Tuesday, April 29, 2008

“Why Trust A Shark, Right?”


“I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine.” – Bruce from Finding Nemo.

I know I went into the mediation appointment in my last post but I wanted to expand on a few things that happened in the meeting.

The appointments we had were with a divorce mediation group. They claim to be a civil alternative to the traditional path for divorce. There is only one lawyer involved and his job is to help the couple work out a divorce agreement that both parties and the courts will agree to. I am told it usually takes six to eight months to be final and the cost is considerably less.

At the first meeting, Mrs. Joe was only looking for “Bruce” to create a written separation agreement. She told him she was not looking for a divorce at that time. Mrs. Joe also said that she would not expect child support and would leave me our house if I agreed to pay for our children’s future school bills. Seeing the school bills are approximate to support and she already owns, and now lives in, a multi-unit home, this seemed fair to all, including “Bruce”.

But after Mrs. Joe refused to commit to trying to repair our marriage, I contacted “Bruce” to set up another appointment and to start the divorce paperwork.

The second meeting was last Tuesday. In the beginning, “Bruce” seemed concerned about being fair but as the meeting went along and Mrs. Joe and I began to bicker, he seemed more concerned about keeping us in agreement.

Maybe he seen his future payments slipping away?

On top of me paying the school bills, Mrs. Joe said she wanted $10k to help her get on her feet. I could not understand why she did not talk to me earlier about this and instead waited until our meeting to ask. I got pretty upset and told her I was not going to give her anything. “Bruce” then told us the courts would not approve the settlement we currently had because it did not involve me compensating Mrs. Joe for our house.

Thanks, “Bruce”. My wife leaves me, taking my kids for half the week and now you tell me I should pay for the new bedroom set that she’s fucking her boyfriend in.

I will pay the money. I know it is still better than getting my own lawyer, battling everything out just to lose even more.

But I’m supposed to think “Bruce” is working in both our best interests?

I’m starting to think his best interest might be his own.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's Not Half, But It's Not The Point


As I posted earlier, Tuesday was our appointment with the mediation group to start the divorce proceedings. As much as I want to try to reconcile, I can't sit around and wait for her.

I called Mrs. Joe earlier that day, hoping for her to reconsider. She again declined to start therapy, saying she wasn't able to commit. As we talked, I heard her being paged over the store intercom.

"I have to go, there is a call for me on the outside line."

"I don't care about some customer," I replied.

"I got to go." With that, she hung up the phone.

Priorities.

The meeting didn't go much better. At our last appointment, we signed a separation agreement that spelled out financial responsibilities, custody arrangements, etc. I assumed this agreement would stand but Mrs. Joe thought otherwise. Apparently, seeing she isn't asking for half of the house, she felt the need to ask for some cash.

I'll probably just roll over and give it to her. The quicker this is over the better.

But let me ask a question. How can somebody...
  • cheat on her husband for six months
  • finally admit to it only two days after Christmas
  • stay in the house for another two months waiting for a place to live
  • still maintain the affair
  • when she finally leaves, take the dining room set, son's bedroom set, dishes, silverware among other stuff

...and after all that, expect me to just give her money?

Obviously, if she got a lawyer she could get half of everything, which is more than she is asking for.

I might be a little bitter right now but with all that said, shouldn't you just admit you are a horrible person and move on?

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Sushi Roll Reversal


Last week, I wrote about my night at The Producers with GBD (Great Blind Date). I mentioned how much fun we had and how good a night it was.

During that night, I mentioned to her that I worked for a Japanese company. I told her every now and then I have to go out to dinner with guests from Japan. She asked if I had ever had sushi. I told her no, most of the time we went to a nearby steakhouse. I soon learned she is a big sushi fan.

The next day when I got home from work, I checked my answering machine and GBD was on it. She thanked me for taking her to the show and said she had a good time. She also said after all that sushi talk she had a craving for an eel roll and asked if I wanted to go out one night for some.

Now the reason I have for not trying sushi is simple.

The thought of eating raw fish is not appealing. Give me a nice steak, medium rare with some red potatoes drenched in olive oil and I am all set.

Sushi? Not so much.

But I do like trying new things. I also remembered how much fun I had the other night so I called her back and said yes.

We went out this past Wednesday night. The restaurant we went to is also a hibachi style steakhouse so I ordered a beef and scallop dinner while GBD ordered sushi. I agreed to at least try some of her sushi if she agreed not to laugh at me if I threw it all up.

