January 28, 2008

The Isle of Metrosexuality

Posted in Lawyer Lifestyles, Office Hijinks at 10:09 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

At my new office there is a department that is made up of only the finest and prettiest lawyers this city has to offer. Well, no, that is not fair. I am sure there are prettier men in this city. And I can’t be sure the whole department looks like they just stepped out of a high-end, alcoholic-beverage advertisement. There could be women in this department, there could even be old, stodgy men in this department. I just know every time I am in the elevator with a particularly pretty gentleman I notice he gets off the elevator on the very same floor.And by a particularly pretty gentleman, I mean I think we are up to six now. Six men with striped shirts and printed ties, clean-shaven faces (except for the one that can pull off the scruffy look while still looking perfectly groomed in a way I only thought a Ken doll could), corporate faux-hawks and manicured eyebrows all working in the same department.

In my head, on this floor, when no one is around, I imagine these boys all gather in one office playing video golf and discussing the winter sale at Boyds, the latest moisturizers available at Kiehl’s and, of course, the new girl’s rack. I wonder if billables take a sharp decline the day after GQ, Esquire and Details are delivered to subscribers’ homes. I also wonder if everyone in the department subscribes to all three magazines or if they each subscribe to only one and then pass them around when they are done devouring the issue.

But what I really can’t understand is why this department. The law they practice does not require them to be well-coifed or even well-dressed, or at least not that well-coifed or well-dressed. Is it because like attracts like, so way back when, one metrosexual was hired and others heard the news and started applying to openings in this department? Or maybe the practice of this particular law doesn’t require a lot of thought or effort, leaving these guys plenty of time to read up on their fantasy picks and workout at the gym. Or maybe they were all normal, okay looking guys before coming to work here, and then through a combination of peer-pressure and secretly liking the way their hands looked after a manicure, they all became pretty.

I may need to go all Jane Goodall on this firm and move my stuff to their floor, live amongst them for awhile. Even if I can’t figure out why this particular practice attracts all the very pretty boys, maybe I will be able to learn where they get their eyebrows waxed.

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January 4, 2008

A New Year and Another Chance at A New Me

Posted in Lawyer Lifestyles, Office Hijinks at 6:50 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

Last year at this time, I took the opportunity to share with you my resolutions for the new year. And while my intention was to share with you just how hard it was to live a dual life, telling the legal community the changes I wanted to make had unexpected consequences of actually having to keep my resolutions, less one of my readers caught me sneaking a butt.

And because I am selfish and entitled and this is my blog, I think I am going to share with you my resolutions again, hoping it has the same effect. With any luck, this time next year I will be writing this blog to you sitting on a size two behind.

A few weeks back, New Boss and I were talking about nothing really when the topic turned to wine and he asked me if I had ever been to Napa Valley. I answered honestly, No.

A couple minutes later, he asked me if I was ever in Ireland.

No.

Later, still talking about traveling, he asked me if I had ever been to France.

Yeah, oh no.

He smiled and asked me where I had been.

Truth be told, not very many places. In fact, the only time I was ever out of the United States was in college when I visited Tijuana, Mexico. Thus, new year resolution number one was born; and, actually this may be more a new life resolution — travel more. Even if they are just mini-breaks like the ones taken by Favorite Associate, who used to hop across the pond like some of my friends take trips to NYC.

Of course, one thing I learned from Favorite Associate was that knowing an extra language is helpful when traveling abroad. That is why new year resolution number two is to finally learn French.

I bet a lot of you are wondering how you will be able to track how I am doing on these two resolutions if you see me out at a bar. It’s not as if you could walk by Public House and I will be wearing a beret and a pin that says: “Ask me about my latest trip abroad.” Okay, you might see me outside wearing a beret, but not the button. Still, you can ask me about my latest adventures in French, and if I respond in English that I haven’t had any yet, you can hit me on the side of my head.

I would love to write that my third is to stop judging others, but why set myself up to fail. Besides, if god didn’t want me to judge others, he wouldn’t have made me perfect (haters, you are welcome for that freebie).

