|Happy Valentine's Day to this guy.|
Me, I'm not so aggressive. I'm sort of passive unless you go after someone I love. Then I can get all up in yo' face. But my preferred mode is conflict avoidance. My husband, on the other hand, is a conflict-embracer. At least when it comes to work. His style of arguing could be described as "Scorched Earth."
And I find it extremely attractive. He's like a cerebral gladiator. He often sends me his briefs or his motions or whatever other legalese he's been writing or fighting over. I don't know what they're called, but you get the idea. He's an excellent writer. He writes the most entertaining and succinct briefs. Sometimes they are poetry. Sometimes they cut through bullshit like a knife. And I love that. Of course he's never satisfied with them and that's why he'll find this whole post ridiculous and embarrassing.
But damn he's smart. And he's verbal. Did I mention that already? And he comes down like an axe on a felled tree when he's defending someone. It's his entire M.O. His raison d'etre. I suppose he felt unprotected and abused as a child so he has spent his entire adulthood and professional career protecting people who feel helpless and threatened. Some might say that a corporate litigator is not a protector. People are always joking about how evil lawyers are, but now that I'm married to one, I see it differently. If you think about it, he is protecting people who are risk of losing everything they've built. Their companies, their livelihood, their wealth. And he comes down like the angry hand of god and strikes fear and terror in the enemy.
And his clients love it. They feel protected by him, and I in turn, feel proud of the work he does. I write advertising slogans. I try to sell people stuff they don't need. Fred protects people and fights for them. And people make fun of lawyers? Jeez. There should really be way more copywriter jokes than lawyer jokes.
So you have me, the seemingly peaceable Buddhist, the conflict-avoiding gentle spirit. Him, the scorched earth spewing, rage inducing, verbally spry, argumentative fighter. In some ways we seem like we're opposites. But really, we're alike.
We both felt unprotected as children. While I sought out that protection from others, he became that protector himself. I know that for as long as I live, if anybody ever fucks with me, they will have the full fury of an angry, talented, smart, lawyer coming down on them with the full force of the law and a lifetime of pent up wrath over injustice.
He grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and he saw people who were helpless to defend themselves before the law. Now that he's on the side of the law, no one is going to abuse that power. It's funny to me, because he's a lawyer who hates cops. Despite his fancy education, he still carries the distrust of the po-po that he got from watching the police abuse that power in his neighborhood. Rather than feel cowed or frightened of power, he has seized it and he carries it around like Thor's hammer.
And I admire the hell out of him for it. I find people who defend the rights of the unprotected heroic. I find the guy who will stand up to the bullies admirable. I find him brave and strong. And so when he starts spouting off about the Constitution or some Supreme Court decision, I feel my neck get hot.
"Tell me more about the Bill of Rights," I say, my heart beating faster.
It's a lot like A Fish Called Wanda but with less foreign language and more constitutional law.
This is my way of saying, Happy Valentine's Day, baby. I feel protected and loved with you on my side. You're the best lawyer and the best husband I've ever had.