Thursday, March 28, 2019

Let's make it legal

I filed for divorce yesterday. Let's skip the emotionsl upheaval part for now. It took me months to figure out how to DIY it. I just refused to spend another penny on this divorce than I needed to.

Mostly I was challenged by something I read: 99% of people who file their own divorces have their paperwork returned to them because of mistakes.   Challenge accepted.

I was told to correct 2 minor things. So which category did I fall in?

Part of why I'm angry to get divorced is I HATE breaking up. At least getting married was going to assure me that if never have to do this again.

Legal sucks.

I'm so high!

I'm in an airplane! Red eye, bad idea #1. Sitting next to a, uh, large man. Cliche bad thing #1. I really want to sleep, I need to sleep. I'm going to land in Newark at 8:30 and I'll have to drive to Connecticut and if I don't sleep it's going to be bad.

And if I don't fall asleep, and I manage to drive to Connecticut I'll fall asleep at the local Color Me Mine knock-off.

There are 4 of us - my girls and my wife. A trip we planned before. I just don't care anymore.  I really just want to move on. I'm, admittedly, still angry with her. And hurt. But also resigned. What do you do with in laws after you split?

Okay, my airline hunk. You know who I hate? That fucking guy who tried to blow up the plane with his shoes because we've had to take off our shoes for the last 15 years. I get harassed at TSA, as I always "randomly" do. They confiscated my toothpaste because it was "more than 3.4 ounces." They know me. I was going to storm the cockpit and say, "get away from the controls or I'll smear you with Colgate Total. You won't believe how sparkling clean you'll feel."

And have they always made announcements every 3 minutes interrupting every conversation. If they weren't announcing flight it was Mayor garcetti honoring our servicemen.

The little navigation airplane is right over Toledo. I once spent New year's Eve at the Toledo Comedy Club. I just remembered that we sometimes got paid in cash. That we'd go home with a wad of 20s. New Year's Eve was generally weird because we got paid a shit ton of money and the only thing asked of us was not to prevent New year's Eve from happening. I had a string of New year's gigs: San Diego, King of Prussia, Toledo, Anchorage and a cruise ship to the Bahamas.

What struck me was how the audience was in entertainment debt. They were often paying hundreds of dollars and I couldn't entertain them that much. No one could. There was that sad look in their eyes, the recognition that I was not going to be worth $235.

I took my girlfriend on the New year's cruise. We broke up on New year's. With three days left on the cruise. More some other time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Day 3? Day 6? Is anyone counting?

I have been incredibly anxious. My stomach is doing somersaults.  There are a number of things that could be causing it:

1. ANXIETY

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I probably have more anxiety than the average resting person.

2. FINANCES

I don't want to talk about this in general, why in hell would I want to blog about it. I have a new job, which I like okay, but it doesn't pay enough and I can barely make ends meet.  Plus, it's not the kind of work I'd really like to be doing.

3. VISITING MY PARENTS NEXT WEEK

They're old. I'm looking forwarding to seeing them but there's lots of logistics to figure plus we're taking a red eye which isn't any fun.

4. MY WIFE LEFT ME, I'M 60 YEARS OLD, NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE ME AGAIN.

It could be that.

In the "taking stock of my life" exercise, the best thing going for me is my two daughters and there's nothing else on the list that I can think of.  I really adore them, love their company. they're super nice to me. Through a quirk of scheduling I have Thursday (tomorrow) off and I asked their mother if I can have the girls on Thursday night. Thankfully, she said yes.  Mostly, I'm going to help them with their homework and try to get them to bed at a decent hour.

Here's where I don't do great as a dad.  1) I like their company so I sometimes let them stay up way too late.  Mostly on weekends, but still.  2) If I'm feeling lazy and/or unmotivated I will let them stay on their tablets or computers until their tiny unformed brains explode. I THINK their mother does a better job of regulating their screen time. But I could be wrong.  3) There aren't any vegetables in the house.  I'll go fetch them, and they'll eat them but it's a thing.

After my daughters, the rest of my life could use a lot of work.  For instance, this blog is the most creative thing I'm currently doing and I KNOW no one is reading it.  I don't mean only a few hundred readers, I mean no one.

