February 16, 2015
The tyranny of Valentine’s Day has passed. For those of us who equate St. Valentine with Torquemada, we can stand down now. Gone are the demands of florists, greeting card makers, chocolatiers, restauranteurs and those who have devised a means for making silk underwear scratchy and uncomfortable.
Admittedly, we view this from a male standpoint. There is no scratchy and uncomfortable male underwear. We wouldn’t stand for it. It’s cotton or nothing and damn the torpedos. Boxer, yes; brief, perhaps, and thus ends the analysis. This speaks volumes. For the male, saying “I love you” means saying “I am comfortable loving you.” For the female, however, it is the tension of love, the very game of it, that fuels passion.
We spent a portion of the evening of Valentine’s Day at a Manhattan speakeasy; a place where a certain amount of surreptitiousness mingles with artisan cocktails involving obscure ingredients. We shared a little curtained booth with two young ladies who were very much in love. They teased with each and toyed with each other’s emotions. The dance was marvelous and resurrected our belief that love was eternal, gender-neutral and a damned lot of fun. Even She Who Must Be Obeyed was inspired and we never lost sight of her fantastic curls for the rest of the evening.
So, yes, women invented Valentine’s Day. For themselves. We men are just
players and, under certain circumstances, can easily be replaced. If you love, you play, and it matters little what the nature of that love is. It’s just a game. The flowers, the cocktails, the chocolates are merely props. At the end of the evening, as at the end of life itself, it is the comfort of being loved that reigns supreme. Besides, what’s a little scratchy silk underwear between friends?
As lawyers, we live on a small planet; a moon, in reality, that circles the warmth and life of the humans which inhabit the surface below. We are charged to be cold, and tough, and in many ways, unforgiving in our representation of those humans, garnering for them whatever it is that they, or we, call “justice. However, that necessity has nothing to do with how we treat each other. We have never seen anyone gain a tactical advantage through discourtesy.
The court system is not immune from this corollary of law practice either. After all, it is directed by lawyers, who make themselves available to lawyers, so that each can, well, lawyer. What possible benefit could a court create for itself by treating the lawyers who practice in front of it poorly? Yet, there is not one among us who has not been treated like a wayward child by a judge or an administrator for no apparent reason. Seeking justice for a client, they know we