I would like to start reading The New York Times everyday, or at least most of the NYT everyday, (of course I will be doing it online in keeping with my resolution to be more environmentally friendly). It may shock even some of my closest friends to learn that I don’t currently read the NYT everyday. That is because I often start conversations with, “Did anyone read that story in the Times today about . . .”

My friends have yet to respond, “oh yeah. . .” Which is why I can then go on to give the synopsis that someone else gave me earlier in the day.

Even as I start the conversation I feel bad about myself and how phony I am. And, much like last year and quitting smoking and starting running, instead of just coming clean, I am going to modify my behavior to make me the person I want to be.

Along that same line, I would also like to start waking up in the morning to give myself enough time to eat breakfast and read a paper. I would like to stop negotiating portions of my morning routine in order to sleep an additional seven minutes at a time.

So, did any of my readers or haters make any resolutions? Care to share?

December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays Big Law Firm Style

Posted in Happy Hour, Lawyer Lifestyles, Lessons Learned at 7:09 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

So, I had a big grand plan to not drink at the firm’s holiday party. A practice I have stuck by since my first party back when I was still a wee project assistant. How does the old saying go – the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

In all fairness, it was a pretty bad day. Not that I drink every time I have a bad day; just some bad days. And I don’t drink to get drunk, just to unwind. Man, it is starting to sound like I might have a drinking problem. But I wonder if it means that because I can recognize that it sounds like I have a problem I obviously don’t have a problem; may need to check in with a friend of Bill W on that one.

Back to the topic at hand. I had to sit through a meeting with A-hole. Worse, when I came in he gave me a look like he knew me and so I sat there afraid that if I looked in that direction we would make eye contact and he would nod or something. Then what? Would I have to nod back? Smile? Pretend that I didn’t do a celebratory dance around my cubicle when I thought he was homeless and living in Suburban Station?

Now the meeting itself didn’t make my day bad, and maybe I should stop saying I was having a bad day. It was more like I was on edge and the meeting didn’t help. I still had a lot of shopping to do, I was wearing a skirt that was cutting into my rib cage, it was Imelda’s last week for a while and I had just written a column promising to socialize at the very holiday party that was looming.

So when Double Tall Espresso (so named for her always perked personality) asked if I wanted something from the bar, I said yes, hoping one glass of wine would help take the edge off.

And before I knew it, I had more than one glass of wine, had only met one new co-worker and had agreed to go to the after party.

Fortunately at the after party I made the switch to light beer which is really like drinking water, except without water’s hydrating qualities. Still I did manage to find myself in a conversation with a male partner about men who stare at women’s chests (while Angel stood back and laughed on the inside); a place Sober Sarah would have never gone. If she did go, she would have been better, more articulate about it.

Then there was the moment when I lost all internal dialogue when a lawyer I never met addressed me and my response (out loud) was, “that’s weird.” Yes, I find it odd that people I don’t know, know me; especially when you consider that people I have met half a dozen times don’t remember my name. Still, I would have rather kept that exclamation on the inside or at least just on my face.

Despite that I did wake up the next morning with my wallet, my cell phone and most importantly almost all of my dignity.

And the night wasn’t a complete loss; there was one Festivus miracle. Angel and I decided that we are essentially the same person but different (something I realized the day I came in wearing white wide leg pants and a black turtleneck and she was wearing black wide leg pants and a cream turtleneck) which would make her more my bizarro as opposed to my nemesis. And just like in the comic books when the hero and the bizarro team up for good (or in this case most probably evil), I think Angel and I are going to try the ally route for a while.

Now, if I could just stop thinking improper thoughts about a lawyer I really shouldn’t be thinking about at all, 2008 could turn out to be my best year yet.

November 14, 2007

Oh, I’m Not A Lawyer, I Just Play One On TV

Posted in Lawyer Lifestyles at 10:07 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

My dad loves college football.  So for his birthday I got him tickets to the Penn State-Temple game.  I knew it wouldn’t be a good game to watch, but I knew it was one Penn State would win; and my dad would get a kick out of watching Penn State win.

What I had not counted on was being surrounded by a bunch of drunken students and alumni, maybe because the last time I was at a college football game I was a drunken college kid.  Now, I have been around enough drunken guys to know not to expect them to clean up their mouths on my behalf. However, I could smack an eleven-year old girl on the back of the head from where I was sitting so you would think they would have refrained from dropping the c-word or the b-word or even the f-word on her behalf.  No such luck.   

