Posts Tagged ‘personal’

Procrastination

October 20, 2008

My evil genius Procrastination has whispered me to tarry ‘til a more convenient season. — Mary Todd Lincoln

It’s been one of those weeks so I thought I’d… ah, hell… I’ll do this another time….

The Pets

September 19, 2008

I like animals and have had pets most of my life, mostly cats.

Fish are okay, if a bit boring. But, they do make do in a pinch if the pizza shows up without anchovies.

Birds? I’d be afraid of what words they’d end up repeating at an inopportune time… say, if I’m with Sally and the bird starts hollering, “Yes, Betty. Oh, gawd, yes!”

I like dogs a lot, but never really learned how to train them up.

I do miss not having a slobbering, devoted beast looking up at me with adoring eyes… but enough about my ex-girlfriend.

Cats? Yeah, they do whatever the hell they damn well please and don’t show a hint of devotion to you. But cats can be litter trained easily. And a weekend trip does not require boarding your cat. With a dog, you have to send him to doggie jail at Bowwow-catraz. With a cat? Slam a bag of dry cat food in a bowl, put down enough water to last the weekend, and leave. Cats likely like to have the place to themselves anyway – – – dipping into their secret stash of catnip, browsing kitty porn sites, climbing up on the places they’re not usually allowed, calling their cat buddies over to play “hide the mousie” and other disturbing things best not shared in such a public forum.

I have two cats. Well, I guess they could be two mute, cantankerous little people in furry suits, but nonetheless…

The Diva, the female calico, is the queen of the house. All others residing there are merely servants to do her bidding and attend to her needs. Her favorite way to show you who’s in charge is to come up to you and demand to be petted. But, as soon as you lean down to pet her, she’ll walk away to another part of the room and look back at you with that “Well? Are you coming?” look. And, of course, if you do follow, she’ll repeat the process until, after three or four moves, she’s moved you to the spot she wanted in the first place.* The Diva also has very expressive meows. Girl Child’s and my favorite are the ones that sound like “Now!” and “Not Now!”, both seemingly used at the most appropriate moments.

The Twit, a male orange tabby, is the court jester of the home. Besides torturing The Diva (which always draws a swat in rebuke), his favorite thing to do is just get into wherever he’s not supposed to be or wanted (most often, for me, right in front of the computer monitor as I’m trying to type or just as I get to that critical part of a computer game that demands my full attention). The Twit is also noted for laying on the back of the couch and, all of a sudden and for no apparent reason, splaying all four legs out and sinking all four sets of claws in the couch. Girl Child comments when this happens, “Oh dear, The Twit’s world has gone off kilter again. He’s holding on for dear life.”

Ahh, but with both of them, when they’re snuggled with you and purring… my heart rate slows, my blood pressure drops, and there is, for the moment, peace…

…wonder who’ll get the cats in the Divorce…

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*I’ve known some women who are like this as well…

Big D, little d

July 30, 2008

I’m learning much more about the legal system in the Wilds of Ohio than I’d ever intended, especially with respect to Divorce. Not that I haven’t dealt with blood sucking, money grubbing leech attorneys before (remind me to tell you that story sometime… *)

So I thought I’d share the process, both as an educational thing and to help me better understand it myself. I’m one of those people that learns better writing things down… often requiring numerous times doing so to really sink in.

The end result of a Big D—Divorce–or a little d—dissolution—is the same. The marriage is terminated and both now-ex-spouses are free to go their own ways. So why the different approaches?

With a Big D, each party** claims what they want out of the marital assets and the lawyers duke it out Mike Tyson-style in their smoke-filled offices and, ultimately, in the court room. Any disagreements in what asset goes to who results in countless hours of paperwork flying back and forth (which, with lawyers, immediately translates into money). If the disagreements are big and no one is willing to compromise, this can go on for quite some time and drain the bank account. Often, with smaller kids, you have no choice but to go the Divorce route.

So, what if both spouses (spice?) can agree up front? That’s the little d – – dissolution.

In a dissolution, both parties sit down like adults and compromise over each asset owned. Lawyers are not even actually required if you feel comfortable doing legal paperwork yourself. You list out all agreements, take them to court, and, when it’s your turn in front of the judge, he asks both husband and wife if they agree to the split of assets and to the termination of the marriage. With affirmatives on all questions from all parties, the dissolution… and the marriage… is done. Much quicker and, theoretically, much cheaper.

