Sunday, Mar. 13, 2005
Head Cases Across America
Here's hoping that this week is a better one than last. I'm tired of channeling Gilda Radner's character Emily Latella and her mantra, "It's always something!"
Friday morning just as I was leaving for work, I got a phone call from my sister. I didn't recognize the phone number on my caller ID so nearly didn't pick up. As it turned out, she was phoning from a motel room she'd rented while the police served her soon-to-be-ex-husband with a restraining order and removed him from the house.
Since she filed for divorce he'd refused to leave and he'd grown increasingly meaner. I guess Thursday it turned into physical violence. She was wallowing in denial prior to this turn of events. Thursday's encounter snapped her out of it in a hurry. As soon as she could escape she went straight to a judge for the order.
But given this jerk's instability, she (understandably) didn't want to stay home alone for a couple of days and asked me to come down there. I had to pull strings on so many levels it's not funny, but I got a ride down and back. It was a good thing I went down. Sis and I spent the weekend packing, buying more bins and boxes to hold his junk, packing more, and washing THIRTY-FIVE loads of laundry. By far, most of the laundry was his, though not all. He'd yanked out all of Sis's clothes and strewn them all over the place, dragged them through whatever he could, etc.
It could be worse. Last guy I know of who did that took a pair of scissors and sliced and diced his way through the woman's closet. I suspect that R would've done that but his job would be over for good if he ends up arrested and he knows it. Not that it stopped him from violating the restraining order by phoning her nonstop, something I pointed out to the police when he came by today to pick up the stuff that Sis and I packed.
By the terms of their divorce, Sis gets the house, because frankly, she's the only one of them who can afford to get it refinanced. In fact, she's taking on ALL of their debt, which is staggering. The only thing R gets is the payment on his truck, and he already told her he's going to let it go back to the bank just to screw up her credit.
You know, I don't understand people who think that it's okay to be vicious and vindictive. Whatever else was true, when my ex and I divorced, there was none of this crap. Since they've been grown, my children and I have talked about this. My kids knew that they were loved. They knew that divorce or not, Mom and Dad were civil to one another - and that we stuck together when it came to anything to do with our children. They weren't used as pawns to wreak vengeance for all past hurts, real and imagined.
Of course in this case, Sis and hubby have no children (thank God for that much, anyway!) So there's even less reason for the cruelty. Sis told R he can have absolutely anything out of the house except one of her cats and her computer (which is something required for her work.) She even offered to pay a week's motel stay for him, as he claimed he was transferring to Nashville TN with his work.
It was no great surprise today that he rescinded that, claiming he can't afford to move to TN (which is bull, but that's another story.) He is trying to play the martyr while also harassing Sis constantly with phone calls. He called at least 6 times last night between 1:30am and 2am, whining how he was sleeping in his truck and was hungry (mind you, Sis put $1200 cash into his bank account on TOP of offering to pay his rent for a week, so no one was exactly feeling sorry for him at that point.)
Sis is already resigned to the fact that she's going to have to have him arrested. He's shown contempt for the restraining order again and again already.
That will not be pretty, either, because he'll lose his job. He carries a gun in his job.
Sis knows she's going to have to move, which will just do more to undermine her financially.
I'm very glad that I've had the opportunity to meet some of the good guys. I know they're out there. The ones who understand kindness and compassion. The ones who don't think it's necessary to bully someone to get their way. I've met a couple of gems here on Diaryland (don't tell Dangerspouse I said so, but he's one of them, despite his cheerful mysogynistic ramblings.) I've encountered a few other genuine-article sweethearts in real life these days, too. While I commiserated with my sis all weekend, letting her vent her men-bashing worst, I was quietly reminding myself of all the men out there who care for their families, sometimes making enormous sacrifices to make things work. Of men who are sometimes just as mixed up and hurt as we women, men who have been just as royally screwed over by the so-called fairer sex.
See, that's the dirty little secret that a lot of women conveniently forget. Women can be, if anything, even more cruel than men. Rarely physically so, but in terms of lasting emotional damage? Oh yeah.
Boss was doing dramatically better before I left Friday, so hopefully he had a good weekend. I need a few more days' reprieve to recoup, just in order to keep going. I haven't talked to them tonight but I assume nothing drastic happened while I was gone. At least nobody from the studios called my sister's cell phone.
This weekend wasn't without ANY positives. Sis and I both got out of the house for a while, of a necessity. We spent an ungodly amount of time trying to track down enough boxes to split a household. That in itself is no small task! Add to that trying to handle some little odds-and-ends projects and we had at least a little downtime to relax and laugh.
Oh, and thanks to help from Sis, I'm no longer blond. I went redhead, and I like the result a lot. When I'd gone red before I either used dark auburn or strawberry blond, and neither one really worked well for me. This time I kind of split the difference and Sis the part-time beautician (at least when it comes to sisters) highlighted the stuff. She did a good job - it looks pretty natural overall.
I also picked up a pair of espadrille-style sandals with a closed toe, found them at a specialty shop. They're a good brand and I got what I consider a killer deal, at $20. They're comfy and look good enough that they'll do for most of my work situations. I spent the extra $5 to get a can of Scotch Guard for them, though, as the upper is actually canvas and I never know where I'll have to go for the news. A year and a half ago I was traipsing through the mud in the aftermath of a flood. Other times I've gone to the State Capital, to women's club meetings, to groundbreakings - you name it. It's a crap shoot to dress for work, because when I leave home I never know for sure where I'll end up before the day's out.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pester hcatty to ask her how she added a gravatar when she wrote a comment to my last diary entry! Very cool!
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )