By Danielle Medaglia
By – a Former Louis Vuitton (LVMH) Fashion Lawyer to a Current Writer Slob
Reading this from your corporate cage, you dream of working from home, with the darks in a swish, swish wash cycle and your “in ‘da house” only rags on your un-washed body. But working from home isn’t as glamorous as you may daydream it to be on your cattle-car commute.
The irony is when you work from home, you transform into a homeless person. I get it – you clearly have a house if you are working from it and if you are working, surely you aren’t out on the street. Now homelessness is no laughing matter but it is also tragic for one to be willing to give up all sense of civilization to avoid a rush-hour commute. I will explain.
I have a solitary slash career. I am a lawyer / writer / professor. Without others around to keep me in check – I can, well, become a slob. I start my day tethered to my husband’s “normal” schedule. He has a job outside the home where he must groom, put on grown-up clothes and eats at Chipotle with his “lunch bunch.” I wake up shortly after he does – I put on my “work clothes” which currently consists of J.Crew flannels and a large grey – very fuzzy – UGG bathrobe with a thick rolled-collar and matching grey slip-on UGG slippers, with the fur matted down to the bone. We shall henceforth refer to this as the “LoungeWear.”
I grab my cereal – which flakes where placed in the bowl the night before and add my dairy-free milk (this will become relevant later). After all, nighttime prep is the key to success, kiddo! Sipping on ice coffee, I scroll my digital newsfeed to see ‘wuz up’ in the world outside these 4 walls. I may be aging myself (pushing 50) but I like print newspapers better – the smell, the sound, the breeze of pages turning and the ink on my fingers. Oh, how I get a thrill folding articles on a crease and tearing!
I live in a luxury, “full-service” condo – doorman to sign for Amazon, gym with trainers and concierge fridge for my perishables. Now don’t get jealous you green-eyed MF-er – I lived as a renter for decades in NYC walk-up studios as a young attorney with rat poop droppings in my oven before arriving here. The only service I can’t seem to get in the “full-service” package is someone to bring my NY Times and WSJ to my door. So I am left no choice but to traipse the high-gloss marble floors of the common areas in my LoungeWear to fetch my paper – myself (eyes rolling) – from the doorman. Would it kill me to put on some pants with a zipper? – it might. Would it kill me to put on a shoe that is not slip on? – it would. Would I feel better if I hit my lashes with a coat of mascara – probably not.
My guess is this extreme behavior is a backlash from years of having to walk the catwalk in a size too small skirt and pinch-y heels to my painfully un-fashionable law job on Fifth Avenue at Louis Vuitton. As a Fashion Lawyer, I had to look like a smart runway model while knowing all things legal. Even causal Fridays were a cause of distress. So much thought went into how to look un-done.
I smile at the nannies in the lobby taking kids to school and watch the commuters rush about. Now, my husband distains this practice of mine. He says I look like a mob boss captured by the FBI in a breakfast raid and questions why I don’t care what my neighbors think!?!? “Honey, you serve on the Condo Board, aren’t you embarrassed?!?,” he pleads. I do have an IPhone “Grooming Alert” to remind me to put on pants with a zipper and lipstick before he gets home. I often wonder if my lack of giving a fuck about wearing my LoungeWear outside the apartment is a sign of very high self-esteem or if I have become a depressed, sociopath.
It might seem weird to start you day at a desk without a bra, but you get used to it rather quickly. Besides all the reasons for wearing a bra are not relevant at home – no high impact activity such as chasing your bus or rushing to and fro when the boss beckons. Today’s agenda: 1. Fine tune article on local rental laws before submission deadline and 2. review showroom lease in the Garment District and advise UK bridal client. Lord, I hope she doesn’t want to FaceTime. I hate having to take off this velvety robe and put on a scratchy, starched collared shirt with my PJ bottoms.
2 hours in at the desk and I have fired myself 3 times for insubordination but I have given myself high marks for works well with others! Time for a much needed break. I place my sushi order at 10:30 a.m. “Wow, that’s an early,” you might say!? You see, there are no rules for when it’s time for lunch at home. Back to the grind until the doorman buzzes the delivery guy up. “Hi, how’s the weather out there? Did you see the Housewives of NYC last night – can you believe…..?” He pushes the receipt and pen under my nose and has no time for small talk – he works outside the home and has business to conduct.
Then there are the tough NY winters that can make a remote worker feel like a hibernating bear. A weekend snowstorm can keep you in further, hence all-friggin-week-long LoungeWear. My husband would lovingly gaze at my old Legal Department ID card in the junk drawer. “Remember Beautiful, when you used to wear that tight olive trench coat and all I could see were your glossy legs getting off the ferry to meet me for dinner out?” “Yes, Dear. But, we agreed, I need more control over my life and I want to write more.”
So we have established working from home: can be isolating; can negatively affect your hygiene; and can turn-off your spouse, but returning to just how working from home leads to actual slobbery. Well, you can sometimes also lose your manners. Think baby born in the woods, raised by wild animals. If no one is looking, hearing or smelling – does it matter? This leads me to the highlight of my legal career. Recently, when I totally misfired (farted) at the NYC Bar Association – it’s a lawyer organization for those who think it might have something to do with drinking. We shall henceforth refer to this as the “Bar Incident.” Most of these law videos can be watched online in my LoungeWear. But this one is purposefully meant to be social. “Schmoozing for Solo Lawyers”– a dreaded “LIVE” program.
Waiting for the presentation to start – is when the Bar Incident happened. What was most scary was that I actually lifted my left cheek and didn’t think twice. It was audible and likely smelly (why did I use that dairy coffee creamer?!?!) No Juris Doctorate was going to buy the old chair squeaking trick. I wanted to say to those in earshot/smellshot: “I have a medical condition!” However, I sheepishly looked around and told the truth – nothing but the truth – “Sorry, I work from home.”
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this piece is Humorous Fiction (that means it may not be true!) Lawyers can be silly and creative and still be good lawyers. ALL lawyers fart and they may do so while billing you exorbitant fees! Therefore, don’t fire your lawyer if s/he becomes gassy. The foregoing is only intended to be read and shared if you and/or such parties have a good sense of humor. Please share! Oh, and any use of this writing without laughing is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.