But, comma, if you pursue a dissolution and both adults (sic) cannot agree, it can go on interminably and painfully (and, if still supported by lawyers, costly). I’ve heard from friends and acquaintances on both ends of the spectrum… two of whom finished up in just a matter of weeks, while one is in the third year of their dissolution process.

Still, I’d like The Wife and I to avoid the Big D and work out a little d agreement. It will require compromise on my part and hers. That becomes an emotional issue, so, therefore, I’m not hopeful.

Cross your fingers or other body parts for me that we can work out a little d…

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On the really plus side? I went dancing tonight… my Native American name is “White Boy Dancing”, but i went to a local restaurant that had Latin dancing and danced… happily, smiling, lost in the moment, and, honestly?, not all that bad… there is hope, irrespective of the what i said in this post… there is hope. I. Had. A. GREAT. time. [Big smile]

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* And, no, I did not mean for you to immediately put in your comment below, “Hey, GnuKid, tell us that other attorney story…”. Yeah, I’m a spoilsport.

** I’m a little intrigued about use of the word “party” or “parties” when referring to the affiant and defendant in legal matters. It sort of implies that it’s a good thing–with hats, balloons, jello shots, dancing, ice cream, and maybe even a clown. In reality? It’s a bummer. Not a party at all.

Health Issues – Leukemia

July 18, 2008

The next installment of “Who Needs Soap Operas When You Have Real Life” – –

CML… Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia.

The wife was diagnosed by chance, having done a routine (and, actually, very overdue) cholesterol blood test. Yeah, she’d been tired a lot lately, but not seemingly more so than any person raising two kids and holding a job. Hell, I was tired, too.

Prognosis for CML was (is?) not that great with just chemo. The best treatment is a bone marrow transplant. And, even with a bone marrow transplant, assuming a donor could be found, survival was not guaranteed.

In my heart, I knew the right thing to do was see her through it, whatever the outcome. Despite my feeling disconnected, I had to help. She was still my wife and, more importantly, the mother of my kids. I set aside my plans to seek a separation and took on the role of caretaker for her.

After months of chemo and negative tests for compatibility from family members’ blood, a bone marrow donor was finally found for her. Amazingly, it was from a non-related donor–rare, to say the least.

Our research showed the best place to have the transplant done was in Seattle, so we traveled out for the procedure. My employer was kind enough to grant me all of my vacation time, plus some extra ‘compassionate vacation’, to be her caretaker through the process. We still had to lean heavily on family to cover the time after I had to return to work, as well as help watch the kids when they weren’t in Seattle.

The procedure was successfully done, if painfully (pretty standard for this). Still, there was a very rocky recovery. Blood counts plummeted and recovered numerous times. It seemed to me it was never the same thing… platelets one time, white blood count the next time, and so on. Because of this, there were also a few unexpected hospitalizations. There were a couple of times I heard doctors cautioning, “Prepare for the worst.” But she finally recovered, stabilized, and looked to be on the road to remission. And, finally, back home for her recovery…

…recovery… not for awhile still (remission takes time), but recovery nonetheless… which means hope that i can get back on track to regaining my own life!

Then came the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis.

Damn. Fucking. Damn. Crap.

Audible Pop

July 17, 2008

“Who Needs Soap Operas When You Have Real Life” (GnuKid).

The story continues – –

The early years of my marriage were pretty ‘normal’, from the definitions of ‘normal marriage’ I’ve heard and read. The occasional disagreement, worked out by talking or events, was a given. Stress over job moves and raising the kidlets was also there. And, yeah, times of comfort and happiness, usually revolving around the kids or family.

Nonetheless, I started feeling unsettled. The disagreements became more confrontational, with our positions becoming more separate from each other. We both became more stubborn in our viewpoints, making compromise difficult.

I admit to being more non-confrontational than she is. I would tend to give in to her position more often than the other way around. I think she sensed this and knew that she just had to hold her ground a bit more, and then I’d cave.

I remember the ‘audible pop’, where I realized we had a seriously broken relationship. On a vacation, there was what should have been a simple solution to a situation regarding what the kids would be doing and who would supervise. It wasn’t really ‘audible’, as in I heard it through my ears. It was audible in my head. Maybe a better way to say it was I felt like I’d been slapped in the brain by the realization.