I will throw some positive talk into the mix one of these days, but not today.


Rinse repeat

In case you were checking in to see how I'm doing, I'm still whining.

I hate grieving. I'm bad at it.  I have that voice in my head that says, "you're STILL upset about THAT?  Hasn't it been like over two weeks?  I think you're just wallowing in it."

The thing about grief that I hate - is you can tear off like the next 3 to 6 months - or longer - of the calendar and just know you're going to feel crappy during that time.

If you just read how I felt yesterday, cut and paste it into today.

Monday, November 26, 2018

How close did you shave? This close.

I had a goatee until a few minutes ago. Now I'm clean shaven. It's not a question of why did I shave but why did I have facial hair. Because she liked it. I always hated it.  Reclaiming my life, one face at a time.

Today went a little bit better, not too much better.  I still can't believe that she doesn't want to be married to me. And that she hasn't for some time. We probably first went into counseling over 10 years ago, the biggest issue being that I was a slob (let's not hire a maid when we can pay a therapist). So it seems the seeds of discontent were sown long ago.

Guys are given a bad rap. I went willingly to therapy. I couldn't have worked harder on the overall project. I feel cheated.

I really would like to not care who's fault was what and stuff like that and I'm angry that I'm thinking about it. Somebody took exception with me saying she bailed on out marriage. That's my perception. Suck an egg.

I have 2 girls and if they were the only decent thing to come out of our marriage it would have been worth it.

I feel a little like a dullard tonight, maybe I should wait for the Ambien to kick in and then WHO KNOWS what I'll write!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Day 2 of Something

I woke up at 4:30 in the morning in a panic. I was coming out of a nightmare, I was hearing noises in the apartment and I wasn't sure if I had remembered to lock the door.

But mostly I was feeling a huge wave of loneliness.  Even with daughters sleeping safely in the next room.

There was the day after she first told me she wanted out.

There was the first night that I couch-surfed as part of our "trial separation."

There was the day she told me she wanted a divorce.

There was the day I slept in my new apartment by myself.

(Jezus, I've had some crappy days)

The waking up and this whole day felt as bad as any of those days, at least so as I can remember.

I read in a "Divorced Dad" website that when women are done with a relationship, there's no going back for them. I obviously don't buy that.  But I probably should have in my case.  I could have saved myself a couple of years.

A sad fact - I don't really know exactly why she left. Which makes me feel like I'm a dipshit.  I mean I go to therapy, self-help groups, I occasionally blog, I really should know better.  It's somewhere in the vortex between sex and money but I can't pin it down for you.

I have my theories:  I had a rough jobless patch for a couple of years. I think she just stopped believing in me. That's what I really think but as I type it it seems like something a guy would say and a woman would say no, we don't think that way.  To put it another way, financially, she stopped feeling safe. And it would take a giant pot of gold to change that.

But what difference does it make?

So you don't repeat your mistakes with "the next one."  So you aren't deluded. So you could become a better person.  I have to admit, these last couple of years of rejection and rebuff have taken its toll on me. Should I have thrown in the towel years ago?  Maybe.  Do I feel better having given it my all?  Barely.

So I've been feeling super-anxious and defeated all day.  I'd like to think that I'll wake up tomorrow morning and this will all be in the rearview mirror.  But first I have the rest of this evening to get through.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Deed is Done - Part 1

I say Part I, because it always seems like there's more.

I spent the day co-parenting with my wife wondering why she had generally been ignoring my requests to talk.  Then at some point, early in the evening, she maneuvered us to be alone.

"So what do you want to talk about?"

Which wind-up do I want to go with short or long? Do I want to give her a chance to refute anything? I opened up my mouth and said, "I'm going to file for divorce."  She basically just said, okay.  Didn't look particularly upset or relieved. She's from the midwest and can be fairly inscrutable.

I don't remember exactly what she said or in what order. She wanted me to know that when she came to me in July to discuss possibly getting back together that she did so in good faith.  Whatever. You also didn't do shit e.g. see a therapist - together or alone - do any agreed upon written work, spend a weekend together to just hang out and talk without the kids around.  Which was YOUR idea, and when I'd offer a date you'd say, "you understand that we're not having sex." Twice you did that, zero times did you agree on a date. What I really believe is that you missed me and you wanted to try and keep me from drifting further away, but had no intention of reconciling. Yes, I'm upset.  I'm upset in the way that Charlie Brown got pissed at Lucy for pulling the football away.

