June 28, 2003

Dammit, Life goes on!

Well, I finally got around to reading James Lileks' June 26 column. This is the one where he is discussing the fact that his wife just lost her job and the changes it has made to his life.*

I have all the sympathy in the world for him and his family's situation. However, what is it that makes people so dependent upon a dual income that their world crashes when one of those incomes suddenly disappears? People use the double income to buy bigger houses than they actually need, to get bigger and more expensive cars than their needs require, and to buy extravagant purchases. People have forgotten how to live simply.

I do not have a mortgage or a child, and due to tragedy, I also do not have a wife. Of course, when my wife was alive, we made do on my income. Her job was to upkeep the home, care for me, and to entertain friends and clients. She did have activities outside the home, but they didn't generate income. They were volunteer efforts which benefitted our community. Her job was as important as mine. She was from a very prominent family and knew that a man's success often depended upon the woman who stood behind him. It was what she did that allowed me the freedom to do my job with panache. You would be surprised at the success you can have when you exhibit the ability to entertain selected clients without substantial advance planning. My wife could throw a party at home with an hour's advance notice. If something was needed, she knew where to find it. She maintained my wardrobe and chose my clothes, and people often commented upon my appearance. Our life was a marriage. It was not a financial partnership where we were each expected or required to generate an income so as to pony up our share of the monthly bills. Of course, there were the good times and the bad times. There were times when my income dropped. Such occurs when you are self employed. I have always had the uncanny ability to live within my means, no matter what they might be, and my wife, may she rest in peace, never complained when there was a need for immediate belt tightening.

When James said:

[A]nyone need a lawyer?
was he making an admission that he actually understands the prime missive of the legal profession: you never need a job, you need a client?

It appears that James' wife had been representing the United States government and was, until recently, representing the government of the State of Minnesota. Maybe it is time for her to change the focus of her practice. Instead of representing the government, maybe she can represent the people persecuted by the government for awhile. I am acquainted with at least a hundred or so former prosecutors who now defend criminals.

Ms. Lileks, you are a professional. Buck up and act like one.** Get down to the local courthouse and start asking around about court appointments.

*Just consider the changes that occur to a person's life when their spouse dies. I have lived through these changes, and talk about hitting a brick wall!

**I have to be mindful that I am responding to James' feelings about this situation, and it may actually be that Mrs. Lileks, being the professional that she is, is not as concerned about this matter as is he.

Posted by Tiger at June 28, 2003 10:46 AM

I very much appreciate your attitude, Tiger. Well said.

Posted by: David at June 28, 2003 02:26 PM