One of my very best friends in the world is moving to California tomorrow. We've been friends since 1993 when we were in the stay-at-home moms group. Then we worked together teaching arts & crafts classes to preschoolers at the local YMCA for years and years. I'll call her Kellie.
Kellie and I went through our divorces at the same time. Hers was much uglier than mine because her ex was (an is) a chronically unemployed substance abuser who repeatedly cheated on her. All this time, she's been the responsible one, working two jobs and keeping health insurance for herself and the twins.
This morning we went to family court together because he petitioned to get out of paying child support now that the kids are 18. The divorce stipulates that he pays until they graduate from college or turn 22. He didn't have the correct papers on hand so the judge told him he better keep paying as ordered until she can find time to fit him back into her schedule. Most likely the judge got pissed off when he told her that his petition didn't require supporting documentation since it "was not brain surgery." Another case of extreme arrogance leading to extreme stupidity - but I'm thinking that this man is both arrogant and stupid.
I expect his 32 year old girl friend will be disappointed to hear he's going to be paying child support to his kids for a few more years because she wants to have a baby with this 53 year old piece of work.
Plenty of divorced couples play out their anger with the money, but Kellie's ex seems genuinely stunned that he has any responsibilities at all. His wealthy parents have facilitated this impression with numerous cash infusions. In fact, his parents are now letting him live rent free in their three bedroom/three bath co-op apartment near Lincoln Center.
Buzz Kill, on the other hand, seems to improve with age. Money was one of our primary issues when we were married but for the last several months, we seem to have reached an equilibrium. My spousal and child support were scheduled to be reduced this August under the terms of the original divorce decree, but since he owes me (a lot) of money, he offered to pay some hundreds more per month than the stipulated amount until we finally sell the apartment. When I said we should draw up an addendum to the divorce ourselves and have it notarized, he thought that was a fine idea. We've been working very well together ever since I got fired. There must be something going on that I don't know about, but I don't care as long as the environment in my living room is harmonious.
Seeing the hurt and humiliation my dear friend experienced as a result of that adulterous bastard, I have to say that I think cyber sex is a brilliant alternative for someone who is hankering for variety. Many people may disagree, but to me, it's much better for someone who feels an itch to scratch it virtually via web cam with a random individual from a swingers site.
I've always subscribed to Clinton Rules when it comes to monogamy, however. Even before the Lewinsky incident, The Man from San Antone and I had a distinctly liberal arrangement in that area. Of course, back in those days, the worst thing that could happen as far as STDs went was herpes so we could afford to be more relaxed. Getting herpes is still a drag, though, and current statistics indicate that roughly 25% of adult New Yorkers have herpes.
I like to pass this kind of information on to Velvet when I can. It's important for a young man to know there are lots of skanky folks out there of all genders. Kellie has been making sure her kids know that if it turns out they are Gay, don't be afraid to let her know. I haven't approached the gay topic with Velvet since he was 14 or 15. We have so many openly Gay and Lesbian friends that sexual orientation has never been much of an issue.
Calling in drunk on prom night to say he was spending the night in a hotel with Cupcake was an issue. In less than one month, though, Velvet will be as comfortably installed in his dormitory as any college freshman can expect to be. I hear the girls in Syracuse are major cute.
I've had this song in my head for days:
I never thought of it in terms of your own child growing up, but it applies just as well. All is still right in my little world today, but saying good-bye to my friend has made me cry. At least we're all healthy and San Francisco is just a plane ride away. Anticipating saying good-bye to Velvet gets the tears going, too. I know everything is going to work out beautifully (barring unforeseen complications). I'm trying to surrender to the sadness while he's away so that I don't cause a scene in the dorm. And now that I think about it, riding back to the city together with Buzz Kill doesn't sound like such a bad idea.
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