She brought up how we spoke about a month ago and when I asked what was n her heart she said, "I'm conflicted."  I should have said what in the Sam Hill are you talking about. You're conflicted about what?  You don't know what you want after months/years of jerking me around?  And the other thing she said was, "we want different things."  Now I'm really baffled. I don't really want to engage but I'd love to know what different things she thinks we want.  I want a marriage, she wants to start a semi-pro women's softball league?

There was a year of "trial separation" and 6 months of "we're going to get divorced" followed by these last several months of, as you put it, "I want to see what it would be like if we were back together."  At every turn I've been trying to get her back.  Do everything in the service of our relationship.  Mostly feeling, for these last couple of years, that I've been in this relationship by myself.

Today was the first day I put a stop to it.  You win, you've pushed me away for good.  I hope this is what you want, because I'm not coming back. Unless, you know, you ask me to.

I don't feel relieved or empowered, just incredibly sad. And angry.

After that, I told her about my divorce plans. The discussion was amicable.  I told her I wanted to write up a letter of agreement where I outlined when I would try to accomplish in the divorce paperwork. From there I plan on filling out the divorce applications and have her and/or a lawyer go over them and then file for a default. Having our agreements in writing and saving ourselves another $435 filing fee.

I expressed that I didn't think there was much to discuss.  She could have everything in her house plus the car and I would just keep my stuff.  There isn't anything else, really.  She offered up that the piano in her house is mine. As long as Amalia is taking piano lessons, I'm happy to have her have it but, honestly, I see her dropping it soon.  She also offered to split the cost of the filing fee. Which was decent., I must say.

Overall, I feel shitty. Much worse than I planned on feeling.

You know what really frosts me?  That I have to act like our split was a "mutual decision" in front of my kids, I can't tell them that I'd prefer to stay married to their mother but that she fucked bailed on our marriage.  I can't remember who it was who told me that I shouldn't refer to it as her bailing on me or our marriage. If you have a better description for what she did, I'm all ears.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Just waiting for an in

I'm waiting for the right moment when I can be alone with my wife and tell her that I plan on filing for divorce.

I love my wife.  A lot.  I don't want to get divorced.

You have to know this is the first time in two years I've done anything like this. She's been driving the 
divorce bus and I've been standing in front trying to stop it.  

She may be surprised. And/or relieved.

I can't help but rehearse my lines in my head. Should I preface with a speech? Just lay it on her? Simple like, "I want you but I can't have you. So I want out."

How did I get here?

Vital stats: married for 13 years
Together for 2 years before that.
Two daughters ages 12 and 9.

Two years ago, we were sitting around and she seemed particularly pained. I might have brought up the fact that we haven't been intimate in 4 months. I asked her what was wrong. My crazy catastrophic thinking brain said, "oh no. She's really unhappy and wants to end our marriage." This time I was right. She told me she was in a lot of psychic pain and didn't want to continue in our marriage.
This was like a simultaneous shot to the head and stomach. My worst nightmare come true. I could barely think or talk. I said, "if I didn't ask, when were you going to to tell me?"

She said, "I wasn't."

I wrote her a Hail Mary letter. Coming clean about where I'd fallen short in our marriage and where I might improve. Also tell her how much I loved her. She thanked me and said the letter had some impact. She made us an appointment to see our couples therapist. I was feeling hopeful.

As soon as we got into therapy she tells our therapist, "I want out,". She asked my wife to be more specific, my wife answered, "I want a trial separation." This whole thing was a set up. She had no intention of us talking to the therapist about saving our marriage and the therapist just facilitated the separation. Not even a question of "why" or "are you sure". Just logistics. My wife wanted cover in case I freaked out on her or something.

Somehow, I agreed to leave our house. I mean, it was her separation I certainly was entitled to stay in the house and have beer be inconvenienced. But I just said I'd leave. Partly because of the girls. Partly because I didn't want to make her mad.

