Stop Asking Where I'm From

The one where Brian Tannebaum comes to Chicago and feeds me.

Written By: humarashid - Apr• 03•13

Did I ever mention this? I’m pretty sure I tweeted about it. If you follow me on Twitter, which I don’t recommend, you probably know that @BTannebaum and I are super best friends. Brian is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, and he occasionally finds his way up to Chicago for random things like football games and fancy conferences, and whenever he’s here, he feeds me.

I really like being fed, you guys. I’ve kind of gotten used to it over the years.

So anyway, Brian comes to Chicago sometimes and whenever he does, he feeds me. And @BobBlahBlawg is somehow always there, too, which is kind of awkward, because, um, it’s like he doesn’t get how Third Wheel-y he’s being, which, frankly, is just embarrassing. How is it possible for a person to have such little self-awareness?


IDK, you guys.

(Let’s pretend for a moment that we all don’t know that if anyone on this planet lacks self-awareness, it’s BIG FAT ME RIGHT HERE OOH OOH OVER HERE.)

So Brian asked us to meet him at Bin 36, because he’s some sort of big wine guy.┬áPersonally, though, I just like to watch Brian drink his wine – he does all sorts of weird things to it before he tastes it, and then he says weird shit like, “It needs to open up a bit more.” WHO IN THE WORLD EVEN KNOWS WHAT THAT MEANS.

But it’s always fun to see Brian. I can’t say too many lovely things about him, because he has a reputation to maintain on Twitter as That One Super Asshole Lawyer (one?), so I’ll try to abstain from saying tons of goopy, shmoopy things about how he’s a sweetheart who, when I passed the Barzam, sent me the talking Yoda toy that sits on my desk at work.


Suffice it to say, I adore Brian. And I’m always so excited when I get a message from him saying he has plans to be in Chicago sometime soon. And then when he’s finally here, I’m basically like,


And then he spends the rest of the night terrorizing me about my life decisions, so.


The first time Brian came to visit, I think I’d just graduated from law school. It was a whole group of us at this great restaurant somewhere on Lake street downtown, and he pulled me over next to him and spent basically a half hour counseling me about my future. It was the first time someone had sat me down and said those exact things to me. And I’m hideously awkward when someone tries to compliment me, so that was kind of uncomfortable.

(You should see me now when my boss compliments me. I literally stare at him blankly until he narrows his eyes and walks away from me.)

Anyway, that was the first time someone had said those things to me. And I filed those words away in the back of my mind and pulled them out when I felt like I was losing my sense of direction. And for the longest time, I didn’t really believe that what Brian said would actually happen. I was convinced that he saw something in me that was never there – that had never been there. I definitely thought that during the time that I was unemployed and job-hunting, lemme tell you.

But I thought about those words anyway, because even though I didn’t exactly believe them about myself, it was comforting to know that someone out there thought highly of me.

However, this time when Brian came to visit, I was employed. Very happily. Doing the same sort of thing he was doing. (Well, in addition to his criminal practice, he also represents attorneys who have run afoul of the ARDC, which I don’t.)

And I still remembered what he had said a year and a half ago, and I was (am) working to make it happen. More than anything, Brian impressed upon me the importance of thinking big and just going for it. Because, as he said, “Why the fuck not? Why the fuck can’t you be that person?”

So yes.

Here’s a cute picture of me and Brian and our friend Amy from his first visit.

brian and amy

It’s kind of dark. It was a dimly lit restaurant. So you know.

And here’s a picture from, what, the first week of March, I think?



This one is also kind of weirdly lit, but that’s just because BobBlahBlawg can’t operate gadgets and is basically the worst man on the planet.

Anyway, look at those two fancy people.

Dinner was great. We were joined by BobBlahBlawg and his girlfriend Mallory, who is basically 100x more awesome than old Bob could ever hope to be. We were also joined by Joshua King, lead counsel for Avvo.

Brian had come prepared for the evening, and the theme was two-fold: (1) Interrogate Huma about her (non-existent) love life and (2) mock her endlessly for it.

And of course, BobBlahBlawg didn’t even need to be asked TWICE to join in, so he was all over this, and I’m looking at him like, YOU SIT DOWN.

The worst part was, they got Josh, a perfectly nice, respectable man that I’d met just twenty minutes earlier, to join in on the nonsense, too!



Now, as you guys can no doubt guess, my love life is dangerously non-existent. Basically, my love life consists of me trying to dodge my entire extended family’s attempts to marry me off to men that are all wrong for me.


Seriously, I don’t know why I’m not thinner, what with how hard and fast I run from their attempts to set me up with various eligible young men. And I use the term “eligible” in the loosest sense of the word.

So anyway, both Brian and BobBlahBlawg find this predicament endlessly hilarious, and never pass up an opportunity to mock me for it. So obviously, Brian’s first question was whether or not I was banging anybody.


When it came out that I’m decidedly not banging anybody, Brian demanded that I get my shit together and stop being single.

Now, obviously, being the wildly repressed Muslim girl I am, I’m basically losing my shit during the course of this invasive conversation and the intensity with which both of these jags are going after me.


And THEN, that colossal ass BobBlahBlawg let slip that I’m majorly crushing on this one prosecutor (two, actually, but I didn’t tell BobBlahBlawg about the other one – gotta keep a sense of mystery about myself, you know?) and HOLY CRAP I COULD HAVE WRUNG HIS NECK.

This obviously didn’t sit well with Brian, who’s been a CDL for years. He was all, BUT HE’S A PROSECUTOR!!1! And I’m sitting there like, kill me. And then BobBlahBlawg, who enjoys my misery far too much, the horrid man, announced that my hot prosecutor’s name was Gregg.

With two g’s at the end, he says.



There is no Gregg.

There has never been a Gregg.

I’ve never even KNOWN any man named Gregg.

Or Greg, for that matter.

But that doesn’t stop BobBlahBlawg from spreading his awful lies. He basically sits on a throne of lies, like the tyrant that he is.


But, I made a mistake: I admitted that though there was no Gregg, there was a hot prosecutor I was doing my best to ignore forever because my people skills are THAT awesome.

And so then the rest of the evening basically devolved into Josh, Brian, and BobBlahBlawg doing this:


So, you know, kill me.

Now, to the best of my recollection, Mallory did not join in. Which is why she’s still cool. I think.

So that was what my dinner with Brian Tannebaum was like.


I can’t wait until he comes back to Chicago.



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