Figuring it was my fault (self esteem?), I started some self examination. And in that examination, the recognition that I was truly not happy in the relationship bubbled up over and again. I noted that, being non-confrontational, I was giving up the right to have my position heard and compromise reached. More so, there was a feeling of being the junior partner in a business to raise kids. The JUNIOR partner… not equal. And I also realized I was disconnecting emotionally from her. Not purposely, but we just seemed to be going in different and divergent directions in what we needed and could give each other emotionally.

It was not easy to start in to working out our differences, but we had numerous ‘walk-and-talk’ discussions when the kids were in the house and sit-down talks when they were out. But we never seemed to be able to resolve anything. Merely put issues out there, where they’d flail about between us before being reabsorbed to fester until our next chance to talk.

We finally got to the point where we realized we needed professional help, both as a couple and, for me, as an individual. Over the next few years we hit two marriage counselors and I hit three personal therapists. Despite (no…because of…) all that help, I came to the realization that this relationship was not recoverable. Still, she still held out hope of full reconciliation, which just made me feel more the shit.

I’m not going to point fingers, we both had a role in getting to that point. I had mentioned divorce to her, but never said, “I’m leaving.” The biggest reason for that? The then pre-teen kids. I’d heard both sides of the argument—“NEVER stay for the kids,” as well as, “ALWAYS stay for the kids.”

With that swirling in my head, as well as other issues I mentioned in prior blogs, I still made an appointment with a lawyer to discuss my options. I knew I had to leave sometime and, preferably for my own well being, soon.

Then came her diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Fucking. Crap.

Choosing

July 15, 2008

From my prior posts, I’m sure most of you know where I’m heading with life issues. Still, I need to talk through the process, for my own mental stability (please forgive the gross over-exaggeration of me actually being ‘stable’ to begin with [snort]).

So, how did I end up marrying who I did?

A friend once bemoaned how too many of his male friends got married using the philosophy of “It Fits!!” in choosing a bride. In other words, the guy is amazed to find the first time that they have sex, their dick actually does fit—and feels damn good—inside that particular woman. Thrilled with the prospect of their dick continuing to fit, they blindly rush into marriage with said woman.

I was in danger of being one of those guys. As the painfully shy, overweight kid in high school, I was a bit (though not incompletely) experienced. Still, I did not propose to the first woman who let me put my “hoo-hoo-dilly in her cha-cha”.*

No, I fell into a different, yet equally fallacious,** trap… self-expectation management. Growing up in the country, being the very shy kid, and also the child of stoic parents, I can’t say that I was taught or really knew a good way to choose a mate. I had to sort of pick and choose my belief set based on limited sources.

I ended up adhering to an idealistic pattern expectation of the way to become an adult – Go to college, find a mate, graduate, get married, start a career, have kids, retire from the same career you started with, be the Norman Rockwell grandparents to the grandkids, and die peacefully in my sleep before my wife.

A path, in retrospect, that was unachievable for me. And I’m not really sure I fully believed it, but it’s what I pursued because that’s what I knew at the time. I just didn’t realize that there were different paths. I didn’t know any better. I thought that’s what you did.

Does that mean I “settled” for my spouse? No. I found someone, within my self-made construct of adulthood expectations, that I thought was a good fit and, following the pattern, proposed to her. Would I have been better served by exploring possibilities outside the restricted female population of a small, Christian college? Again (and always) in hindsight, you bet.

At the time, it was the right thing to do. We choose our paths based on the information…and mind set… of the moment.

…but the ‘moments’ of our lives tend to careen one after another, changing all of us as they pass…

And if you still don’t know where I’m going with this… more posts to come…

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*Bonus points for whoever can give me the source of that fun quote [Hint: Cable TV show]

**No, that word has nothing to do with fellatio. Don’t you deny some of you (okay, me) thought of that … [Hee, Hee, Hee]***

***Yes, I MUST maintain and express my sense of humor as I go through this part of my life. Otherwise I’d be lost…

Contradicted

July 4, 2008

She whispered silkily in my ear, “Relax. You’re safe here.”

“Yes, I can be safe here. Relax,” my mind nodded agreement.

Yet my muscles tightened; my breath shortened.

My mind betrayed, I walked out, never to return.

. . . . .