After 5 months of living elsewhere she invited me to come home.  Sort of.  After 8 months we went back to the therapist where she announced that she wanted a divorce.

This time I was done. I had spent over a year trying to convince her to work on our relationship, after awhile, I dunno, some dignity has to kick in.

I rented an apartment, about three blocks away -  so I could continue to see the kids.

And then in July she said she wanted to reconsider her decision.  But it hasn't been much entertaining.  I don't frankly know what she's been doing all this time, but it's not reconciling.  I've just had enough.

So a couple of days ago I told her I wanted to to make time to talk to her.  She said, "What about?"  I said, "us."  She said, "Thanksgiving."  Well, Thanksgiving came and went and I left her a text saying, "I'd still like to talk to you." So she just called me to talk about our various plans for the next few days.  I waited for her to bring it up.  She didn't.  i'll see her in a couple of hours and try again but, jeez, what does a guy gotta do to dump his wife?

Monday, February 15, 2016

I had never fired a handgun before yesterday.  After spending an hour at the shooting range I am now an expert on the subject.  Guns are simple yet amazing machines.  And, for most people, I think having a handgun in their home for protection is asisine.


Before you jump down my throat, let me say that I favor common sense gun control i.e. basically, if you're not a lunatic or a criminal you should be allowed to buy a gun.   I don't have the details worked out. I think many interpretations of the 2nd Amendment are specious but I don't think guns should be banned and I don't favor taking the guns out of responsible owners' hands.

But why would you want one in your house?  If you just like them and you like to shoot them, God bless you.  Not my thing, but I can dig it.  But if you have a gun to protect your family it means one thing for sure:  you have imagined yourself face to face with a bad guy, and then you fantasize about killing him (or her) and it makes you feel good about yourself that you can kill another person to protect your family.

Assuming you don't live in a high crime area, you're preparing - being generous - for a once in a lifetime possibility.  For that call to duty, you're willing to have a dangerous weapon in your house for your lifetime.  A gun that is many times more likely to be used by a child, or in a domestic argument, or stolen from your home, or accidentally fired at an innocent person in the dark than it will be to shoot a bad guy. 

The scenario has never adequately been explained to me.  A crazed meth head breaks into your house and brandishes a gun in your bedroom.  You, being a dutiful husband, open up your gunsafe, load a magazine, and waste the bad guy who has been standing there waiting for you to get it together.

"Honey, I hear something."  you put your bathrobe on, get your gun and go out in the dark. You see an outline of a guy. What do you, just shoot him? You don't consider every possibility, you're just prepared to waste this guy?  You need the element of surprise so you can't ask questions or turn the light on or - the armed intruder may shoot you.

Sadly, one of my daughters was molested a few years ago.  Ten or fifteen guys, with what little sensitivity than can muster blurted out , "if it was me, I'd have killed that guy."  No, you wouldn't.  You're lying to yourself.  First of all, it doesn't even fit any legal or moral or religious definition of justice to take a life for having done something even that shitty. Second of all, when I point out that they might be spending 20 years in prison - a fine way to protect your family - they respond with something like, "you don't know me."  Okay, cowboy, you would have wasted the perp and I'm a big fag because I put him through the legal system.  But it's the same mentality that thinks you won't hesitate to act when you're in the exact position with a bad guy in the house - shoot first, think later.

And let's talk about the shooting range while I'm calling out the enthusiasts.  I had never been to a range before.  I went with a dear friend.  Do you know what was required of me to shoot a gun with live ammo in a room with other people with guns and live ammo?  A signature.  A fucking signature.  When I go to the batting cage they at take my drivers' license.  It was a little bit scary being around so many people shooting off so many guns in close proximity.  When I got home I googled "Shooting range murder" and, not surprisingly, dozens of people get killed at shooting ranges.  Before you tell me that everything is risky, I think they have a worse mortality rate than, say, Dairy Queen.  What is the risk reward benefit?  A signature, sheesh.

Save your point-by-point refutation, I'm not interested.  I've read the same stats you have.  If crime is down in high gun states it doesn't prove causality or even suggest it.  I'm only addressing one point:  your fantasy that in this impotent world, you and a gun will protect your family because you've announced to the world that you have the cojones to kill another person.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Watch this space

Here's my dilemma: No one reads my blog. But one of the reasons no one reads it is I never write anything. But that's because no one reads it. I dont believe if I posted more that my readership would go up. I don't seem to have "it" - bloganality.

