Is this What Mansplaining Is: Non-lawyers Who Keep Telling Me What It’s Like to Be a Lawyer


Sorry to write about specific people, but it still bothers me that when I told my dad I was going to apply to law school, he said, “You know that’s competitive, right?”

No way… really? I thought it was going to be a piece of cake! Every movie I’ve ever seen makes it seem like anyone could do it.

“You know it isn’t always being in a courtroom and doing trials. There is a lot of paperwork.”

Again… really? I’m shocked!

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Text conversation with new guy… who I have yet to meet, by the way…

Him: “Are you in summer break at school?”

Me: “Yep, although it’s more exhausting to me than being in school because with internships it’s more like the ordinary grind of a normal work week. There isn’t much flexibility in the schedule and it’s a lot of time sitting at a desk.”

Him: “When are you doing your internship? How much longer do you have ahead of yourself? You know that once you graduate you will have no life and will be working 70+ hours a week right?”

Me: (Blinks several times)…

Me: …

Me: …

Me: (Blinks again)…

 

 

It takes every bit of humility in me not to find the most sarcastic, biting retort and send it to him.

 

Funny thing… every dude I have met online tells me that he once wanted to be a lawyer, but he usually decided it was too hard either before even taking a practice test for the LSAT or just after taking one. I met one guy who did some paralegal stuff, then took the LSAT and got a low score, then gave up. The one I met who got the furthest along the law conveyor belt dropped out after his second year of law school. (All of these choices are completely valid, by the way… it’s fine not to be a lawyer. It’s not for everyone.)

 

So, question: why on earth do all of these dudes think they are in the right position to tell me what it will be like for me once I graduate? Plus, they always do it in this manner that’s marked by a condescending benevolence, where they act like they are doing me a favor. It’s as if I have completed two years of law school, but somehow am wearing rose colored glasses. Like I am just a precious, naive, delicate flower who needs a man with less education under his belt (and little or no legal education or work experience) to swoop in and save the day.

 

Is this what mansplaining is? I haven’t really got it figured out when the word mansplaining fits. It fits here, right?

 

 

 

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The Oh-so-Desirable Man on Christmas Eve


*Names have been changed, though I suspect those of you who will enjoy this post the most know exactly who I’m writing about.

I’ve known Aaron for quite awhile.

In fact, my strongest memories of him involve the many times I told Jacqueline that he wasn’t worth pining after. I’m fairly certain I even went so far as to call him an idiot, in the hope of jolting her out of liking him. And yet… the heart wants what the heart wants, so she went after him with the enthusiasm of lonely youth.

He didn’t really say no to her. He just said, “I’m a coward.”

And she kept pining until someone else came along.

That’s why this conversation on Christmas Eve was so funny.

I gave Aaron the obligatory hug, and asked what he’s doing with his life. We hadn’t seen each other in at least a year, if not longer.

“I’m a grown-up now, with a grown-up job and everything.”

Aaron is in his late twenties, I believe, and used to wreak of brooding depression and self-loathing when he shamefully admitted to still living with his parents and working entry-level, part-time jobs. Now, there’s something about his posture and his silly sweater-vest/tie combo that wreaks more of douche-baggery.

“Oh, really? Congratulations!” I said. “What sort of grown-up job do you have?”

“Oh I’m doing [insert techno-babble here].”

“That’s cool,” I said.

“Did you find the man yet?” Aaron asked.

I didn’t understand what he was asking at first, or, once I understood the question, why he was asking; all I’d ever talked about with him was video games and his self-loathing. Still, I thought I should be polite.

“Oh. Was I searching for one the last time we talked?”

“I don’t know. All Christian women are desperate for a man, aren’t they?”

I’m fairly certain I gave him a look of despise.

“I don’t know. Are they?”

“I’ve noticed there’s something about the late twenties that makes me incredibly appealing.”

I put on my best mock-interest I could muster: “Oh, really? What is it about you that makes you so appealing?” I asked.

“Well,” he started counting off on his fingers while he listed his desirable attributes. “I’m a Christian man, in my twenties, intelligent, single, I have a grown-up job, relatively charming, I’m not quite physically attractive enough, but that’s an obstacle easily-overcome.”

I must’ve been blown-away by the charm, because all I could think to say was, “I see.”

Maybe a change of subject could save this conversation.

“Play any good video games lately?” I asked.

“Yeah – I’ve been playing [insert obscure new game title here]. I’m 100 hours in.”

I had to hold in a laugh at this man’s shocking desirability.

We were joined by some of our other friends, and I was mercifully swept away from him…. had I stayed any longer, I fear my female desperation and his charm would have led me to do something foolish right then and there. 😉

Life Without an Umbrella


* Note to Dave: You may not want to read this one. 😉

I don’t know what the hell is going on in my life. The floodgate of men has been open/the Kraken was released, and the men just keep on coming.

So… there was one guy who I was pretty seriously considering, but then the visit led me to believe that he’s got some growing in independence before he’ll be ready for a lady like me. Also, the umbrella thing was funny, and I now intend to use it as a life metaphor.

