Monday, June 22, 2009

Families and Fathers' Day

Let the record show that on June 22, 2009, I officially became an unemployment statistic.

I have many reasons to be grateful, but first I'll be grateful for a computer and the internet so that I didn't have to stand in line all day in an uncomfortable, institutional office. I'm sure I would have met a number of interesting people, but it would still have been tedious.

More importantly, I am grateful that I have the love and support of friends and family - in addition to alimony, child support as well as some thousands due in back alimony so that the wolf will not be at the door.

I'm one of the lucky unemployed people with resources, but if the tightness in my chest directly under my throat is any indication, this unemployment thing is alarming. I feel like I need to run to the George Washington Bridge and back, screaming all the way.

It beats the hell out of going to work at my old job. I was terminally unhappy there.

I'm also grateful that our little family unit has a clear definition now. Buzz Kill thrives in crisis situations. That's probably why he works so hard (unconsciously) to live in a state of constant crisis. He and Velvet will be back from visiting family on the Carolina Coast this evening. I remain grateful that he and I don't live together anymore because that man's anxiety disorder and obsessive/compulsive, passive/aggressive tendencies make living with him exceedingly unpleasant - that's why we call him "Buzz Kill" after all - but he directs all that feverish energy into litigation like nothing I ever saw.

About six years ago, our GE dishwasher spontaneously combusted. It was the beginning of the end of the marriage because we'd been trapped in a dysfunctional spiral that resulted in us being uninsured. It was very pricey to live in a hotel all summer while the apartment got put back in order - and the renovation wasn't cheap either - but Buzz Kill got everyone from the Fire Commissioner to the Consumer Products Safety Commission involved and GE wound up paying for everything - including the Odawala smoothies I kept in the mini-fridge at the hotel.

Ergo: While many factors contributed to the divorce, the pertinent point at the moment is that Buzz Kill is relentlessly litigious. That comes in handy sometimes. Most recently, it came in handy to the tune of 60 Grand or so, when Vagina Dentata had been drinking Grey Goose Maritinis with one of her fashionista buddies and walked into a delivery truck when she was looking for a taxi on Third Avenue. The driver of the vehicle was under the impression that he had hit her, never realizing that Vagina Dentata fully believes traffic should stop for anyone in fabulous headgear and stepped right in front of him. I may have the amount wrong and it wasn't 60 Grand - that might have been from the time she tripped in a pot whole. On both occasions, no one at the emergency room said anything about her blood alcohol level - if they even checked. Buzz Kill certainly knows better than to ask anyone to check her blood alcohol level when there's been an accident.

Dick Cheney's friends at that quail shoot knew better than to let anyone test his blood for alcohol, too.

So we are, again, a family. If I hadn't been fired, we wouldn't have wound up in a crisis. And if we weren't in a crisis, we wouldn't have found our way to a new definition of an accepting, goofy, divorced family. We can stand together cordially next week, proudly celebrating Velvet's graduation. We can even get him installed in the dormitory without killing each other. I'm hugely grateful that this crisis is merely about a dumb job instead of somebody's health. Looking at it in that context, this situation is not a crisis at all. It's just another pain in the ass.

My dad and I were talking yesterday morning - not because it was father's day but because we've talked on Sunday mornings ever since 1978 when I was attending The University of Texas at Austin. We were discussing the situation with my former employer and the blog, and I'm sorry to say he did not seem convinced that I have learned my lesson. Or perhaps he's not so sure what lesson I have learned.

I'm grateful that I still have my father. He's going to be here next week for Velvet's graduation and he's staying through to go with me to the mediation regarding the fee dispute with my divorce attorney. As it happens, I just scheduled a very promising job interview and dad will be here for that, too. My life has always had a way of falling into place as soon as my dad comes to visit. Having a dad like that is a blessing.


Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Let the record show that on June 22, 2009, I officially became an unemployment statistic.

ah, yes! the new American Idle. Congratulations (/snark)

You're luck you have a decent relationship with evenone of your parents. I had a tempestuous relationship with my folks. They wanted me to do big things, I just wanted to be left alone to do whatsoever the hell I wanted to do.

They were finally "proud" of me when I got my Ph.D. I think they thought it betokened a change in my personality.

But personalities don't really change...

I have never had kids. Lots of folks who knew me say I'd have been a great parent, but i have my doubts. I am terminally irresponsible, as lazy as paint, almost to the point of being entropic.

So far, the only three women who were, at one time or another, willing to take a chance on me have withdrawn their offers.

Just me and the dogs, Hannah, a big black-lab/hound cross (probably close to 100 lbs), and Budreau, my pink-nose, 70 lb pit bull. We make quite a family, since neither of the dogs can be alone with the other without trying to kill each other.

Oh, I HATE dog-fights.

PENolan said...

Cat fights, too, I'll bet

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Thanks for stopping by. I remember coming to your blog a while back, noting that we'd both lived in Texas and both had annoying exes, mine is called "The Spin Doctor." Layoffs are scary, but some people use them to go off in an entirely different direction that actually ends up more successful and makes them happier. Here's hoping your layoff takes you to a better, brighter future. I currently hold 2 full-time jobs, although the teaching is done for the summer and I've picked up 3rd and 4th temporary jobs just recently. You do what you've got to do in this economy, right?

PENolan said...

Of course I remember, VV. You had the mom's song on your blog. I can't rembember whose link I followed to find you yesterday, though. Oh well, that's what happens when you start getting old and CRS.

Gail said...

Hi Trish-

I love your sentiments about family, your family as in BuzzKill and Velvet and I loved most your sentiments about your Dad.

I would give anything for one more day with mine. Yes, despite the crisis, you are truly blessed. :-)

love to you and all good energy

Grandpa Eddie said...

I am sorry to hear that you, too, have lost your job. Our numbers continue to increase with no end in site.

PENolan said...

Thanks Grandpa.
At least the way I lost my job was completely personal and my employer would say I deserved it.
Much easier to understand in that context.

Comrade Kevin said...

Sounds like Buzz Kill really takes his work home with him. In his career field, I can see how that would translate to misery for you.

As for Father's Day, my father and I are beginning to be convivial with each other for the most part. He is always going to be a grumbly Republican Fox News watcher and I'm trying to accept that with grace.

PENolan said...

Oh Buzz Kill is no lawyer. He just sues and gets sued. He's in the fashion business.

Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry bout ur job, but i'm sure glad you still have enough money.. Buzz Kill should really yell at his Mom sometimes... She seems to have been the biggest reason ur marriage didn't work.

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