Why are you so shy?
People ask me that, a lot. Usually, it's after they've known me long enough to realize that I'm not, actually, at all shy. It's usually in the same conversation that they tell me that I'm not at all like they thought I was, when they met me.
What did you think I was like?
Quiet, usually. Nice, sometimes. Stuck-up, occasionally. At least three times, developmentally disabled.
So when people ask me why I am so shy, they are really asking me "Why do you SEEM so shy?"
I'm not shy. I'm reserved. Shyness comes from fear; reservation comes from experience. And judgment. I am experienced enough to know that some things that I feel like saying can be taken the exact. wrong. way. I have good enough judgment, though, to be a bit tight-lipped around most people, for perhaps a little longer than is usual.
Judgment, I'm told, is the number one most important characteristic in a good lawyer, as in, one can't be one without it. A lot of other stuff seems to be required, too, but none of it's for shit without good judgment. That's a paraphrase, of course, from the wise words of many. Many, who are wise enough to not use the phrase "for shit," when giving advice.
Judgment, I learned, is why, if one wants to be a successful solo practitioner in a small community, especially when one is a woman, and young - one cannot go to the grocery store in their pajamas in the middle of the night. (Learned this at a class this weekend. Important advice. Because I would go.)
Judgment is why nearly everything about you is open to scrutiny, when you're a lawthing. A sign of bad judgment might bode much worse than a low grade in Fed. Courts. Fed. Courts is hard, and a bad grade might just mean a single misread phrase in a fact pattern, or showing up to the exam with a flu. A facial tattoo...that shows that you lack the ability to weigh the benefits and consequences of a very public decision.
I did the leadership thing, at school, this past term. Demonstrated a bitchload of good judgment, reasoned decisionmaking, self-discipline, setting both examples and boundaries with staff- all that fine-ass shit. Balance. Good time management. Priorities. Professionalism.
At the same time, though, I was blogging. I was writing my very first stand-up comedy routine. It killed, by the way. I opened with an old favorite, went through a quick routine on unemployment, my low expectations from relationships and fear of commitment, into a great bit comparing medical specialties to legal specialties, then came right back around to "Rectum? Damn near killed 'im!"
One of my blogs took the fuck off. I got about 3,000 hits on a post about Polygamy, around the same on a post about Octomom (loathe that moniker, so much), 2,000 on a post about the commerce clause, of all things...
It was around that time that I started to hear the same thing, over and over again, from many trusted sources. Trusted sources who, I'm sure, have "good judgment."
"Hobo, I love your blog. Please delete it." Except, of course, they don't say Hobo.
"Hobo, you have a perfectly good psuedonym which is not at all traceable to your actual identity...why don't you use that?" or,
"Hobo...have you considered that blogging is a better tool for marketing than it is for ensuring that you don't get a job?" or,
"Hobo, have you ever noticed that the more serious the topic you're writing about, the more likely you are to include words like "bullshit" "dickbag" or "motherfucker," and have you considered that that might be a sign of some inherent self-defeating tendency?"
"Hobo, do you think you might have waited until the dean and faculty had left the fundraiser before you got onstage and made a joke which relied, to a great extent, on an extended metaphor comparing your classmates' ambitions to aspiring proctologists' dreams of someday performing invasive rectal exams?"
None of these, however, convinced me to take down the blogs. Then, I went to my sister's engagement party. Her fiancee is very involved in music. The type of music which meant that every single one of his male friends showed up to the party in a scally cap and black work jacket. It was a lovely event. Drinking. Snacks. Standing on a porch. Socializing.
When I next visited my parents, though, I had a little shock. It was Sunday dinner - a lovely tradition. It's a sign of a healthy and satisfying life to have a guaranteed opportunity to drink someone else's wine at least once a week. My father, pouring me a glass of wine, called out to my mother:
"Hey! (my mother's name), Motherfucker Girl is here!"
Yup. Motherfucker girl. Apparently, I'd made a great impression on at least one of my sister's guests. I had been christened. It wasn't surprising that my sister had reported the new appellation to my parents, immediately. Some families are protestant. Some families are agnostic. My family are dyed-in-the-wool anecdotalists. Redemption through storytelling.
It was, however, surprising, when I learned who had found my language quite so salty.
The gentleman who christened me had once worked as a drummer for a quite well known band. A band that would have become MUCH better known, if the name weren't so filthy...that it must be referred to only by its initials. So, I began to reflect upon my use of language.
It doesn't really matter if I gain a reputation in the hard-core music community as a stellar hostess with a filthy mouth - but, it may matter if I gain a reputation as the otherwise shy lawthing...with the inexplicably poor judgment when it comes to online presence.
So, after a bit, I'm going to quit this blog, and my other. And I'll leave it up, but carefully redact identifying information. I'll try to strike any backlinks that identify me, as me. And I'll stop using the word "motherfucker" in front of anyone more sober than I am at the time. There will be a few more posts before the end; then a long absence for the bar.
After a while, I'll start a new blog. It'll either be entirely invitation-only (completely unnappealling to me - I like to shout into the wind), carefully screened for propriety, or carefully screened for identifying information.
I hope I can still wear pajamas in the middle of the night, as long as I don't leave the house. It's going to be hard to sleep in a suit. The drycleaning costs will be intense. I'll go through spray-starch like a ghost with erectile dysfunction.