Do I like his voice? Is he nice and clean? Does he laugh at my jokes? Is he a useful height?
Nobody would enter into a relationship without asking these questions, it’s just good sense.
And whilst diction, cleanliness, humour and ability to reach the top of the wardrobe are of course the foundations of any solid relationship, I’ve realised that one’s choice of profession also plays a surprisingly big role in your life together.
Now, I know that being the future wife of a lawyer sounds great but I would have appreciated it if someone had told me just a few home truths before I booked the registrar.
And so, though it may already be too late for me, I see it as my duty to pass on the three questions I would recommend anyone considering committing to a man (or woman) of law asks themselves before signing anything:
1. Do you enjoy your own company?
If the answer is no then step away from the lawyer immediately.
When deciding whether to go out with a lawyer, you are not really considering how much you like them, but how much you can tolerate yourself.
I spend an incredible level of time on my own these days. (Can you tell?) Early mornings, evenings, and even, if I’m extra lucky, weekends. The working hours of the lawyer are far from civilised and, even better than that, they are completely unpredictable. If nothing else it plays havoc with the weekly shop – do I eat? Should I make him dinner? Should I put the salmon in the freezer just in case he doesn’t come home in time to eat it before it goes out of date? SHOULD I?!
Thank goodness for my intense Coronaton Street, Downton Abbey and Sex and the City habit, otherwise I might completely lose my mind.
2. Do you enjoy legal dramas?
If so then I’m afraid you’ll have to wave goodbye to this little guilty pleasure.
Just as I was settling in to watch Silk on BBC One and Maxine Peake was getting her wig on, the Lawman walked in and confused my silence with a request for him to clarify whether what I was watching represented reality.
I think I tolerated three “That would NEVER happen!” outbursts before hitting the off button and reminding my beloved that when I choose to watch a series starring the guy from Game On, I am clearly not looking for realistic entertainment.
If the legal drama is your escape of choice, may I recommend the purchase of a second television for both your sakes.
3. Do you like to band about legal terms you don’t fully understand in conversation?
I consider it my right as a writer (of sorts) and general lyrical wizard to mess about with words in any way I please. And nothing makes me feel cleverer than throwing in an official sounding legal expression (that I’ve heard on TV) to take my intelligence to new heights. But the problem with having an in-house lawyer is that they will insist on pointing out when you do so incorrectly. A case in point for you:
ME: I spoke to our wedding band today to sort out the contract for what/when they’ll play on the day.
HIM: A contract you say, what do you mean exactly? *furrows brows, grinds teeth*
ME: Well, you know, just the details of what we want them to do so we’ve got it all written down.
HIM: Hmmm, well that’s not really a contract, we technically entered into a contract with them when we first agreed to book…
ME: YOU’RE TAKING ALL THE FUN OUT OF THE WEDDING AGAIN!
If you answered Yes, No, No to the questions above then it sounds like the lawyer is your ideal mate. Go quick to the nearest College of Law and find yourself a suitor!
Any other combination and I recommend you give it some serious thought before taking it any further, let alone walking down the aisle. They’ll be the first to remind you that that contract is binding.