Hard Knock Life….

Like it or not….and I tend to lean heavily toward not….I am part of an extended family unit that is inclusive of my husband’s ex-wife.

Mostly, I wish she didn’t exist.  Not in the sense that I wish her harm or a serious illness beyond an itchy, unknown venereal disease….it’s more that I would prefer a life she is not a part of.

I’ve read numerous accounts of first wives lamenting about how the new wife was “not a part of the plan”….that wife #2 hadn’t been factored into the whole “happily ever after” life that had been imagined….well, ditto.

If I’m being honest, my interactions with Leeroy Massengill, (the pseudonym I’ve assigned to the ex….in the spirit of…. “if you can’t beat’em, join’em”), are generally no-where close to most of the horror stories I’ve heard and read about.  In my case, Leeroy is just an irritating fly that can’t be swatted….ever present….buzzing about….leaving behind a load of crap wherever she lands.

Over the years, I’ve done my best to ignore most of the jabs she’s thrown my way in the form of a text message or email sent to my husband.

I haven’t shot back when she’s referred to me using a wide variety of derogatory/degrading names in the midst of one of her temper tantrums.

I’ve stayed silent and composed when she’s rallied the Bitter Old Hags of America Club….aka, her friends….to stalk me on Facebook and to engage in whispered conversations….in that way people have of not at all whispering….full of veiled insults lobbed in my direction at “the children’s” school and extracurricular activities.

When she’s used “the children” as her mouth piece….not literally….but exhibited in behavior I’ve had more than enough therapy to recognize as clearly fueled by manipulated conflict….I’ve never criticized or spoken ill of her in response….because one of us needs to be considerate of her children’s well being.

I vent my frustrations to friends and occasionally, I have taken it out on my husband….she was his colossal mistake after all….but I’ve never allowed “the children” to see me sweat and thus, I’ve never allowed her to see me sweat.

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Once, while venting a particularly frustrating situation to my best-friend, she said, “Just because you’ve chosen to take the high-road, doesn’t mean you can’t stomp on the low road every now and then.”  

So, this blog post is my version of stomping on the low road.  In the post that follows, I’m going to commence….or to continue….venting and ranting and saying a bunch of really mean, snippy, snarky, bitchy things I long to say, but probably never will….because I prefer a life lived strolling along on the high road….sort of.

My step-son is attending a five day, sport focused, day camp this summer.  It’s a camp he attended last year as well, but only because I happened to overhear a conversation he was having during a family gathering where he expressed a desire to go.  Knowing full well he would never ask, I mentioned it to his father who mentioned it to him and VOILA! he was registered to attend.

Last year’s transportation to camp was coordinated by my husband….in conjunction with his retired parents who are in their late 60’s….who drove approximately 30 minutes each day….in the opposite direction of the camp….in order to collect my step-son and then haul him all the way back to drop him at camp each morning….then repeat to get him back to his mother each evening.  In addition, they packed his lunches each day.

You might assume this arrangement would be extremely helpful and make sense for a child with two full-time working parents who do not have the liberty of taking the time away from work to get him to and fro.

You would be right…if he was a child with two full time working parents….but Leeroy Massengill is unemployed….in the literal sense of the word anyway….unless you consider collecting vaginamony, I mean alimony, a job.

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Now….before anyone reading this get’s her knickers all in a twist regarding my statement above….I don’t entirely begrudge all of womankind or mankind for that matter, a certain, limited right to spousal support.

In cases where one parent was the primary breadwinner and the other a stay-at-home parent, I think it’s right that until the unemployed party is able to get on her or his feet, that support beyond just the splitting of assets is a reasonable request to make.

In other cases, where one parent took the backseat to another’s career and/or educational pursuits and worked to keep the family afloat while the other was climbing the proverbial ladder, I would also agree it is reasonable that the parent who made sacrifices for the other should expect some support in return.

However, I also believe there should be hard, defined limits.  I don’t agree or support the rationale that one adult should be responsible for the financial support of another, able bodied adult simply because they were once married….I think that concept had its time and in this day age….that time has largely passed.

In the case of Leeroy Massengill v. My Husband….she is a college educated woman in a field where employment is not hard to come by.  She did not support or make career and/or educational sacrifices in support of my husband’s goals.

During their marriage, it was agreed upon that she would stay at home until both children were in school in full time.  They ultimately divorced before the youngest had reached that milestone….but that milestone has since come and gone….six years ago.

Post divorce, they share joint custody of “the children” and she receives child support in addition to her alimony payments…. struggling single mother….she is not.

I’d say it’s high time to stop mooching off the hard work and talents of other people….but by virtue of her vagina, the legal system has awarded her a glorified welfare check and she doesn’t even have to try and wean herself off in order to maintain her eligibility.

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Now, back to the original rant….I considered last year’s camp transportation situation to be comically ridiculous so far as the lengths my in-laws and my husband went to accommodate a woman who is, essentially, lazy.

This year, my in-laws are not available to shoulder this responsibility and camp falls during a particularly hectic work week of my own, so I am not as available as I otherwise would be to help solve the transportation conundrum.

My husband explained all this to Leeroy Massengill, who explained by whining, “Well, can’t you share in the transportation responsibilities for the week?  I feel bad making daughter take a 20 minute car ride twice each day.”    

Um….

1.  Daughter is old enough to stay at home if this is really so monumental an imposition on her adolescent social schedule.

2.  You are actually collecting a paycheck for parenting your children.  Earn it.  Do your job.

3.  No, my husband isn’t available, because he has to go to work….in order to fulfill his payroll requirements….That would be you.

4.  If it weren’t for his job, you wouldn’t even be able to put gas in your car, let alone buy your boyfriend gifts at Christmas and for his birthday….we’re still waiting to get his Thank-You cards by the way….it would really be the polite thing to do.

5.  This has nothing to do with daughter and everything to do with the imposition on your schedule…..but I’m sure somewhere between The View, Ellen and whipping up one of your gourmet meals in which Ragu and/or something frozen is the primary ingredient….you can find the time.

Aaaaah……that felt good.

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