Me: I shouldn’t have done my hair. It looks like it’s going to rain.

Boy: Are you going to bring an umbrella?

Me: I don’t own an umbrella.

Boy: Do you want me to get mine out of my car.

Me: If you want to…

Boy: …

So, the not having an umbrella is partly that I like getting rained on sometimes and partly that umbrellas seem impractical to me in monsoons. The water comes sideways, which makes the umbrella useless.

The umbrella thing happened, I told the boy we weren’t destined for love, and he went home.

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Then, I went to Starbucks and all Hell broke loose.

I think there must be an astrological shift that sending men my way because I swear nothing like this happened to me prior to this summer.

I get my table and my drink. I face myself away from everyone and towards the window and the storm outside.

Man approaches and asks me to watch his drum while he goes to the bathroom.

He comes back, takes his drum and sits down. I read.

I stand up to see if SBucks has any free songs I can download, and man asks me what I’m reading.

“Basic Christianity by John Stott.”

“Are you new to Christianity?” he asks.

“No. Just trying to return to the basics.”

“I’m Christopher.”

“Katie”

We talk for a bit.

He comes over to my table.

He proceeds to touch my hands.

Then my knee.

Then my hair.

Now, okay. I should be more prepared after Scott got all handsy to yell STRANGER DANGER! and get out of there, but I cannot explain to you the sense of panic that occurs when a man I don’t know enters my dance space (Think Patrick Swayze). I cannot think. I want him to go away, but it doesn’t seem in my realm of control/power to get him to go away.

Then, he’s evidently feeling that my not yelling at him for touching me means that I want him, so he says, “I’m going to kiss you.” He puts his hand on my neck and my gut reaction kicks in and I’m like, “NO!” and I hit his hand away.

He doesn’t take it that well. He doesn’t understand why I don’t trust him. He thinks we should go dancing.

“No.”

“Why not? You need to learn to let your shields down.”

Red Alert!!!! Shields up!

“Because I don’t know you.”

“What would we have to do for you to feel like you know me?”

“I’d have to see you in multiple contexts.”

“Like what?”

“Like interacting with people other than me.”

“Like who?”

“Your friends… My friends… anyone but me.”

“Ok. When can I hang out with your friends?”

“Monday night two weeks from today.”

“Why so far into the future?”

“I’m going out of town.” And I hope you will get distracted and forget to show up.

Then I gave him the address of some of my friends. – Yeah I should’ve given him a false address. But who knew I actually needed an umbrella because there are men falling from the sky? I haven’t even lost any weight or beautified myself recently. I just bought the biggest pair of jeans I’ve worn in like 5 years.

What the Hell?

Oh the Thing I Would Do… With Access to a Time Machine


gondolas in one of the canals of Venice

Image via Wikipedia

I got to thinking about all of the regrets of my life – all of those moments I’d like to have back for one reason or another.  There was the time I insulted my sister’s personal training abilities and made her cry, that once when I should have poked Bob in the eye (although there were quite a few times like that), the first pitch of the championship game of the ’03 CDO tournament, the thing I said to the reporter about why I chose to pitch to Callista Balko (ooooh – Wikipedia evidently knows Callista!  Awesome!), the winter when I drank 3 gallons of eggnog and gained 20 lbs, the couple of months I dated PJ, the few months with Dirtbag, the 3 days in Venice…ah, Venice.

If I had access to a time machine, I’d travel back to the summer of 2004.  I’d just given up softball, and my mom and I were all a-frenzied about our first overseas trip.  Every ten minutes or so for about 2 weeks, I’d ask my mom, “Are you excited?”

I asked her while we shopped for stuff to take with us.

I asked her while we packed the stuff.

I asked her while we got dressed that morning.

I asked her at the airport.

I asked on the plane to London.

And in the airport in London.

and on the plane to Rome

and in the cab in Rome

and in the hotel

and every day in Rome until I accidentally left her on the subway, which was quite enough excitement for one trip… but that’s another story.

All throughout high school, I’d tried to talk my mom into a trip to Italy.  I was all about the Colosseum and Pompeii – oh how romantic they seemed.  The history.  The art.  The culture.  Obviously if I went to Italy, I would become sophisticated and attractive.

I know.  That’s just the truth about how 19-year-old Katie thought.

After quitting softball, I was pretty sure that I was the most hideous creature alive.  I could bench 105 lbs, but I didn’t know how to put on eye shadow 🙂  Going to Italy was going to be this wonderful transition from athlete Katie to girl Katie – not to mention, it was going to get me out of the states for the Women’s Junior College World Series, which the team I’d abandoned just a couple of months before was certainly going to win.

We started out our trip in Rome, which was fast and crowded, and not at all like Gladiator.  Still, my mom and I befriended a British couple who were really fun.  Also, there were at least 3 nice young men who asked me to have gelato with them or said, “Ciao, Bella!” as they passed by me.  There’s nothing like an Italian man to put pimples and ungirly charms into perspective.

