Confession time. I am a lawyer. It is now official. Last week the Board of Bar Examiners sent me my certificate stating that I am duly liscensed and qualified to practice as an attorney and counselor at law before the courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Yesterday, I recieved in the mail an offer from the D.C. office of an international law firm, which I will probably accept. What this means is that I am on the threshold of the land of the Yuppies.
Actually, talking of thresholds is proably a bit late at this point. It is safe to say that I have been living amongst the Yuppies at least since I entered law school, and perhaps since I graduated from college. (I worked for a year and half in politics before law school, and political types aren’t quite yuppies but they share some of the same habits.)
In many ways living among the Yuppies can be a lot of fun. They are smart, articulate, and often interesting. (They are also frequently shallow and dull. It takes all kinds.) They tend to live well. Playing golf on a really nice golf course is a lot of fun, and I went to a very nice restuarant for lunch during a recent job interview in D.C. (Yes, Kaimi and the rest of you New York snobs, there are good restuarants in D.C.)
On the otherhand, there is something alienating and disturbing about spending your life around a group of people, the majority of whom regard work and career as their primary source of identity and meaning in life. Obviously, the demands of working in a Yuppie world can be harsh and alienating, but this is not what I am talking about. Rather, I am referring to the alienation that comes from realizing that you simply lack the commitment and zeal of your peers. You are, in a sense, an agnostic in a land of true believers.
It is possible to overstate this of course. We are often more alike then we would like to believe. Still, I can’t help but feelingly irreducibly foreign in the world that I spend so much of my time in.