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I let the wisdom of Harvey Specter from Suits guide me for an entire day

Before the return of Suits to Lightbox tonight, Tara Ward spends a day embodying the spirit of the slick, emotionally unavailable lawyer Harvey Specter.

Harvey Specter from Suits is a living legend. Despite putting up more emotional walls than a mansion of Bachelor rejects, his shirts are always well pressed, he has beautiful hair, and he embraces a clear desk policy. No wonder the ladies love him.

Best of all, Harvey walks the shiny halls of Pearson Hartman spouting bite-sized nuggets of wisdom in a selfless attempt to remind everyone how awesome he is. Grab your pen and bullet journal, you might like to write these down: “The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary,” “When you’re backed against the wall, break the goddamn thing down,” and my own personal fave, “I’m not interested in great, I want to know who its Daddy is.”

It’s not Shakespeare — or even Oprah in her final season — but it’s a shitload better than the life advice I’ve absorbed from endless school holiday My Little Pony marathons.

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I want to be cool like Harvey Specter. I want to live lavishly, taking down the bad guys and regretting nothing. So it’s decided: for an entire day, I will be guided by The Wisdom of Harvey. I will embody everything that is Harvey Specter, until his smooth and velvety goodness seeps from my pores and fills my world with the pungent aroma of swagger and self-confidence.

It’s going to happen, because I’m going to make it happen. And it will be great. Or whatever adjective ‘Great’s Daddy’ turns out to be.

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7.05am “The better you dress, the worst you can behave”

I drag out an old suit from the darkest bowels of my closet. There’s something about a well-cut blazer that gives immediate confidence and authority, and in mere seconds I am transformed from slovenly parent to astonishing legal genius. I am adulting. It is Specter-ular.

I spend 20 minutes checking my suited self out in the mirror. “Get me the deposition file on the Hessington Oil takeover!” I yell at my reflection. Look out, world. What a time to be alive.

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7.55am “Let them hate. Just make sure they spell your name right”

My family thinks The Wisdom of Harvey is a ridiculous idea. I respond with a variety of devastating Specter one-liners, mostly “Those would all be shades of ‘I don’t give a shit’”.

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11.00am “I’m not about caring, I’m about winning.”

I am calm and in control. I maintain eye contact. I think like Harvey Specter, I breathe like Harvey Specter, I am Harvey fucking Specter, and I beat my husband in a Hungry Hungry Hippos fight to the death, 8 games to 2.

I bury him with a smile. He cries quietly in the corner.

“I could be drinking a juice box and still kick your ass!” I shout, before deciding we need time apart in separate rooms.

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12.15pm: “Just because a pretty girl tells you a story, doesn’t mean it’s true”

Harvey takes a daily jog through Central Park, so I walk around the corner to the dairy. I greet an elderly woman out walking her dog. “Are you one of those God-botherers?” she asks, suspiciously eyeing up my black suit and cheery disposition.

I consider the truth: I’m embodying the spirit of a quick-witted and emotionally unavailable fictional television lawyer with great taste in ties, just for the hell of it.

“Yes,” I reply, and keep walking.

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2.35pm “I’m working on myself, for myself, by myself”

Like Harvey, I don’t have dreams, I have goals. And sometimes those goals include hiding in the linen cupboard to eat half a packet of Tim-Tams.

It’s not bragging if it’s true. This is some extravagant lifestyle that I’m living.

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2.55pm “I refuse to answer that on the grounds that I don’t have to”

Someone found the empty biscuit wrapper. Rookie mistake, I should have asked my secretary to shred the evidence.

3.40pm “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument”

I channel my superior powers of negotiation to convince my child to eat her snack. I sense she’s bluffing and like Harvey recommends, I play the man, not the odds. Even though the ‘man’ in question is tiny and female and considers ‘Tooth Fairy’ a viable career path.

“Take a risk,” I tell her coolly. “And unless you’re looking to make me breakfast in the morning, I think we’re done.”

She eats the banana. Is this what success feels like? No wonder I’m one of the best goddamn closers in all of New York City.

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5.15pm “Anyone can do your job, but no-one can be you”

Defrosting chicken nuggets and artistically arranging white rice on a melamine plate involves years of training and a high level of culinary finesse that sadly not everyone is blessed with. Especially not Harvey Specter. I’m calling bullshit on this one.

7.00pm “Sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am”  

Harvey stays late to throw baseballs around his office and alphabetise his record collection, but I’m done. I take a moment to reflect on the lessons learned from The Wisdom of Harvey: everyone loves a good suit, the linen cupboard is smaller than I initially thought, and life is one big game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. Play to win.


Suits returns to Lightbox tonight, exclusively in New Zealand and express from the US. Click below to get all caught up:

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