Next stop was Florence, which was our favorite city – mostly because very little excitement happened there.

Finally, we were on to Venice.  I was SO excited.  More than any other part of the trip, I’d been looking forward to Venice.  I couldn’t imagine anything cooler than streets of water, glass-blowing, and gondola rides.

After actually experiencing Venice, though, I’d have to say that it isn’t as awesome as you’d think it is.  Granted, I might think it’s more awesome if I ever gain access to a time machine – but really, Venice is stinky, touristy, pricey, crowded, constricting, etc… The only cool thing we did in Venice was feeding the birds outside of St. Mark’s.  Other than that, Venice sucked.

The men in Venice were constantly “accidentally” bumping into me, which at first seemed like I ought to protect my valuables… but really it was a different sort of “valuable” they were after, and after the first day of walking around I wished I was a bit more hideous.  I gave up on showering while we were there, which didn’t help at all with the men, but did make me feel rather depressed because I started to smell an awful lot like seaweed.  In addition to the bunches of men who were making me feel crappy at least two or three times a day, there was one particular man who exposed his parts to us and groped me.  My mom somehow didn’t notice the man’s rather conspicuoussly exposed parts.  Perhaps she’s been a nurse for too long and parts don’t traumatize her like they do me.

Sidenote: I don’t want to be greedy with my use of the time machine, but if there’s any way it would work out I would totally go back and find the man with the exposed parts and hire a mafia member to rough him up a bit, but if I could only do one thing, I’d let him be because there’s a bigger fish I’d like to fry – The Gondolier.

He wasn’t even an awesome gondolier.  We were rather cheap travelers.  Otherwise, we’d have found a gondolier on the Grand Canal and just payed the extra 20 or so Euros.  This guy was hanging out way back away from the touristy areas, which is why we chose him.  We just wanted a quiet ride so that we could go back to the states and say that we’d ridden on a gondola.  Instead, I ended up getting uninvited gondolier tongue in my mouth.

Yep.

I don’t exactly know how it happened, but I blame my mom.  All throughout our ride, Gross Gondolier kept talking about how I couldn’t leave Italy without a kiss from an Italian man.  At that point in my life, I’d only kissed one boy, and it hadn’t exactly been all that the movies make it out to be.  So I smiled awkwardly without saying anything – which I thought was a pretty clear sign that I wasn’t interested in any kissing.  When he brought it up 4 or five more times, I started saying things like, “That’s alright.  I’m good,” because it seemed like a relatively polite way of rejecting him.  But when our ride was over, our Gross Gondolier clearly hadn’t taken the hint.  He called  his gondolier buddy to come over because we evidently needed someone to take a picture of my Italian man kiss.

I tried to say no.  I swear I did, but my mom was smiling sheepishly at me like she thought I really wanted the kiss.  She probably thought I was just embarrassed to kiss him in front of her, and at that point it started seeming easier to give him a quick peck.

It was just a peck, right?

Right – or at least it would have been except that his buddy who was taking the picture didn’t know how to work a camera.  Of course I believe that.  So the peck happened and was wasted.

“Oh.  Sorry,” the buddy said with his stupid Italian jerk accent.  “No flash.  Again.”

I gave Gondolier the unhappy camper look, so he gave me a break and had a peck with my mom, which there was a picture of.  Then there was a redo of his kiss with me – during which, I experienced Italian jerk tongue.

Oh the thing I would do if I had access to a time machine!  I’d find that goldolier and throw him into the stinky Venice canal.  AND I would refuse to pay him.  Because in real life I’m much too much of a chicken for any such business.  I got uninvited tongue in my mouth, and he got 60 Euros.  What a deal!  I’ve never regretted anything more than not shoving that suave, Italian dungwad into the water.  I also regret not carrying a carton of eggs with me that day so that after he emerged out of the green canal, I could pelt him.  I had just quit playing softball, remember, so I could probably have given him some pretty serious bruises.  You know what else I regret?  I regret not having an ax with me to chop up his stupid boat.  Yeah.  If I’d had an ax, I would have finished pelting him with eggs then chopped that gondola into toothpick-sized splinters.  You know what else I regret?  I regret not hiring that mafia guy (remember the one I’d hire to rough up the exposed parts man?) to walk around the edge of the canal menacingly so that the gondolier man wouldn’t be able to get out of the stinky water.  There he would be, swimming around in stink, with egg yolk in his hair and three swelling welts on his face from where I’d hit him with eggs, and he wouldn’t be able to get out of the water.  And you know how I said that I wouldn’t pay him?  Scratch that.  I’d take his 60 Euros, secure them to a rock with a rubber band, dangle it in front of him, then drop it into the canal just out of his reach.

Was it worth it gondolier man!  Was it?

Here’s your 60 Euros!

I hate you, gondolier man!

Ha!

That’s exactly what I’d do with access to a time machine.  What would you do?