GBD ordered 3 different sushi rolls. Sweet potato, eel and another that I can’t remember. I tried all three. The sweet potato and eel was okay. They were at least warm. The third one was cold and let’s just say I don’t care for cold sushi and leave it at that. I have to admit, sushi has some of the most distinct tastes I have ever tried.

We had more time that night to get to know each other. I told her a little more about me. I was honest about where Mrs. Joe and I were and how I am not looking for any type of serious relationship at this time. I then asked her to tell me a little bit about herself. I knew she had two kids but I was a little curious about the “complicated” situation.

Come to find out, she doesn’t have a boyfriend after all.

She’s married.

She tried to explain the situation. “I do what I want, he does what he wants.”

As she is going on about her unhappy marriage, I realized that I am him, I am the guy that Mrs. Joe is running around with, the other man, the home wrecker.

Nice.

We finished dinner and joined some friends a local bar for a couple drinks. I would love to say that after her revelation I lost interest in her but I didn’t. We all joked and laughed until past midnight. The two of us have a lot in common. Other than both being married, I mean.

We have no plans on going out again but I do admit I would look forward to it if we were to. As of now, I’ve decided to wait until she calls me and see where it leads.

Is there a Japanese translation for hypocrite?

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Something About Apples & Falling

I was driving The Champ to school yesterday morning and as we turned out of our street he spotted two large tree pruning trucks. I noticed a few days prior that some city trees along the sidewalk were spray painted with an "X". The trees did not look in that good of shape and they must have been there to remove them.

"What are those trucks for?" asked The Champ.

"They are going to cut down some trees." I replied.

"Why are they going to cut down some trees"

"Because the are diseased"

"Diseased, What's that?"

"The trees are sick," I clarified.

"How do the know the trees are sick?" such the little inquisitive one.

"It's like when you are sick, you know you are sick because you have a runny nose. The men know if the tree is sick by looking at it."

And with a matter-of-fact tone, "But dad, trees don't have noses."

Yes, sir. That's my boy.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Help At Every Turn, Or In This Case, Twist


It is no secret that my life has taken about a 180 degree turn in the last few months. I don’t mind admitting that I have relied on some help getting through all of this.

I am currently seeing a therapist weekly. She has been very helpful showing me things about myself that I can work on. She has also showed me that I was giving a lot more towards my marriage than Mrs. Joe.

I have been put on an anti-anxiety medication that seems to help. I can sleep at night now. Although I’m not too sure how much longer I can stay on a medication that costs me 50 bucks a month.

My sister has been fantastic through all of this. She has not been afraid to tell it like it is, even if she has been a friend to Mrs. Joe for over 15 years. My cousin has also been a big help. Hearing a point of view from “one of the guys” sure improves my self esteem.

I have been reading this book for the last two weeks. It’s helped me believe I am not completely at fault for all of this. It has also shown me ways to get through the worst of times.

And a tip of the hat to all of you. The comments I receive range from some who have been there to simple "atta-boys" and are a welcome feeling every day.

Along with those, I found another place for therapeutic guidance. Last night, as I sat down to watch the Red Sox defeat the Yankees, again, I opened a bottle of Magic Hat’s #9. Have you ever seen some beers put a note of some kind on the bottom of the bottle cap? Well, Magic Hat does this and this is what it said.

“It’s still home if you’re alone.”

I tried to take a picture of the cap for you but I couldn’t figure out how to take such a close up shot without the picture getting all blurred.

So does this mean all I need to do is drink more and all my troubles will go away?

If it was that easy.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Forcing My Hand

The only cure for grief is action. - George Henry Lewes

I can’t take it anymore.

Wondering where she is and what she is doing has been borderline obsessive.

Thinking about her with him has been ripping me up inside.

Not knowing if she is coming back is driving me insane.

Do I wait? Do I move on? I don’t know.

What I do know is that I have to act. I have to start something. Whether it is reconciliation or dissolution, something has to begin for me to stay sane.

So I told Mrs. Joe I needed to speak with her.

I went over to her apartment a few nights ago, after Peanut & The Champ were asleep. I told her my feelings. I told her how some days I wished she was home, in our bed, naked, lying next to me. And then other days I wished her dead because that is easier to grasp. The grief process could start because I knew she would never be coming back.

She talked about her feelings for me, how depressed she has been in recent years, and how we were a great couple before the kids came. I told her if we work hard, raise good kids together, get them off into the world with the right foundation, then we can go back to the life we had. Divorce will lead to a constant struggle for both of us to maintain a stable upbringing for the kids.