I don't think I've ever tops 100 likes on a Facebook post - and that was probably an adorable pic of one of my kids. Plus, I don't have time to post. I need to find some sort of gainful employment.  Like now. But I hold onto my fantasy of a readership. Even with navel gazing posts like this one.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Will Work For Money and Benefits

I got fired from my job last month. I don't want to fire torpedoes on the way out but, well, I don't have a job, or job prospects, we don't have money and I couldn't be much happier to be gone from my last gig. It was a law firm that represents, among other similar clients,  Monsanto, Chevron and Koch Industries. It always made me feel good at night knowing that my fine work may have helped Charles Koch donate another $100 to the Scott Walker campaign. If you don't see anything wrong with that, have I got a dream job for you.

I'm in the lobby of the Department of Social Services.  I'm applying for public assistance.  I don't know if we'll need it and I doubt they'll even give it to me but expect a miracle but prepare for the worst.  There's about a 30 page application; there's at least 2 pages to find out if you're married with children.  Does a child live with you? Who is the mother? Is she a US citizen? Does the mother live with you? Are you 2 married? Is there a 2nd child in the house?  Etc.  There's no really philosophical way to play this off, this is not a great place to be.

I think I have a nicer phone than anyone here.   Quite a feather in my cap.  I've been waiting awhile and I'm running out of battery. I'm not sure how much longer I'll stay if I can't play Candy Crush.

My wife is against this venture. Besides the general humiliation factor, she thinks I could make better use this time to, say, find a job. But I could look for a job on my phone - if I had more battery and I wasn't playing Candy Crush.

TWENTY MINUTES LATER

Well, that was relatively painless.  I didn't get the impression we're going to qualify  So I guess I better find some work.

Odd bit of business - outside the Social Services there were not one, not two, but three card tables set up giving away phones and selling phone service.  I don't know the scam but I'm thinking - is that really a coup?  Setting up your business outside THE WELFARE OFFICE?

POST SCRIPT

We were denied benefit.  CalFresh is the only place in the world where the amount you collect in Unemployment Benefits is considered too much money.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Don't Let the Digital Door Hit You

Dear Employer (present or prospective):

Actually, it's kind of creepy if you're reading this.

I mean, you're not my friend.  You're not an admirer.  There's nothing in these pages that you're going to be using as evidence of fine citizenship - I'm only going to be marked down for any perceived negative content - racism, sexism, anarchy, mental imbalance, ties to organized crime.  If you find out that I saved three puppies from drowning, walked around the globe on my one good leg and cured two diseases that had been vexing medical science, what are you going to report back to HR?

"We didn't find anything."

So do me a favor - with all the respect I can muster - please leave.  You have no business here.  You have a legal right to be here but, morally, you're on shifting sand.  You want to know something about me?  Just ask.  Instead of skulking around in electronic closets looking for skeletons.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Fold Like a Cheap Suit


How bad do I feel about myself today? Well, I can't decide if I feel like a LOSER or a FAILURE.

There are things going on at home that I don't care for and I'm back trying, unsuccessfully, to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

But that's not why I'm writing. Today I'm trying to figure out what belongs in a personal essay. What would make you sit on the edge of your seats and what would make you click over to Facebook?  Is blistering honesty good? Naked candor? How about unvarnished truth? I guess that's the challenge. But I do know no one reads this.

Thing iis, if stuff doesn't resolve itself at home and I don't find meaningful employment I don't really care to live. I wouldn't kill myself, most likely, but what's the point of hanging around? To watch the gap widen between what Medicare pays for and how much my body deteriorates? To have my wife become even more disinterested in me and watch when my kids leave the nest?

The most overratrd reason for sticking around is the Children. The Precious Children. I flat out love my kids, but you're going to convince me that they'll be worse off than the younger wealthier daddy that my wife will have inlllstalled before the year is out?  I need to do something that makes a difference to me or to someone else and I don't think the computer help desk at DWP is going to cut it.