Archive for May, 2009

T Shirt 28 May 09

May 29, 2009

Joining in the fun with Nursemyra again, although i’m not quite ready to match her on that middle picture (Woohooo!!!!).

A gift from a scrumptious friend

A gift from a scrumptious friend

Have to say I’m still amazed at Nursemyra getting such good pictures by herself.  This is difficult.

But fun, too!


The March to the Signature

May 20, 2009

Yep, I’ve been keeping my promise to myself.  I have not contacted The Soon-To-Be-Ex.  Some may think this childish*, but knowing her, this is the best way for me to not be manipulated by her.

She has called a couple times (going directly to voice mail…thank goodness for caller ID).

First, it was just wondering if we could talk.


Then she called to say she’d found an old, very decrepit silver tea set that belonged to my Mom and do I want it**?


Most recently, it’s been a couple phone calls to discuss what we should do about Daughter Person’s health insurance***.

Not ignored.

<sigh>  That was and remains my soft spot…the kids.

But, I still will not contact her.  First off, Girl Child is 22 years.  Last I checked, that’s quite a bit over the legal age for adults in most states****.  But, you never stop being a parent.  I called Girl Child directly and we discussed options and alternatives for health insurance.  It will be worked, with Girl Child doing most of the research and me helping to guide and advise.  If Girl Child wants to get guidance and advice from The Spouse, that’s her call.  I refuse to get in the way of their relationship.

And, after about 10 days, with still no word on whether The Spousal Unit has signed the decree or not, I pinged my lawyer again ($$), saying, “Haven’t heard anything from my side…how about the lawyer side?  And, what’s our legal recourse?”  Got an e-mail back from my lawyer that she’d heard nothing either, would ping The Spouse’s lawyer, and added a nifty tidbit—the judge had put a deadline on the lawyers to wrap this up.

Now it’s getting to the wire…

*…well…she started it!  Nyahhh!!!

**yes, I do, but figure she’s not going to sell it before all this gets resolved… worse case in my mind is that she offers it to Daughter Person—perfectly fine with me.

***Proud Pop moment.  She’s graduating university early next month.  While a good thing, there will be a time where my insurance on her lapses before she can get her own.

****Hell, in the Appalachians she’d be considered old by then, with folks wondering when she’d finally be a grandma (yeah, that’s stereotyping a bit…but it was fun).

Trust, But Verify

May 15, 2009

When last we left our hero, promises were made between The Spouse and myself.  She agreed to sign the divorce decree while I agreed to work the insurance papers.  Additionally, we acknowledged that these were separate, distinct actions.

My job was to fill out papers with my information, plus schedule a physical exam (at insurance expense).  Because of being busy at work…and not being overly invested in getting the insurance…I didn’t get around to working my part until four days after our discussion.  The paperwork was simplistic (date and place of birth, pre-existing issues, et al).  But the insurance folks wouldn’t schedule the physical exam until they had the paperwork AND a two month premium down payment.

That latter required the Spousal Unti to decide just how much insurance she needed on me*, as the premium amount was tied to the coverage amount.

I called her on the phone, prefacing the conversation that I had started the insurance process, but couldn’t continue without her assistance (and money).

Then a little Ronald Reagan history lesson popped in my head – “Trust, But Verify”  <link here:,_but_Verify&gt;

GnuKid:  “…by the way, you signed the divorce decree, right?”

Spousal Unit:  “No.**”

GK:  <through gritted teeth> “Why not?”

SU:  “I was waiting on you to finish the insurance before I signed.”

Seething outrage.

I told her this was absolutely unacceptable, given our prior promises made just a few days before.  I reminded her of the agreement made and pointed out that I WAS working the insurance.  I went on to say she would have to, from here out, deal with my lawyer.

She started defending herself, but I cut her off with, “You’ll have to tell that to my lawyer.  Goodbye…”

As I was reaching to the call disconnect button, I heard her say, “Well, if you PROMISE…”


I hung up.  Angry.  I DID promise four days prior.  My lead in to the conversation confirmed I was working it!


Now the damn lawyers are back in it…more money down the drain.

But, comma, I will NOT be manipulated like that by her…


*…and, recall, she has NEVER actually sat down and honestly determined what she needs—not ‘wants’ emotionally, but actually needs.

