Life with Teenagers

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sadists and syrup

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I just ate my weight in waffles. And yes, there is one more in the toaster. waffles Standing in the kitchen, still in my work pants and sandals, but now in a ratty sweatshirt that leaves me plenty of room to slouch, I mindlessly inhale the mingling flavors of butter, maple syrup, and snot. I’m crying again and pacing through the quiet house with a plate in one hand and a fork in the other. The October light is new for this empty room and I’m not sure I like it much. My hanging planters are away for the winter, the view from the window above the couch is unobstructed and I can see bright orange splattering the front yard across the street. Today I don’t feel joyful about autumn leaves. And tomorrow my ex–partner will get a letter from my lawyer.

“Well, what she could do is drag this out. And getting the court involved will take a good year and it’s expensive.” says my pencil thin lawyer scribbling a few notes onto a yellow legal pad. “Of course, if yours falls in the 5% of all the situations I see like these that actually DO litigate,” she straightens out the glasses on her face for a minute, “and I don’t really see that happening- but if it does, of course we’ll try to get you more than half. We’re not talking a lot of money here so it would be a shame if this actually goes to trial.”‘

Now I feel scolded. I shouldn’t be here. If I were a better more evolved person, my ex and I would be sitting at a table over coffee discussing how and when we should do this.

“Well you read the email I forwarded, didn’t that sound like a “screw you, Kris” to you? She won’t talk to me and I’ve been trying since July so what choice do I have?” I say this to my lawyer a little too loud and with some defensiveness in my voice. I feel ridiculous now. Because of course its not that simple. Why did I think I was going to have Ms Ballbuster take my hand and say: honey, you came to the right place and this will be over in a matter of days.

“It sounded like a kiss-off to me, yes, ” she says matter-of-factly and looking me straight in the eyes, “and if you are asking me what you should do, I say we send a letter.” And then she adds as an afterthought, with a smile just barely turning up the corners of her mouth, “You know, this is why I love this job. People in these situations – and this is a divorce like any other- they know each other and they know how to make each other crazy. I never know what I’m going to see.” She laughs, “Maybe I’m a sadist.”

Great.

We agree on a small retainer. I write the check. We mention our teenagers at home. But there is nothing about this meeting that has me reassured or feeling empowered at all. Do I want a sadist lawyer? I don’t want to do any of this. But I also don’t want to continue to be told to wait quietly while my equity in the house erodes, my credit is at risk, and my heart continues to be stomped on with every day that my ex-partner smugly performs what she knows will hurt me the most. The deep freeze. The complete withdrawal. The attitude that says: Not only do you not matter to me and never have, but you don’t exist at all.

Funny, but when you don’t exist, it sometimes means filling yourself up with waffles just to feel substantial again. Hmmm I think I just heard the toaster pop.

Written by kmguay

August 25, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Posted in relationship

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