Last night, I met a friend from college for a drink. He was home (here) for a funeral. We hadn't seen each other in a decade (since I visited New Orleans in August 2003, a few lifetimes ago).
He introduced me to his best friend as "the girl who's responsible for me having taken the LSAT."
I can't remember ever talking anyone into going to law school. I try my damndest to prevent anyone from going to law school, for several good reasons:
1. I don't know anyone who enjoyed a minute of law school.
2. I don't know anyone who enjoys being a lawyer.
2. a. Most of the people I know who finished law school and passed bars no longer practice law.
3. It is six figures of debt. To pay this back, you will need to bill about 2200 hours/year, leaving you about 87 hours in your year to live.
Fortunately, Kevin dropped out of law school, Day 2. I guess trying to impress a pretty girl only goes so far.
It made me wonder about all of the other tiny moments or offhanded suggestions I've made throughout my life that have affected others. I often say something like, "take all my good advice, I'm not using it," because it's so much easier to tell someone "don't go to law school, leave the person you no longer want to love, move across the country" than to do it yourself.
Except. Wait. I have done all of those things. Um. Wear sunscreen? Damn. I do that, too. Hmmm. I am not great about brushing my teeth. I am really terrible about flossing. But I'm not sure how important those things are, in the grand scheme, since I was born with great teeth, the way other people are born with a genetic predisposition to low blood pressure.
When I was in 8th grade, I was sitting on the plane next to someone who said, "You're from the South, right? Never lose your accent."
To me, it felt like he was saying "Never forget where you come from: a land full of amazing music, magnolias and live oaks and azaleas, an uncomfortable economic history, and fantastic literature. Never lose the flavor of your life. Love your parents, your brother, and all of the other people who made you into you, meal by meal. Always remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Other advice has been haphazard or sincere: Don't marry the first boy who asks. Become a professor (I get this one all the time, still). Consume 10 fat grams or fewer each day (bless my 14-year-old self's heart). Have babies by the time you're 35. Wear a helmet when you bike. Read. Get __ minutes of exercise __ times a week. Don't kiss and tell. Drink coffee. Don't drink coffee. Drink 1 glass of red wine every day. Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
I guess we can all agree: peeing is good for you.
And law school is bad for you.