And if the boot is up the other ass, it’s no better.
So maybe he actually left the seat up twice to three times a day for the last seventeen years?
You spent the last seventeen years just not putting the damned thing back down yourself OR not looking before you sat your stupid ass down to begin with.
Are you just looking for a reason? ’cause that ain’t no reason to throw him to the curb. Ain’t even weak enough to be a lame excuse.
There are Congressmen out there who’ve coughed up with less toxic waste when they got caught with a teenage intern and had his hand up skirt. Or down his pants. And his other hand down his own pants. Under the Capitol rotunda.
There obviously exists the possibility, however ugly, that you placed that last straw on the camel’s back in addition to at least half of the bales underneath it.
The other equally uncomfortable possibility is that the camel didn’t have the common sense or the gumption or the strength or the nerve to shake off the extra weight as it piled up. Maybe it just had no way to tell you that you’d possibly understand that the load was too heavy.
You’ve got to share the blame to one degree or another, because it was, indeed, both of you who were responsible for carrying the load.
I had a lady call me at work one time about her case, about the money (of course) and the conversation had absolutely nothing to do with the money. It trailed off into everything the guy ever did: chewed with his mouth open, farted under the covers and blamed her, wasted money on his weekly Texas Hold ’em marathons … whatever. Even some serious complaints in there occasionally.
She went on non- stop for the best part of ten minutes giving me all the sordid details of her seventeen year marriage while I completed an audit on an entirely different case, pausing long enough to mumble “uh, yup” or “no kidding” every now and then. Just to be polite.
Finally, after I was sure I had the Court Order dates correct on the other case, I asked her how long they were together.
She told me seventeen years married, three years before that. Together twenty years.
“Well, it would seem to me you guys had hopes and wishes and dreams together. I mean, you had three years to get to know one another, to think about the future, maybe plan for it. You get married. You have – what? – three kids together, and that shows you saw a future together. Not just the two of you, but the five of you and then it – what? – all went sour on you?
“Simple question here: was there something about living with you all that time that turned him into such a son-of-a-bitch or did he just cook that one up on his own?”
Keep in mind that I had known this woman for a number of years, even before I worked at the office, and had even done some free paralegal work for her drafting Judicial Council Forms she needed for a number of her Court appearances. Did it for free. So she was somewhat of a friend and I could get away with a little more than I could with a relative stranger.
But there was still an uncomfortably long pause on the other end of the phone, and I thought I just might get called up to the Third Floor on that one.
I broke the silence:
“As well as things were going, as much promise as you started out with … as much love as you must have shared, all of a sudden it’s just gone? Either he did it in, or you did … or the most likely scenario? You both had a hand in it.
“’cause it’s never one-sided. Never. But it sounds like that’s the way you’re making it out to be, and if you went on with him like you just went on with me, I could see where it would really take the fun out of it all for him.”
She at least recognized and acknowledged the fact that she was venting, it was all stuff that piled up over the years.
That it was all stuff that could have been settled earlier.
Never did openly accept any portion of the failure of the relationship. Never admitted there was anything she could have done about it.
But I’ll bet she at least started to think about it.
If both parties don’t at least consider that respectively realistic plausibility, things tend to shut down. Rationality and reason take a long walk off a very short pier.
The divorce had been ugly, the Custody issues uglier, the Property Settlement butt-ugly.
And even with all that out of the way, the bitterness that could have been avoided by equal doses of reason and reflection just got worse. They were in an out of court more five years after the divorce than they had been in the previous four years.
All because of the one non-existent straw.
Those were the hardest cases to work on. All we were supposed to deal with in the office was dollar signs. That was it. That’s what we were funded for, that’s what we were trained for, that’s all we were mandated to address.
But at the end of every argument over the money, sometimes even at the heart of it, was the bitterness of the wrongs committed by either the bitch or the son-of-a-bitch.
A relationship that didn’t quite live up to the beauty of their dreams, the idealism of their youth or the love they brought in with them at the beginning.
And it all too often was because of the other one of them.
And it even more often just seemed to come out of nowhere, as suddenly and silently as a single wisp of a straw blowing in on a gentle breeze.
And how do you deal with that?
With a largely automated payment system (Wage Garnishments and automatic payments sent), us guys in the trenches didn’t have to deal with it all that often.
It was just the two generals, holed up in their bunkers, that kept the war going, looking for whatever reasons they could find to break whatever untenable truce managed to force its way into the mix.
And there were times I fully believe the parties didn’t get as tired of it as we did.
For us, it was a job.
They made a life out of it.
For us, it was a paycheck.
For them, bitterness and spite.
For the innocent bystanders, the collateral damage …
Some people’s parents, y’know?
Some fairy tales were never meant to end “happily ever after”.
Some Julia Roberts movies would have been better off if she didn’t get the guy in the end.
Some Bradley Cooper movies need to end with him saying “Good bye”.
Some marriages won’t last.
Don’t take it or make it personal.
It’s the next step in a family’s life, and if you lose sight of that, you’re within sight of losing everything.