Let Go of My Ego

The Oxford Dictionary defines “ego” as “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” There is a picture of Donald Trump right next to the definition. No, not really. I made that up. He would sue me if he found out that I said his picture was only next to the ordinary, plebian term “ego.” Instead, he has insisted that his picture be included in the definition of the far more illustrious term; “egomaniac,” “a person obsessed with their own (supposed) importance.”

Most attorneys are accused of having big egos. I don’t think I do but, then again, I am the best looking, smartest attorney and funniest writer in the world so I don’t need to stroke my ego like the average attorney / writer. At least that’s what my mother keeps telling me.

My “ego” had a roller coaster ride of a week this week.

First the ego booster: Some misguided sole must have thought I actually have more than $100.00 in my savings account and I somehow received an invitation to an extravagantly produced reveal of the new, 2017 Porsche 911, which lists for $146,000.00. Why I was invited I have no idea. I am pretty sure I can’t even afford the floor mats. The only thing I can guess is that they were hoping that with the mammoth readership of this viral blog by extremely well-to-do readers (you!), I would mention the car and all of you guys and gals would rush out to your local Porsche dealerships and order the new machine on the spot merely because of my credibility and telling you to do so. So, here I go.

Dennis P. Levin says, “Buy a new Porsche 911, TODAY!”

Now that I have done that, I am hoping that Porsche will be so happy with me that they deliver a new 911 to my front door to thank me for my help because, frankly, the meal they served last night, while decent (and free) was simply not sufficient to pay for all of this free advertising I am giving them. One request, though, Mr. Porsche, please don’t make the car that you are giving me that awful bluish/gray color that you showed at the reveal. I know that I shouldn’t be looking a gift car in the grill but, that truly is a pretty ugly color. Just in case you want to know, I would prefer black, red, white or the royal blue. Thank you. And, if it wouldn’t be asking too much, can you drop one off for Barbara, too? She prefers pink.

Okay. That was the “good” stroke to my ego this week. But wait. There’s more. The “bad” strokes outscored the “good” strokes this week, 2 to 1.

The first “bad” stroke is one I don’t quite understand. I was in a child support hearing in a case that has, literally, been going on since 1999, During a break, the attorney on the other side showed me a picture on his phone of a very lovely young lady and told me that he had met her on-line and had a date with her that evening as soon as the hearing was concluded. Okay, so far not too bad.

We then went back into the hearing room with the trial magistrate and the attorney asks out loud, “Does this tie go with the shirt I am wearing?”

He then looks at me and says, “Why am I asking you? YOU have no fashion sense.”

WTF????

Okay. I realize I am no George Clooney or M.C. Hammer but I’m also no Oscar Madison or Johnny Depp. I don’t think. I don’t wear bolo ties. I haven’t worn bib overalls since I was in law school. I can’t remember the last time I wore socks with sandals and I stopped wearing a fanny pack after getting lectured about it by both of my daughters.

I wouldn’t be caught dead in a tank top (it shows too much side boobage). I don’t believe I have ever owned a pair of Crocs. And I am pretty sure I haven’t worn a “dickie” since I was in grade school but I could be wrong. I wasn’t wearing white socks with my black shoes and it had been a while since I wore my Harem pants to court.

Given such, I am at a loss to figure out why this attorney made the comment he did. Could it possibly have been my Nehru jacket and love beads?

So, you can just imagine how good I was feeling that afternoon. I will say, however that I did get the better of the deal. Knowing that he couldn’t leave for his date until the hearing was completed, I kept holding up the settlement agreement so that, as Steve Miller put it, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ Into the future.” The other attorney got so frustrated that he ultimately gave me what I was demanding so that he could get to his date.

I may not have fashion sense but my client walked away with the more important dollars and sense!

A couple of days later I got another slap in the face (which some of you may have offered to have done if you knew that such an option was available).

I had sent an old colleague an e-mail asking if he had been reading my blog.

His response: “I have read it. Don’t quit your day job.”

If memory serves me, I believe that was the same exact review that the New York Times once gave to Leo Tolstoy for War and Peace!

Of course maybe I should have expected such an in-depth and critical review from this colleague given the fact that he actually did quit his day job as an attorney and now works nights as a hotel desk clerk in Guatemala.

To quote one of my writing contemporaries:

“If you show someone something you’ve written, you give them a sharpened stake, lie down in your coffin, and say, ‘When you’re ready.

― David Mitchell, Black Swan Green

Now, if I truly had a fragile ego or I was infantile and immature I might have responded to my critic by saying something like:

“You are a stupid-head.

Stick your head in doo-doo.

You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny.

Your birth certificate is an apology letter from the condom factory.

I’d like to see things from your point of view but I can’t my head that far up my butt.”

If I had thin skin, a fragile ego or was immature, that might just be exactly what I might say. But I am a bigger man than that and … wait a minute. That felt really good. I think I’ll do it again!

HEY FORMER COLLEAGUE !!!!

“You are a stupid-head.

Stick your head in doo-doo.

You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny.

Your birth certificate is an apology letter from the condom factory.

I’d like to see things from your point of view but I can’t my head that far up my butt.”

Ahhhhh….. Much better.

“Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.”

John Osborn [Time Magazine, October 31, 1977]