This weekend I was at a bar mitzvah and I recognized one of the DJ’s dancers. She had been at a nail salon with me a few days earlier. At the salon, she was dressed in a business suit and very professional. Turns out she is a lawyer and works for a judge as her assistant. This struck me as such an interesting split in this woman’s life; serious and professional lawyer during the week, sexy dancer on the weekends. My friend, Rob, insisted I should blog about this. It made me laugh at first but then I realized that people having completing opposing lifestyles happens more than you think.
You see extreme versions of these opposing lifestyles on TV shows and the news all the time. There is the pot dealing housewife on “Weeds”, the recent story of a mother who ran a brothel out of an apartment in the city or the married porn stars who have normal family lives. How often do we meet people in our own lives that have a separate life than the one we know? How much do we know about our friends and neighbors?
When I was single before I went back to graduate school, I worked as a legal assistant in a big NYC law firm. An attorney who worked on my floor asked me on a date and I agreed to go out with him. He was a nice guy, decent looking, dressed well and had a good job. He was a bit older than me, I was 22 years old at the time and he was 30. All seemed good until he came to my apartment for the date.
The well dressed, straight laced lawyer was dressed in a full length patchwork, fringed leather Bon Jovi era coat, ripped jeans and t-shirt with spiked hair. He may or may not have had guyliner on. I was floored and a bit embarrassed to walk around town with him. It turns out this lawyer by day was a rocker by night. He aspired to be in a band and seemed to be trying to live the lifestyle on his free time. But it didn’t seem authentic, almost like he was in a costume. As young as I was I knew that at 30 years old, this guy was a bit off. Now don’t get me wrong I think being in a band is great at any age, I have a few friends who are in bands now and I think it is awesome but this guy was on a different plane altogether. His aspiring band life and his day time lawyer life seemed to be at odds with each other.
I think we often see people in their positions in life; mother, teacher, doctor, lawyer, dancer, etc. People at the bar mitzvah likely saw this woman as just a party dancer but I knew she was also a lawyer. Did it make me view her at the party a little differently? I have to say it did. I wonder if the lawyer by day, rocker by night had not revealed the other side of his personality on the first date if I would have dated him longer and come to understand that side of him better. Would I have still seen him as being “off” or would I have looked at it from a different perspective?
The nail salon lawyer/ DJ dancer is probably doing the job to pay off law school loans and get a chance to let loose from her staid daytime professional life. Good for her. Who’s to say we have to be one thing or the other. But what happens when these opposing lifestyles aren’t so cohesive? The lawyer by day, rocker by night ended up losing his job and from what I heard cracked up. So how does someone with such opposing lifestyles strike a healthy balance? I suppose the answer would lie within the person and how secure they are with themselves.
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