There was another girl sitting immediately next to me, but as her husband and the gentlemen behind us started to detail all the things they would like to do to the hootin-honeys on the sidelines, to my horror she joined them.   

I closed my eyes and hoped that my dad didn’t hear what I was hearing. 

The girl next to me then elbowed me.   “So what do you do?”

Not wanting to engage the scary girl with the ugly pocketbook but not wanting to enrage her either I tried to keep my answers short and sweet.  “I work for a law firm.”   

Her husband then started in on what hateful, awful, not-quite-human-beings all lawyers were. 

I know many of you reading this would expect me to have join him.  But I didn’t.  First, my sister is a lawyer and she is none of things this guy was claiming all lawyers are. Second, a lot of my friends are lawyers and they aren’t awful human beings either. Finally, I didn’t like this guy so there was just no way I was going to agree with anything he said.   

He ended his vitriol with a really lame, really old lawyer joke.   

I didn’t laugh.  Instead I responded back, “Do you know why lawyer jokes don’t work?  Because lawyers don’t think they are funny and the rest of the world doesn’t think they’re jokes.”  No, I didn’t make up this witty comeback; I heard a lawyer-friend say it once.   

Bad Pocketbook turned to her husband.  “I knew it.  I knew as soon as you started that she was going to turn out to be a lawyer.”   

While part of me wanted to correct her, after all, what if something happened in the next couple of minutes and someone from the crowd shouted, “we need a lawyer down here immediately.” and she turned to me.  What would I do then?   

But the part of me that wanted to use my fake outrage at her husband’s outburst won out and so I turned away from them with feigned disgust.   

“Have you ever had to deal with another lawyer personally?”  She just wouldn’t go away.

Define personally.  “All the time,” I rolled my eyes. 

“No I mean, did you ever need a lawyer?” 

Define need. 

“Have you ever been in a car accident or needed a lawyer to work for you?”

Something in her eyes told me she had, and that the result wasn’t a good one. I shook my head.  

“Well, You’re lucky.  Once you have been on the other side, like you are in a car accident or something, I think you will understand better.”

Her husband then chimed in, “hey, would you let me date her?”

I kept my eyes glued to the field as if Temple really had a shot at converting on that third down.  I was too afraid he was pointing or some other way indicating that “her” was me. 

BP turned to her husband, “What?  No.  I said you could hook up with other girls, but you can’t go out with someone else.” 

Sadly, I see more bad experiences with lawyers in this happy couple’s future.     

October 8, 2007

Single White Devil Seeks Cohort

Posted in Blog Backlash, Lawyer Lifestyles at 5:00 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

It seems I am running out of excuses as to why I am still single. And since learning that Peyton Manning is married, I figured it was time to do something about it. Okay, so I am putting a bit of a spin on that. Really, after getting the job and the new place, I saw the wagons circling, and at some point on vacation, my mom must have marked me with a special ink as it seems I can’t walk to the subway without someone trying to fix me up.

Now, being fixed up by friends is quite possibly the worst thing ever. There is really no better way to learn what your friends really think of you than by agreeing to let them fix you up. In addition to coming face-to-face with your blind date, you also get to see just how desperate your friends think you must be.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I decided to Internet date. But, almost as if my readers could read my iMac’s mind, before I could post a profile, I started receiving some very flirtatious emails from male readers of this blog.

And as I weeded out the crazies and the otherwise un-dateables, I started to wonder how many of these guys have read my whole blog or just read in the Legal that I am suddenly without a steady booty call.

I came to this conclusion after the 47 thousandth married man came forth about his relationship status. Umm, I am only pretty sure I have made myself pretty clear on a married man’s chances of dating me; the words snowball and hell come to mind. Also understand that I won’t date anyone in a serious relationship. And, yes, this includes those of you who have a girlfriend, but aren’t really sure that you’re still into her. Figure all of that out and then call me, or rather, email me. Not before

As for the rest of my rules as to who I will and won’t date – sure, they are pretty spread out and I don’t pay attention to all of them all of the time and if I were online dating, I would have them all in a neat little profile with a catchy headline. So I decided to put it all here. The minimum requirements you should have before sending me an email asking me out on a date.

