(N.B. This post was first published in 2012 as part of a personal Lenten project to blog everyday. It has since been updated.)
Date a guy who reads law. Date a guy whose money you can spend because he has no time to spend it for himself. He has no problems with closet space because his books are too many and too heavy to buy. So he simply goes to the library instead. (Or asks his brother to borrow them from the library for him.)
Find a guy who reads law. You’ll know that he does from the way he talks. He’ll use words that you have never heard before like ‘estoppel’ and ‘privity’, or spout random latin phrases like ‘noscitur a sociis’ and ‘ratio decidendi’. He’s the one that can write in impossibly long convoluted sentences such that no one else but a lawyer can understand him, because that’s the way that he learned to understand his readings, which are also written in that same impossibly long convoluted way, like the way most statutes are written; not that he gives a damn about the way statutes are written. Or he can write in plain English. You see the guy who is too rational to be a jock, but too exciting to be a nerd? That’s the lawyer. They can never resist rationalizing their excitement, nor can they resist exciting their rationality.
He’s the one that you don’t really see in a suit because he wears it too often to bother to wear it just to impress you. If you talk to him about love, he’ll tell you that love is both a defense to the crime and an element of the crime itself. Challenge him. He will be impressed because he knows how difficult it is to even take the stand.
Ask him more about the law. He’ll tell you about the duty to care for each other in relationships. He’ll tell you that in special relationships, it’s not just about what people do, but also about what people omit to do for each other. He’ll tell you that you can never exclude liability for personal hurts, no matter what kind of relationship you have.
It’s easy to date a guy who reads law. Give him simple things like new socks and new ties for his birthday, because he’ll never find the time to buy any for himself. Give him books. Give him time. Understand that he knows how to win an argument; but he may not know how to win anything else — a lottery, a vote or a heart.
But he will try to win anyway.
Lie to him. If he’s a lawyer at all, he’ll know that most things that people say are not the truth. And he’ll be able to discern what you really mean when you say “I’m sorry.” Then he will reply, “I love you too.” But make no mistake, a guy who reads law speaks the truth — not because he says what he believes, but because he believes what he says.
Fail him. Because the first lesson that a guy learns in law school is to laugh at failure. The second lesson he learns is to just keep going. So if you fail him, he’ll laugh at you (and perhaps himself), and then carry on.
If you find a guy who reads law, keep him close. Because if you don’t, he’ll lose himself in his work. He’ll need you to call him to come home for dinner. He’ll need you to love him, to remind him that he loves you more than his work.
He will fight for you — not in the brutish ungentlemanly way — but in the way that matters. He will fight for your rights. In fact, he will fight so much — in the courtroom — that he won’t want to fight at home. He knows that the truth of who is to blame isn’t a hard-liner to be shoved in each other’s faces, but something softer and more malleable. He knows that the question isn’t so much of “who is right,” as it is of “who is left.”
Date a guy who reads law because you deserve him. If you can only give him one night, or worse still, a divorce, then you’re better off alone. Because he’ll sue you. But if you want responsibility and commitment and duties and rights and security, and also, love, date a guy who reads law.
Or better yet, date a lawyer who reads.
Disclaimer 1: This is fiction. Lawyers may tell the truth, but writers are liars.
Disclaimer 2: The writer disclaims a personal interest in the post. It was inspired by the quote here: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/437516.