Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Biggest Lawyer

I'm a lawyer.

I make that statement because it is directly relevant to this installment of my blog. You see, as a lawyer I have been trained to spend my working days questioning just about everything, digging into minute and often purposely left-out details, searching for ulterior motives, and doing other such happy things. And since I do those things all day long and have been for years, it shouldn't be a surprise that I tend to be a bit cynical at times. Not usually, mind you, but occasionally. And while that can be a good thing under appropriate circumstances, such as when I am lawyering, it can also be a negative thing, such as when I might be more judgemental than I should be in reaction to something that I see or hear.* Like tonight, for instance...

When I went to read my home email tonight, I noticed a "news" story about the most recent winner of "The Biggest Loser" TV show, Michelle Aguilar. Ms. Aguilar lost 110 pounds in about 3 months in order to win the contest, and got $250,000 (in addition to all of the obvious health benefits) for her efforts. But that was not the point of the story. The focus of the article (which you can read for yourself here: was the surprise (Michelle said she "was so shocked") marriage proposal from her boyfriend just nine days after the end of the contest. The article states that Ms. Aguilar and her boyfriend (Micah Whitehead) have been dating for about four months, which means (if I correctly understand the duration of "The Biggest Loser") that they were a couple for about one month before she left to be on the show.

Now, if I were to let my cynical side completely take over, I might say something really awful, like: "Hmmmm ... girlfriend loses 110 pounds, and is suddenly $250,000 richer. Yeah, that proposal was a big surprise" (can you see my eyes rolling?). I know -- a terrible thing for me to say. But before you judge me too harshly for such a comment, ask yourself: were you thinking something similar? Come on, be honest. But I have better control of myself than that, and so I will let the momentary wave of cynicism that washed over me recede and ebb into oblivion.

To be sure, Ms. Aguilar's transformation on the show was amazing, her reconnecting with her mother was inspiring, and her win was certainly well-earned (okay, yes, I admit I watched a few of the episodes ...). I was even rooting for her down the stretch. She definitely deserves all the accolades and victory spoils that she has received. Who am I to rain on that parade?

Congratulations, Michelle -- and all the best to you and Micah!

Just remember to execute three separate copies of the prenup ...

* In addition to being cynical, lawyers have three other traits: (1) they like to use disclaimers (the entire first paragraph of this post is one big disclaimer); (2) they like to make lists in paragraphs (like this one); and (3) they like to drop small-print footnotes at the bottom of a page. Welcome to my world.


  1. Maybe I was wrong before about career choices and now columnist comes to mind...I might have to ban you from watching the current Biggest Loser with me.

  2. Okay, you crack me up, too, Norm. You and Allyson make a good pair!

  3. Norm,
    I actually think you should write a novel. I love the blog and tell everyone about it. You have a talent for entertaining! My whole family (the older ones) enjoy it.

  4. I like your world, Norm. It's pretty funny. Glad to have a genetic link to it.