* You and I will not get along if you voted for George W. in 2004. Even if you think you have a really good reason for doing so, great. I still don’t want to hear it.

* Something I would like to hear (read)? Your full name. After 11 years, I think I can say it, I’m a city girl. I am always concerned for my safety and if I can’t Google search you, then I grow suspicious that you are either a) an Internet predator or b) married. Either way, I will not meet you out for a drink.

* I would also like to read that you didn’t wrestle in high school, never lived in Michigan and hate the NY Giants and the New England Patriots.

Now, Lauren has a great rule about not dating any man whose jeans she could not wear. As she would explain, if ever you are in bed with the one you love (or like enough to let them see you naked) and a fire breaks out, you don’t need the embarrassment, not to mention waste of precious time, accidentally grabbing your boyfriend’s jeans and finding you can’t get into them. I think this is a great rule, but not one I necessarily subscribe to. I do however have a height requirement. I need you to be at least 6 feet tall. I have a lot of heels that I love. I have loved them before I met you and I will continue to love them when you don’t call me after our first date.

August 16, 2007

Vacation’s Over – Bring on the Brownies

Posted in Lawyer Lifestyles, Office Hijinks at 11:34 am by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

There are two main problems with my new dream job. The first is the people I work with; they are obscenely normal. Not Stepford Wives normal but very normal nonetheless. No one is emotionally or verbally abusive, I have yet to meet anyone who could turn a child to stone with his grin. None of my new co-workers obsess over the latest missing person reports on CNN nor am I worried that when two particular co-workers are conferring quietly in a corner that they are secretly plotting to take over the world. And I have yet to meet anyone that eats their hair.

All of this is great for me personally. I finally work with a group of people that I can invite to a bar-b-cue without worrying about how to not to invite the crazies. However it makes blog material hard to come by. I sincerely hope that this is all part of the honeymoon phase and once my probation is over, they will start to show their true, binder-clip-hoarding-because-what-if-the-supply-room-runs-out-and-the-company-stops-making-them-and-then-what-will-I-use-to-hold-back-my-hair selves.

It’s that or I will have to stir up some trouble.

The second problem with the land of milk and honey is all the milk and all the honey. With all the birthdays, anniversaries, visiting dignitaries, catered lunches and just lunches order in for the heck of it, rarely do two days in a row pass without someone poking his or her head into the office and announcing that there is some high calorie, high fat, ridiculously delicious food in the kitchen.

This is awesome. That is, if you don’t have any plans to appear in front of my mother and my aunt in a bikini. I, of course, did; all of last week while I was in North Carolina on vacation with my family. I have no problem equating my struggle with staying away from the delicatessen sandwiches and the doughnuts and the salads made with mayonnaise the last couple of days before my vacation to climbing Mount Everest or surviving for nine days at the bottom of a ravine with only the water you were able to make by melting snow.

So on Monday, as my mother was slathering on the sun protection factor, when Aunt commented on mine and Sister’s athletic builds, and then added, “But you also like to eat” I clenched my jaw and glowered in her general direction.

I knew she didn’t really mean to offend me, and it is true, I do like to eat. At the same time I wanted to defend myself. I also run – a lot. And, I felt like pointing out, Matt and Meredith were telling me just the week prior that obesity can be blamed on your friends and acquaintances and I would even go so far as say co-workers as well and maybe if I worked where Sister worked I would be uber-skinny too.

Instead I just smiled and patted her on her head. Aunt is really short and so when I can’t say what it is that I am thinking I sometimes like to remind her that if I wanted to, I could crush her.

However, my saint-like devotion to Slim Fast and my ability to just say no to everything from brownies to cookies to gummy worms (okay I’ll admit it, I had one gummy worm) paid-off. No, I wasn’t nearly as skinny as Sister or Future Sister-in-Law. But I was able to resist the temptation of the bags of kettle cooked chips and the six pounds of fudge that sat on the kitchen counter most of the week. And when everyone else claimed to not have had any of Daddy’s Double Stuffed Oreos, as he stood there holding the empty bag, I was the only one telling the truth. And telling the truth just feels good.