She said she feels that I have not supported her enough and the added weight was too much. I asked her why she did not come to me with these feelings. She said she did but I ignored her or changed the subject. I’ve always felt we had difficulties communicating but never thought it would lead to all this.

I told her that if we split, we both would eventually find someone else, someone with their own kids, their own issues, their own expectations. Would we be able to handle those? Also, we would both become the step-parents, trying to connect with our step-children, hoping they will like us, hoping they will like our own children.

I asked if she was still in contact with the other guy. She said yes. She said she still has feelings for him but she does not know where the relationship is. I found out he is not married but is living with someone. I asked if he planned on leaving this girl for her. She did not know.

I wondered how she could be interested in someone who strays from a relationship. But then I thought of myself.

I asked her where our relationship stood and if she has given any thought about getting back together. She said coming home was not an option at this time. I told her I did not want her to come home at this time either. What I wanted was a 100% commitment to begin repairing our marriage, to start counseling, to try to reconnect as a husband and wife. She said she did not know if she could commit to that at this time.

I then said something I never in my life thought I would ever say to Mrs. Joe.

“If you aren’t ready to start repairing this marriage, I think we need to start the divorce.”

She said nothing. But she understood.

So yesterday morning I made an appointment with the divorce mediation group for April 22 to start the proceedings.

Right now I can’t tell if this step is a good thing or not.

But something has to be done.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Sun Is Peeking Through A Little

Thank you to who ever you are. Maybe it was a combined effort from all of you out in the blogosphere wishing me well. Maybe it was just one special wish. Whatever it was, it has been answered.

No, Mrs. Joe isn't coming back. Not anytime soon anyway.

I scored these Monday.

Two tickets for tomorrow's Red Sox-Tigers game. A friend won them at a jack-&-jill over the weekend. They could not go and gave them to me. Although it is not Opening Day, it is the second home game of the season.

The sun sure feels nice.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sometimes Blind Dates Are A Success


Sorry for the late update. No boyfriend leaped from an alleyway or anything like that. I just have been busy.

Anyway, I was sitting at the bar early Thursday night and in the back of my head I was thinking it.

"She's not going to show."

I was there early but the thought did cross my mind. That sure would've been an esteem killer. But she did show, right on time. Thankfully, she recognized me and came over. We exchanged pleasantries and got to know each other a little over a drink.

And that started one of the most fun nights I've had in a long time.

Simply put, we laughed our asses off.

The Producers is the funniest thing Mel Brooks has ever done. And I loved History Of The World. But you couple that with one of the funniest girls I have met and you see why I had a good time.

As I said we got to know each other a little. I admitted how I came about to have the extra ticket and told her my situation with Mrs. Joe. She was fine with everything and said we should just worry about having a good time. Ends up, she works at the Barnes & Noble where I take Peanut & The Champ for story time on Friday nights.

After the show, we drove back to the club and we went in for another beer. My buddy who set us up was there. We both thanked him and said we had a really good time. We exchanged phone numbers and agreed we should get together again.

There was one thing I thought of the following day. Not once during the entire night did I stop to think of Mrs. Joe. No wishing she was there. No wondering if she would have had a good time. I think it showed me that I am starting to move on.

I know I am not ready for any kind of relationship right now but just spending time with someone who I make laugh and who makes me laugh is great. I'm looking forward to more of that.

And knowing that I can find good company in others and see that my company is enjoyed is a great feeling.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Good News/Bad News


Bad news: The girl from work backed out of going to the show tonight. She claimed her ex couldn’t watch their kid.

Good news: After I told a friend of mine this, he made a phone call setting me up on a somewhat-blind date.

By somewhat, I mean we were introduced to each other once in a club but now she has no recollection of who I am. Not a good start. I don’t think you can call it a date anyway. I asked my friend if she was in a relationship.

“It’s complicated,” He replied.

Great. With everything else going on, tonight a pissed off boyfriend is going leap from some alley and kick my ass.

I probably should have just unloaded the tickets.

But I really want to see the show and I would be lying if part of me didn’t want to take someone just to have it get back to Mrs. Joe.

I will be picking her up tonight at the same club we were first introduced at. I told her to look for the tall hunky blonde with the perfect hair. And when he moves out of the way, I’ll be the little guy behind him.

Hopefully the show is good and we have a fun time.

And hopefully I don’t loose any teeth.

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