my buddy build his kit car. We didn’t pay for any of the safety equipment ‘cause that’s just extra stuff companies sell to gauge money from ya’.” Yeah, no… still not impressive… If you’re this guy, you should maybe be living in the backwoods somewhere far, far away from other people.
Don’t rant about our profession – especially if you are not a member of the profession. Point out issues and debate them, sure, but rants? Not sexy and unlikely to get you laid. The lawyer who handled your friend’s divorce was not likely a “skeezy jizzball on the take”. The law that deals with divorcing couples might not be perfect and could be improved, sure. See? There’s a difference! We’re not going to sleep with you if there’s any chance that one day you’ll refer to us as a “skeezy jizzball” Ewwww….
Don’t tell us bad lawyer jokes. We’ve heard them all – they are not funny and well, they are not likely to get you a second date. You will probably get a second date if you find some good lawyer jokes though – no one appreciates a good lawyer joke like a lawyer with a sense of humour. So put some effort into it and find some good jokes. They are out there! For example, have you heard the one about the engineer who died one day and went to heaven?
At the pearly gates, the books were checked and the engineer was told that he didn’t belong there, that he belonged in that “other place”. The engineer was quickly transported to Hell.
In hell, the engineer was dismayed by the heat and misery everywhere and set about to work. In no time at all, Hell had air conditioning, escalators and all manner of great inventions to make Hell more pleasant.
Then one day God and Satan were talking. Satan mentioned to God all of the great works done by the engineer. God became enraged and yelled “What? You have an engineer? That was a mistake! You send him back here this instant.”
Satan replied, “No way, I want to see what this guy comes up with next.”
God, livid now, screams, “Send him back or I’ll sue!”
Satan replied, “Right. And where are YOU going to find a lawyer?”
See? Rip roaring hilarious, second date guaranteed material! It’s not that hard (I stole this one from an email that was going around at work years ago).
Don’t start the date with a list of your current assets and your income. This isn’t an audit. I haven’t arrived for the date with a speculum or other form of invasive probe. Equally bad is starting the date with explaining how you aren’t working now, but you have ideas that you are fleshing out while you live in your mother’s basement or, even worse, on your child’s couch. In fact, if you are this guy, please focus your dating life on other people. You and the guy from the beginning of the paragraph should sponsor a mixer. You could call it “The Proud and the Dreamers”. You can invite all of your kind. Your chances of meeting “the one” will improve. It will be great! It will be nice for me too – because it means you won’t be calling me.
I know it’s a lot to take in at once but seriously – if you are any of these people, don’t call us unless it’s to talk about how you were arrested for the perjury, because you are being sued for the collapsed mine you dug out on your last make-a-million-overnight venture, or to discuss how you have been cut off your EI benefits.
And loyal readers, friends, colleagues… when I’m ready to date again … if I’m ready to date again… please don’t give any of these people my number. That little deed will keep you on the Christmas card list.