Lawyers are like drinks: Old Fashioneds to White Russians

An Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned just reeks of style and sophistication, even more so if you know how to make one the way Don Draper did in Season 3. The thing is, very few of the lawyers trying to choke down an Old Fashioned can carry it off with class, let alone mix one up themselves. If you don’t know they are made with sugar, muddled fruit, and bourbon. Kind of hard on the palate for the casual drinker. The 20-somethings ordering one of these look like wanna-be’s who can’t come up with something original of their own. Everyone in the bar knows you drink cheap beer by the case when you are out with your friends. Don’t try to be something you are not. You look goofy.

Besides, you’re a lawyer, not an advertising flack with slicked down hair. Of course if you did slick down your hair you would look gross. The whole thing is even worse if you try to wear one of those 50’s style hats. I mean, come on. Those things were in style 60+ years ago. Unless you’re wearing a really nice skinny tie and drove a classic ’63 Chevrolet to the party you aren’t going to pull it off. At best you’re going to look a little silly and stick out like you have no social skills. If you are lucky everyone’s going to think you’re doing cabaret dinner theater on the weekends to impress a girl. At worst, some old guy is going to come walking up and talk your ear off for an hour about how he was cool way back in the Kennedy years.

What it says about you: Either you’re money and you know it or, well, just stay home and save your date the embarrassment.

Your hobby: You know how to play canasta and drink an Old Fashioned after a round of golf or you’re so lame you’re painful to watch so who cares what your hobby is.

You wear: Perfectly tailored suits or one of those new style skinny retro outfits that make you look stupid. Don’t even try wearing a skinny tie unless you know you can pull it off.

Your car: A high end Lexus or a dumpy beat up relic you think makes you look cool, kind of like the wreck the Blues Brothers drove in that movie.

Homebrewed Beer

This is kind of an unusual one because you can’t buy a homebrewed beer. Federal law prohibits homebrewers from selling their stuff unless they go through the whole expensive nightmare of the BATFE licensing process and paying taxes. So, folks who like homebrew don’t go out much and they’re absolutely fine with it. Besides, homebrewers aren’t the kind to belly up to the bar. They like to drink their own stuff. They don’t do it to get drunk or escape the family. The brew their own beer so that they can sit back and enjoy a pint with all the elements of what makes up a really perfect IPA or a chocolate stout or something. 

A person who puts hours into brewing their own beer has a kind of weary, comfortable style that you can’t really describe unless you sit down with them some Saturday afternoon. They blend in at work but at home they wear really comfortable jeans. You’ll see them hug their family with an easy kind of familiarity that says volumes about what’s really important in life. They don’t talk about work at home unless you bring it up. Be ready because they may be having a good conversation with you but they’re going to drop everything to help one of the kids with a stuck zipper or skinned knee.

Once they get to know you at work and you stop giving them a heart attack every couple of weeks they’re probably going to invite you over. Don’t ever pass up on one of those invites. They’re a rare treat, especially if they are about ready to open up one or two of the latest batch of homebrews. You’re in for a really good dinner they cooked themselves like homemade pasta or BBQ ribs or something. After dinner you’ll share a couple of their homebrews on the back porch while the sun sets. You can bring a date or the kids or both because they’re going to be welcome, too. The homebrewer’s house might not be big, or fancy, or have an amazing view, but anybody who spends years perfecting their favorite homebrewed beer is going to put some work into effortlessly making sure you feel at home. How many times have you experienced that in your life?

A good homebrewer probably grows their own hops in the back yard. They’ll tell you about how to do it yourself if you ask. If they have been brewing their own beer for a while they’re going to make something pretty good. Actually, they probably have a linen closet full of a couple different kinds of good homebrews so ask if you have a favorite kind. After talking with them for a while you’re going to see they’re getting a little worn out from the whole lawyering grind. They have dealt with the worst in people at the office and their home is their place to go and relax with friends and family. You’re lucky to get invited over. If you can hold up an intelligent conversation or offer to help with making the apple cider this year you might get invited back.

What it says about you: You put hours into things that matter like your family. You’re proud of making things yourself such as your homebrew and it shows.

Your hobby: Your hobby is reading brewing textbooks on your Kindle. You wish you could just chuck it all and open a really good microbrewery.

You wear: A really comfortable pair of jeans.

Your car: You want a truck but until the kids are in college you’re driving a large, safe, Ford Expedition. Unless, that is, you’re a Chevy family in which case you’re obviously driving a Suburban.

White Russian

Oh, what can I say about White Russians? Either you love them or you just didn’t get the movie. If I have to say which movie then you obviously didn’t get it.

When you first meet a lawyer drinking a White Russian  they are going to want to be funny. You’re probably going to try to be funny, too, and say something like “Hey Mr. Lebowski! Nice drink.”

They’re going to be ready for that one and if you’re lucky they’re going to say “Look, let me explain something to you. I’m not Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. That, or His Dudeness … Duder … or El Duderino, if, you know, you’re not into the whole brevity thing.” Hopefully they can also do the hippie accent for you. Hey, the Dude abides.

Seriously, though, if you’re not into that movie and you’re drinking a White Russian you’re probably a woman in her early thirties and unmarried. I don’t know why those kinds of lawyers always drink White Russians but they do. It’s like a weird drug to that set. They always go for the White Russian when they’re not drinking Cosmos and talking about something naughty from their favorite episode of Sex and the City. They know they look hot in the short dress they are wearing, they have a great job, and they’re waiting for a text message from some friends about which wine bar they’re meeting at as soon as they can get away from this boring office party.

What it says about you: 1. You watch too many movies and don’t care what it says. Besides, you can’t be worrying about that stuff. Life goes on, man. 2. Good try but you’re way out of her league and she’s heading out to troll for single pediatricians or maybe plastic surgeons. But good luck anyway.

Your hobby: Oh, the usual. You bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.

You wear: Comfy brown cardigans and bowling shoes for men. The women are wearing a little black dress you will be thinking about for a long time.

Your car: A classic four door 1973 Ford Torino. Or a nice white BMW.

-Samuel Owen

© Samuel Owen 2012. All rights reserved. Please read important notices and disclaimers by clicking here.
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Author: Samuel Owen

This is my Lawyer Rant. I've put up with new associates trying to kill me, clients being dangerous idiots, and Judges being rude for far too long. It's time for me to tell it like it really is, and it feels good to give back.

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