Ode to optimism

I had the pleasure yesterday of attending the wedding of one of my legal colleagues, Allen Mastantuno, and his new bride, Blair O’Briant.  I’ve gotten to know the new couple the past year after Allen began renting office space in the same suite in which I practice.  Allen and Blair are lovely people: smart, hard working and attractive, with sunny, outgoing dispositions (never underestimate the value of a sunny disposition to a happy marriage).

Blair O’Briant and Allen Mastantuno

The longer I practice family law the more I love weddings. And not (you cynics) because it means future business.  Unless one specializes in adoptions, being a family law attorney means dealing with people who are miserable in some aspect of their family situation.  I see my role as a family law attorney less as a destroyer of family and more as a guide for a person who is unhappy to a place in which he or she can be happy again with family.  Choosing marriage–especially when the marriage is not being compelled by an unplanned pregnancy–and choosing to conceive a child are the two most optimistic acts most of us will undertake in our lives. Given the myriad ways humans can bung up their marriages and bung up their children, it gives me hope whenever someone chooses to form a family (as opposed to has family thrust upon them by accident).

After dealing with unhappy families all week, I get tremendous pleasure being around those who are still optimistic about family formation.  So thanks to Blair and Allen for allowing me to be part of their festivities and best wishes to the new bridge and groom.  May their new family be a constant source of support and comfort.

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