Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'm a Rube!

I have had my first real experience of a Chicagoan treating me like I'm an idiot merely because I'm downstate. It was so amusing I could hardly keep from giggling (which probably wouldn't have helped).

When I grew up north of Chicago (north of "the city," I was about to say, as if it's the only one worth mentioning), I definitely thought of "downstate" as an unfortunate place to live, so far out in the stix that I couldn't imagine how people could stand it. When I was living in the 312 (then 708 ... then 847 ... all without moving) area code, I considered 815 basically the end of the universe. 309 and 217? Forget about it.

I've lived a lot of places since then, which cured my snobbery about rural and semi-rural areas, and I was thrilled to be moving to Peoria ... right up until I realized I was getting a 309 phone number. Isn't it funny how that's the one bit of snobbery that stuck with me?

At any rate, I'm dealing with a Chicago lawyer who suffers from breathtaking arrogance and who is utterly convinced I have neither intellect nor education because I live outside the six-county Chicago metro area. Every time I talk to him, he lectures me like I'm a particularly stupid child (and, snobbery moment, like I didn't go to a way better law school than him). His filing was so bad the court instructed him to at least read the table of contents of the statute in question before going to court on it, but he keeps trying to convince me he's right and I (and the court, apparently) are complete idiots, based on our geographical location.

I think I find this less-annoying than I otherwise might if I had grown up here and been dealing with it all my life. I'm definitely the kind of person who'd get a chip on my shoulder about that. But since I recognize my own youthful attitudes about "downstate," and since I've been dining out on his spectacularly bad filing for two weeks now, I mostly find it amusing.

So I am officially a downstate rube. And it feels so good.


Anonymous said...

*grins* It's a little odd getting used to seeing Peoria as home, at least for now. Louisville's definitely larger. Neither are terribly much the height of cool, and I don't mind. I considered living in Chicago for a bit, and then decided high cost of living plus commuting plus not knowing too many people plus massive sprawl equal no. I may go to grad school in downtown Chicago though - we'll see. Hopefully I'll have more money then.


icclaw said...

We are happy to have you here in central Illinois where we won't send one another a notice for a hearing by fax at 5 p.m. the evening before the 9 a.m., next day, hearing. There are civil, courteous lawyers in Cook County. I've met a few. But there are fewer more civil and courteous places to practice law as downstate and in particular the 10th Circuit.

Eyebrows McGee said...

Thank you, Tom!

After about a year in DC, Mr. McGee and I knew we couldn't practice law there long term. It's SOOOOOO much nicer here!