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Posts from October 2003

And on a serious note . . .

Many times I have wondered about how I might possibly juggle work and family life. Not that this is an immediate concern, mind you, given the fact that I haven't even gone on a date in a while, but I was thinking about it recently because of an article in Sunday's NYT magazine. Lisa Belkin, who often writes about employment issues, described what she termed the "opt-out revolution," a wave of well-educated women who aren't climbing the career ladder because they choose not to.

That's all fine and dandy for these women, since they are all part of two-parent families where the husband is making a big fat salary. In my future, however, I see things turning out somewhat differently. First, no matter what line of business my perspective spouse is in, my own salary is likely to max out pretty quickly -- the non-profit world is not a moneymaker. Second, there may not be a spouse at all, let alone a high-salaried one. Although I don't like to think about it, there is a chance that I may end up making the decision to raise a child by myself. Finally, my dream spouse is much more likely to be an artist, a schoolteacher, or a legal aid lawyer than a corporate lawyer or a banker -- this is a good thing.

Sometimes I wonder -- I have the capacity to earn a much bigger salary as a corporate lawyer -- could I ever go back? Not likely, certainly not for anything other than a short-term stint. Maybe I should reconsider dating those corporate lawyers and investment bankers . . . hmm.

Note -- as pointed out my one of my cohorts, there was a Salon article that's more in line with my thinking on this issue.

Putting that Law Degree to Good Use

I think I might have found a way to combine my love of food with the stellar legal research and writing skills I obtained in law school. The New York Times wrote an article today about "The Sushi Memo." I had read about this memo a while back, but now that I'm exploring alternate career choices more seriously, perhaps I should give this one some further consideration.

For more fishy fun, visit SushiNYC to learn more about sushi in the city, or NYC Eats to see some gorgeous sushi pics.

Slim Pickins

New York Daily News - News & Views - A single state of mind

The Daily News reports that "[i]t's official: New York has the hottest singles scene in America. The U.S. Census Bureau released a report yesterday showing New York has a greater percentage of bachelors and bachelorettes than any other state - and most of the singles are in the city." Also of note is the fact that there are "86 unmarried men for every 100 unmarried women."

So according to my (extremely non-scientific) calculations, at least 10% of the single male population is gay, and at least 85% of the straight men are jackasses. That leaves approximately 12 straight, non-jackass men for every 90 women (I'm calculating 10% gay on that side of the equation as well).


Member of the Tribe

I was reading an article in Salon yesterday about Urban Tribes. I remember reading the article about this in the New York Times when it came out and thinking, "wow -- someone's been spying on my life." It really hit home for me.

I am part of an urban tribe, and I am proud to be part of it. Now, I haven't read the book yet, (and perhaps some of this is covered) but I feel that this is a fitting time to put my B.A. in Sociology to good use and throw in my take on the urban tribe theory. First of all, each person is the center of his or her own tribe. For example, I would say that my "core" tribe is mostly Tufts people -- the ones I go away to OJ with. But not all of these folks are in New York -- therefore, I have made other friends here. In addition, I moved back to NYC to go to law school, so I have a number of friends from there. Finally, I have met many people through work. The following Venn Diagram may shed some light on the matter.


Well, maybe not (I just thought the Venn Diagram was cool). I would love to map out my "tribe" someday. One of my tribal members was just telling me that she knew someone who had developed an equation to map out one's Friendster connections. A good tribal diagram would be like that, but with real friends, not just random acquaintances that happen to be online.

My point is that each of us may define the boundaries and members of our own tribe slightly differently than others in the same tribe. Or, think of it like this. If each of us could invite 20 people to a dinner party, we'd all have about 12-15 of the same people on our invite list, but the other ones would vary. This, however, is the very factor that keeps the tribes interesting and prevents stagnation. We don't want to get sick of each other.

Another point that I've made over and over again is that one of the reasons that dating can be somewhat challenging for me is because of my tribe. I have been blessed with great friends, and my free time is limited. If someone can't interest me enough to make me want to spend a fraction of my free time with him rather than with my friends, what's the point? Similarly, he should like my friends, because they are a huge part of my life.

So -- come and meet my tribe. I'm thinking of having a tribal gathering soon . . . stay tuned!

Where Everybody Knows Your Name . . . and Your Business

At one point when I was dating the bartender, I mentioned that I had stopped in and had a drink on one of the nights he wasn't working. To my pleasant surprise, when I asked for the check, I was handed an empty billfold. When I tried to leave a tip, I got chastised. I reported this back to the bartender, who replied, "the only reason you're drinking for free is because you're my girlfriend." After taking the opportunity to point out that he was the one who constantly insisted that I wasn't, in fact, his girlfriend, I said that I didn't think that he was right -- that I had actually become friendly with enough other folks there that they treated me well because I was a regular, and because they liked me. He didn't buy it.

Guess what -- I was right. Not that there was any real doubt, mind you. Every single time I go in there, I am treated extremely well, and feel incredibly welcome and comfortable. The other night, however, I was given service that went above and beyond the call of duty.

I had just finished having a drink with a friend, who had left, leaving a seat open next to me. I decided to stay for dinner, so I pulled out my magazine and continued to drink my wine. Suddenly, in walks another woman that the bartender had dated. We had met several times before, as she also lives in the neighborhood. Not only is she married (which should tell you something about the bartender, not to mention how appalled I am at my choice to date said bartender), but she is an awful person. She is not pleasant, not friendly, not interesting, nothing. I was introduced to her at least five times before she acknowledged having met me before. She proceeded to start talking to me and asking if I had heard from the bartender. I answered politely, but kept trying to return to my New Yorker and my wine, so I could sit in peace. One of the bartenders came over to take my order, and I must have given him a look that communicated how miserable I was on so many levels to be sitting next to this horrific woman. He, of course, also knew about each of us having dated the bartender, etc. Within two minutes, the bar manager came over and said, "Laren, a seat just opened up next to the folks you wanted to talk to at the other end of the bar. You'd better hurry down there before the seat gets taken." "Thanks, Dennis," I replied, and quickly hustled as far away as I could.

As I got down to the other end of the bar, they were just pulling a stool up to the end of the bar, trying to squish me in. I couldn't stop laughing -- I had been rescued. I thanked Bill and Dennis profusely. They said that they knew I'd do the same for them, and that I deserved it. On top of it all, they were very generous with the wine (as always). I left them a HUGE tip.

Don't forget to tip your bartenders, folks. They're great people to have in your corner.


Best of NY Food

at least according to the Village Voice. Weird categories, but looking forward to having a bunch of things to check out in the near future. Snaps go out to the boys at 'inoteca, who have always been incredibly welcoming, not to mention generous. Not only with the wine, but with the meat thermometer that the chef gave me one night. I decided to interpret it as a romantic gesture, and promptly stuck it in my cleavage. Where else are you supposed to wear your meat thermometer?!

(Joe, Eric (the chef), and Jason)