**The speed and ease in her response struck me as confrontational and proud.  This just fueled my anger.

Held Hostage

May 14, 2009

So, The Spouse wants insurance on me in case I die so she won’t be left ‘destitute’…

The first thing that comes to my mind?  Creepy.  Just waiting on the hit man who will be, for a fee, more than happy to help her collect on that insurance.

i'm sure he'd look like this, too

i'm sure he'd look like this, too

This was not part of the agreement we made and presented to the judge.  But, The Spouse also played a trump card along with her request.

“I need the insurance because I don’t want to be a burden on the kids if you were to die.”


I worried about many things in making the decision to divorce her.  The last and only thing that I cared about in this whole process?  My kids.

The Spouse said she would pay the premiums.  While it was feeling as if I had a price tag on my head, it would be helping out my kids in case something did happen.

So, I started the process…very slowly.  Part of that was I still feel it’s got the creepiness factor.   Part of that was being pretty busy at work, when I would be able to work with the insurance people.

She was anxious, being frightened of being destitute (grrrr…still angry on mis-use of that word) and kept asking how I was doing on the process.  I allowed how I was working and she was not, so be patient and I would get to it as soon as I could.

Then I got the e-mail…

“GnuKid, I don’t feel comfortable with this insurance thing hanging out unresolved.  I’m afraid I can’t see my way to signing the divorce decree until you get that taken care of.”


I called her immediately, telling her that she was threatening me.  She denied she was doing so.  I countered that she was holding the divorce decree—totally a separate issue from the insurance—as a hostage for me doing that insurance.  She continued to deny any wrongdoing.  So, knowing her fears of not having enough money, I  told her, “Fine, two can play that game.  I refuse to work the insurance until you sign the decree.  How does that feel?  Expect to hear from my lawyer.*”

She called me twice and left an e-mail asking if we could talk and avoid having to involve the lawyers.  Trying to be reasonable, I agreed.  We talked about her fears.  I talked about how the fears were baseless, especially since she has NEVER run the numbers to prove she will be destitute**.  We talked about how the divorce and the insurance request were two separate things.  In the end, I promised to work the insurance, within my work constraints, and she promised to sign the decree.


So… what do you think?  Did I do okay on this?  Reasonable and thoughtful and all?***


*Childish?  Maybe.  As I said, I was outraged.

**True fact…never.  I’ve sat down with her and tried to run the numbers—how much do you have in investments, how much will you get if I’m gone, how much do you need (NOT want), each year—and she refuses to listen.  She’s operating totally on emotional guess work.

***Damn straight there’s more to this story… just felt like leaving it here for now.


May 12, 2009

As mentioned in last post, we agreed to a settlement for the Divorce vice letting the court do the splitting of assets and income.  The (ex-?) Spousal Unit said she agreed in the pre-meeting as well as in front of the judge.  Although I thought the alimony we agreed to was on the high side, I was anxious enough to get the deal done that I agreed to her best-and-final offer to me.

Mr. Kliban said it best...

Mr. Kliban said it best...

All that was left was to split the assets per the agreement, which required the papers be signed and registered.  When the papers came to my lawyer, I hightailed it to her office and, after reviewing the words, signed right away.  My lawyer signed as well, and then it was sent off to Spousal Unit’s lawyer for their signatures.

Now, I have to preface what’s coming next with the foregone knowledge that the Spousal Unit has always been a bit anal about money.  We didn’t go on vacations much or buy anything other than the basics, saving instead to buy the next car or kid’s college or, mostly, for that elusive retirement somewhere out in the future.  All of these things are good things to save for, admittedly.  But one of the thorns in the marriage was that I always felt we were living for the future way too much instead of enjoying the present.  But, whether the Spousal Unit was bitten by a penny when she was growing up or whatever, she was always tight with a dollar.

Then someone (lawyer?  Family member?)…or something (aliens?  Dead family members?)…whispered in her ear.

In a conversation not long after the court date, The Spouse hit me with, “Your father died young*.  You likely will to, then I will be left destitute.”


That.  Bothered.  Me.  Big time.  And I called her on it.

I have friends who earn just twice as much as the national poverty level**.  Some own houses, have cars, and seem to enjoy the hell out of life on a very limited budget.

Spousal Unit, on the other hand, has convinced herself she will be eating Alpo and living in a one room apartment.  This despite the reality that she is doing just fine.  Because of her disability , coupled with her foresight of buying disability insurance***, she is making WELL over the poverty level just for waking up in the morning… not including the significant moneys I will be paying her in retirement and alimony.  Now, admittedly, if I died, the latter would cease…yet it is still leaving her with her disability insurance, not to mention a handsome inheritance she received from her grandmother which I could not—nor did not want to—touch in the asset division at the Divorce.