Of course, I had opted to numb my sudden onset of body dysmorphic disorder with tequila. Who wants a cookie when you can have a margarita?

July 2, 2007

Welcome to the First Ever Klemmy’s

Posted in Blog Backlash, Lawyer Lifestyles, Public Service Announcement at 8:38 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

So apparently some of you don’t think I am very funny, some of you think I’m whiney and at least one of you thinks you may end up like me in 5 to 10 years.  Still not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but in an effort to win some of you back I am offering my first ever list of the best things in Center City.   

See, I know at least some of you are new to this city, whether that is because you just moved here from law school or because you are summering here.  Some of you may have even moved here because of a significant other.  Well, moving is hard and learning a new city is even harder, not that I know from first-hand experience, but I hear these things.   

So, here are my observations on where to eat and hang out since that is what I do a lot of in Philadelphia.  Maybe farther down the road I will offer suggestions on where to go to see a show or the best place to buy flowers after you screwed around on your girlfriend.  Maybe.  For now, I will stick with what I know: food and drink.     

The best part, if you don’t agree with me you can say so.  I only ask that if you think I messed up, tell me why.  Give me an alternative.  I will try it and let you know why you are wrong.  Other readers can try both and agree with me.  This way everyone wins. And we like that right?  Everyone winning.  

Best Dunkin’ Donuts 

This is a no brainer.  The Dunkin Donuts in the concourse located between the ATM machines and a salad shop, across from the bookstore, underneath 4 Penn Center. Yes it always has a huge line, but they fly through that line like it was their jobs.  I guess because it is. 

Best Sandwich

Nodding Head’s Muffaletta.  I know a lot of you may disagree with this,  you may argue that choosing a sandwich that is not native to the area is just wrong, but I don’t care.  This thing is heaven on a boule roll. 

Second Best Sandwich

Café Loftus’ The Elvis. It’s got peanut butter, it’s got bananas and it’s got honey all toasted to gooey perfection on your choice of bread.  And at less than $4.00, what is there not to love? 

Best Pizza

Dolce and Carini’s white slice.  At 20th and Chestnut this is a bit of a hike for some of you.  But if you love garlic and ricotta cheese, trust me it is worth it. 

Best Burger 

Good Dog.  If I didn’t ruffle your feathers with the muffaletta, this choice for best burger may.  But I am sorry, they stuff their burgers with Roquefort cheese.  There is no other word for that but awesome.   I’m not giving them best mussels or best fries or even best beer selection.  Not that those are categories this time around, but those are all the categories their number one competitor for best burger would surely win. 

Best Summer Happy Hour

Mexican Post.  The food is not great, the layout is awkward and the service is deplorable.  But with $3.00 margaritas the size of your head, you can overlook all those other things.  Plus the outside patio is nice as long as it isn’t too hazy hot and humid in the city. 

Oh and be advised that these are just my opinions formed over 10 years of trial and error.  There was no official voting or polling or sampling done and these views certainly don’t express the views of my editor or this publication.

Also, if you have a nut allergy, don’t get the Elvis Pressley as it is made with peanuts and therefore could kill you.

I would really hate to see that happen to most of you.

May 31, 2007

A-Team

Posted in Lawyer Lifestyles, Lessons Learned at 6:37 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

I have a very ugly, competitive side.  I don’t know if it is the middle child in me, or having heard my father say, “Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser” so many times, but I will admit, I am competitive.  I like to win.  Or, more to the point, I hate to lose.  

I didn’t realize just how ugly my need to win (er, not lose) was until my last year of college.  It was the fall racing season and my crew coach put me in a four for an unimportant regatta.  At the last minute one of the clubs joined the race and in their boat, a former teammate and three girls I absolutely could not stand. 

I won’t bore you with all the details of the race.  You really just need to know this; we lost.  We lost big and I blamed our freshman coxswain.  And then I made her cry.  A couple weeks later she quit.   

It is this mean and nasty side that keeps me from joining the Philadelphia Sport and Social Club, or RSVPing yes to invitations to girls’ game nights.  I know my limits and I know I don’t want anyone else seeing Sore-Loser-Sarah.

