Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lesson 1. Never apologize: The Making of a J.D. Homemaker

I spent three years in law school and I was miserable for most of it.  I was witty, fresh, and enchantingly erudite when, at the ripe old age of 21, I decided to invest in my future and enroll in a top 15 law school. This was a terrible mistake of judgment.

I will save you the lamentations for now and fast forward about 3 years to the part where my life started to make sense again.  About 6 months ago I realized that I am not willing to waste the rest of my life trying to prove to myself that law school was a good idea. I spent $130,000 on an education that would, in a perfect world, allow me to spend 90 hours a week running on a law firm gerbil wheel so that I can earn enough money to pay off my loans. Fellow LSAT veterans will recognize the fallacy of that plan as one of circular logic. (circular like the gerbil wheel on which you get to effectuate the plan?)

So I graduated from law school, passed the bar, and promptly got married. And this did, in fact, fix the vast majority of my problems. Loans = gone. Stress = gone. Worldly obligations = mostly gone.

Some people (read: my mother) would probably judge me for that.  They would say "Oh what a waste. So talented, so smart. I thought she was really going to do something with her life." But you have to understand this about me: I'm an excruciatingly rational person and I've never bought into that whole line of prepackaged contrarian feminist rhetoric to which we empowered women are supposed to subscribe. They tell you that you have to go out and "make it on your own" and if you don't you're some sort of anachronistic abomination - a failure at modern womanhood. But even if you take their advice and refuse to believe in the Madison Avenue vision of *love* made of rainbows and fluttering hummingbird wings, I think my choice still makes perfect sense. If someone comes along and tells you they want to give you a free house, clothes, food, care, companionship, and a generous stipend and all you have to do is be nice in return, is that really an offer that anyone should turn down on principal?   I mean, where else would the value of me merely existing be worth all of that? This system is really not that sinister if you think about it. And it has the added value of having worked for thousands of years.

A relic of my unfortunate past

People have asked me "So what are you going to do now."

The answer: whatever I want, whatever I can, and whatever needs doing.

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