This conversation repeated a few times over the next week.  Each time I called her on her misinterpretation of the word “destitute”.  And, finally, I called her on the “you’ll die young because your father did” illogic.  That was a little mean because her mother passed away at 50 and I said to her, “Well, then you should already be dead!”  Softened it by going on to point out that, while I understand her family is typically long lived, so is mine.  She had aunts who survived into their early 90s.  I pointed out that all of my father’s siblings are either still alive in their late 80s with an aunt who recently passed at the age of 90.

But, it was like shooting a BB gun off of the armor of a battleship.  Didn’t seem to make any impression on her whatsoever.

So…what does she now ask for?

She wants to take out an insurance policy on me…

<very heavy sigh>

I’m getting the feeling already that this is not going to end well…stand by for more…


*Yes, he did die young…at 55 -1/2 years of age.  A smoker and non-exerciser, he had a coronary.

** In the US, for 2009, the poverty level for one person is $10,830.

***Well, see?  I guess her being anal about money did come in handy in this respect.

Here Comes Da Judge

May 11, 2009

Okay, so I’m a tad behind on what’s been doing with the Divorce*.

With the court date coming up, I continued to try and get The Spouse to agree to a dissolution…a negotiated settlement…vice going for the full divorce.  Cheaper in the long run.  However, she was not cooperative.  She was, indeed, convinced that I was trying to take advantage and walk away with everything, so wanted to rely on the courts.

So, the court date arrives the 11th of March (yes, * again).  I’d tried to contact my lawyer to find out what the routine was, but never got a call back.  Our court time was 09:30.  I arrive early to find The Spouse there already, but no lawyers.  Her lawyer shows up at 09:25.  Mine didn’t show until 09:40, leaving me a nervous(-er?) wreck.  Come to find out the 09:30 time was only notional.  This particular judge expects every couple to make a last try at negotiating a settlement.

Amazingly, it seems she will consider a settlement.  Don’t know if her lawyer leaned on her or what, but she was amenable to splitting up the assets.  Not so much amenable to a reasonable alimony, however.  We had to haggle over that for a bit, with me finally giving in just to get the thing done.

So, with the agreement in hand, we get sworn in and finally go in to see the judge.  The lawyer reads the agreement into the record and the judge asks if we both agree to what was said.  We both said, “Yes”, with me admittedly holding my breath in fear of The Spouse revoking her agreement when the judge asked.  The judge had us come up and sign the court record saying we agreed.  Then she (the judge was a she, but not Judge Judy) put us on the stand, one after the other, and asked us some standard questions.  The kicker questions, of course, being “Do you want this divorce?” and “Do you see any chance of reconciliation?”  Again, I cringed in anticipation of The Spouse throwing a hand grenade into this turd bowl of a Divorce, but she gave the appropriate responses.

Then, the judge said, “…yadda yadda yadda I hereby grant your plea for divorce yadda yadda yadda**…”.

Wow…I’m divorced!

Then the judge added, “…but don’t go getting married in the next few weeks.  The papers need to be written up, signed, and recorded in the county records.”

Wow…I’m slightly divorced!


Now to wait on the paperwork…

it's a shitty job

it's a shitty job

…more to come…


*Hell’s bells, I know I’m behind on lots of stories.

**No, of course she didn’t really say the ‘yadda yadda’ part… that’s just what all the legalese sounded like to me.  But wouldn’t it be cool if she did say that?

Bafflement Logic

May 7, 2009

Didja ever get into a heated discussion with someone and try to use a clever metaphor or analogy to make your point…but totally screw it up?

Yeah, me neither…

Okay, I’m lying.  Especially when there are copious amounts is a little sip or two of alcohol involved.

When I visited the Boy Child* a few months back, we had quite a few interesting discussions**.  In one, we were arguing opposite sides of a point which I’ve long ago forgotten.  The banter went back and forth.  And I became aware that I was losing the argument.

This, I could not allow.

Out of some dank and dark recess of my mind, I struggled to find an argument winner.  And the best I could come up with?

GnuKid:  Yeah?  Well just remember — there is no “I” in “We”.

Boy Child:  <blink… blink… blink… >

Yep, shut him right up.  Leaving him speechless, I gave a proper “harumph” and walked away.

If you can’t win with logic and brilliance, confuse the hell out of them with pseudo-logical absurdities.

...and I like it that way...

...and I like it that way...


*Yes, I know I still owe stories about that trip.

**Yes, I will be sharing one of those discussion at a later time…I’m working up to it.