This is also the reason I love running so much.  I like entering races, but I know I am never actually going to win one.  I get to set goals and meet them, and sure, sometimes during the races I will pick out other runners and decide I have to beat him or her.  But more often than not the races are big enough that I don’t know for sure who I beat or, more importantly, if they beat me. 

Of course this running utopia came crashing in on me when the firm announced its teams for the Philadelphia Bar Association Run.  I was on the “A” Team. 

Our firm typically fields two teams.  A-team consists of those members of our firm that consistently rank well in their age group, thus giving that team the advantage in the overall rankings.  B-team consists of everyone else that signs up.  Due to the absence of a crucial member of A-team, yours truly was slipped in to fill her shoes. 

Now, at first, I was excited about this exaltation among the runners in the office.  But then the reality set in; while our firm never wins, at least two of the members of our team take this run pretty seriously.  Plus, Boss suddenly took interest in the results.  And damnit, I already had plans to be out late the night before.   

Sore-Loser-Sarah had Trying-to-Take-it-All-in-Stride-Sarah terrified.  What if I finished behind my time last year?  What if I finished behind a member of the B-team?  What if I didn’t finish? 

“It is just a silly race,” I tried to tell myself.  I wasn’t going to lose my job if I didn’t run it in under 20 minutes.  Even if that was firm policy, I was already on my way out.   

To placate all my selves, I set a secret goal (which would make those of you that run laugh out loud that I considered this a good time for a 5k — but whatever, shut up) while telling all those that would listen that I was sure to have the crappiest run of my life.  I even let everyone know just how late I was out the night before, without letting them in on the fact that I was working, not partying.  I was able to run a good race, I didn’t throw up (which was part of my secret goal), I beat last year’s time and didn’t finish behind any members of the B-team.  I was even so good as to cheer for my co-workers as they finished the race.     

Now, had I not run well, would I still have stuck around and cheered for the rest of my co-workers?  I really want to say yes, but I also really don’t want to lie to my readers.   
 

May 3, 2007

“Single White Female” But Without the Creepiness

Posted in Lawyer Lifestyles at 5:14 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

I remember when I was younger and still in high school, my sister would let me drive to her apartment and stay there when she was away.  I didn’t do anything wild or crazy; I didn’t throw parties or even invite boys over.  Mostly I just did school work and pretended that her apartment was mine.  It was nice being grown up, even if it was just for an afternoon.

Well, I got to play grown up lawyer for a week while L was in Italy.  I will admit I liked the lawyer lifestyle while it lasted; a big house, a designer dog and all the accessories and pocketbooks my little heart desired.  Lawyers have a pretty swanky life.  Well, that is once you pay off all your student loans.  Of course, I was looking at your world through rose-colored glasses; I got all the perks with none of the billable requirements.   

It was nice to slip into someone else’s life for a while.  I spent time in the country, for the record, compared to anywhere else in Center City, Fairmount is the country, without committing to a year’s lease.  I got to take a break from my house and roommates and bed and limited choice in overcoats and have a whole house and king-size bed to myself.  I got to sit on her couch with her dog, watch my favorite TV shows and pretend that it was all mine.  

So, ladies and gentlemen in addition to legal assistant, writer, sister, daughter and friend I am officially also a house and pet sitter extraordinaire.

House sitting is like taking a vacation without the prohibitive cost of travel and accommodations.  Plus, my friends love it as they don’t have to hire a stranger to come collect their mail and water their plants nor do they have to kennel their pets. They also save money because I provide these services free of charge.   

Of course my favorite part was when L came home from Italy with a brand new purse for me as a way of saying “Thank you” from her and her dog.  The bag is tall and green and leather and gorgeous.

Now, if I could somehow fill my schedule, I would no longer require a place of my own.  Thus I too would save money.  But, for now my house-sitting schedule is clear until the end of May.  That is when I will be taking over my sister’s apartment in Center City West.  Sure, she doesn’t have the coats or pocketbooks that L’s closet carries, but Sister’s place is in a great location; it’s near the Schuylkill River Park, Rittenhouse Square and the bar where Jake has been working.

Because no matter how grown up I am pretending to be, I will always “heart” flirting with Jake.