Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

June 29, 2008

Baby Daddy Drama

In the wake of divorce, the term "cooperative parenting" is an oxymoron. It is as if the embittered Ex has the brilliant idea that if he does everything in his power to inconvenience you and piss you off to the highest level of pissivity, it is somehow going to make you make you realize the error of your ways, change your mind and come back. Either that, or he just has a whole lot of bitchassness up in him (or her, as the case may be).

So here's a summary of the exchange that occurred this evening:

Me: (on the phone) What time are you coming to get the kids? (it is currently 5:35 pm, and he's scheduled to pick them up at 6 per the divorce decree)

The Ex: *sleepily* Errrm..... You want me to come pick them up??

Me: Yes, that's the arrangement..... I pick them up from you, you pick them up from me.

The Ex: Well......I guess I'll come get them now......

Me: I mean, I'm not saying you have to get them right this very moment, but I just was wanting to know what time you're planning on coming out here. (this is me, trying to be courteous)

The Ex: Ok, well I'll come get them in a few hours.

Me: How long is "a few hours"??

The Ex: Why do you need to know??

Me: I just need to know when you're coming.

The Ex: I said a few hours. *click*

So then the kids ask when dad is coming to get them and I say I don't know..... my son was wanting to know if I would have time to retwist all of his locs AND detangle a group that had grown together, to which I told him I didn't know because I didn't know when good ole dad was coming to get them. So my boy calls The Ex, and this is the general gist of the exchange (most of it via our son as the conduit, a serious no-no that I try to avoid):

Son: Dad says he wants to talk to you.

Me: No, I don't need to talk to him, I just need to know what time he's coming.

Son: Dad wants to know if you can just take us to camp in the morning. (WTF???)
Me: No. He's supposed to come pick you up this evening, so he needs to come get you this evening.

Son: Dad says that he's going to have us 2 weekends in a row (which is true, because we AGREED to trade weekends in a mutually beneficial manner) so he says why can't you just take us to camp in the morning? (what one has to do with the other I'm still not clear on)

Me: No, he's trying to punk me, he's coming to get you this evening.

Son: Just talk to him.... I don't want to play messenger. (I take the phone)

The Ex: Why can't you just take them to camp in the morning? (Gas is $4.198398402, that's why!!) Why are you so eager to get rid of them?? Why can't you just take care of them and do their hair??

(whole exchange re: our Son's locs.... he had told me several weeks ago that his new moo, I mean boo, had talked to my loctician and that he could fix the issue with his locs. He then tells me that he actually MADE him an appointment, and when I challenged him on it by asking whether he called to cancel said appointment--because my loctician blacklists no call/no shows-- he admitted that he was lying, or rather, bullshitting. He then says he's just not going to show up at all and hangs up.)

20 Minutes later......

The Ex (via text): I'm coming to get them at 8.

Me (via text): Ok thank you. That's all I was needing to know.

The Ex (via text): Why are you in such a hurry to get rid of them?? (*note: see the first verbal exchange to see why this question makes no effing sense)

Me (via text): See you at 8.

This is not the first time this argument has occurred.... in fact, it pretty much happens half the time that I'm attempting to get the kids back to him. Last time it was when I took my daughter an extra day so I could do her hair (and why he can't just take her to the shop or find some other bitch to do it, I have no clue) and he wouldn't let me bring her home when I was done. This is the same man who fought me tooth and nail to try and get full custody of the kids..... ran up a $6,000 legal bill (which he never paid), got the court to order a custody evaluation (which cost upwards of $10,000 typically; needless to say it never happened). Yet, when it comes time for him to resume his parenting time it's always a battle, with his principal argument being that I'm trying to "get rid of my kids". How about the fact that you're trying to avoid getting them back?? How about that one, buddy??

I really am just trying to live my life here with as little drama as possible. I try to give a little leeway on what's in the court order and try to be somewhat cooperative, and this is what I get. Sheesh......

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June 25, 2008

Picking your battles (a story about control)

The number 1 question I get after I tell people that I am recently divorced is "Why/what happened?" The answer to that is way more complicated than I care to wrap my brain around at that particular moment, so my rote answer is "We just grew apart." But it's way deeper than that. So here's another peek into my pre-divorce mind that sheds a wee bit of light on the question of "Why?"......

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Friday October 6, 2006


So I'm sitting here at the computer, head stuck in the hot inferno that is my hair dryer, trying to convince my locs that, yes, you SHOULD be curly tomorrow, and hoping this setting lotion is as good as the lady at Sally's said it is. It's Friday night, the jump-off night for one of the biggest "holiday" weekends of the year.... that's right, Circle City Classic.

"But why Boss Lady*," you ask.... "Why are you sitting at home in solitude after your friends have been asking you on e-mail, text message, MySpace and personally whether and where you'd be out tonight, and while all your friends are kickin' it??" And the answer is..... I gotta pick my battles.

When I opt to go out, I have to go through a complex cost/benefit analysis, weighing how much fun I'm likely to have at a particular event versus which one of the seven types of hell I'm going to have to go through at home to get there, and what amount of shit I'm gonna get when I come back in the door, added/subtracted/divided by the number of times I've been out and the number of times he's been out. It's really quite pitiful, and causes me a lot more angst than I'd really like to deal with, but there are times, like tonight, where I'm just too fucking tired to hear it.

"But Boss Lady," you ask, "you said you're home in SOLITUDE! WTF? If he doesn't want you OUT, isn't that because he wants to spend time with you??" Well, loved ones, its because I have a lot more lax view of the world than some people. I say "Go... have a good time. I'll see you in the morning" and I do my thing (like wash and roll my hair, watch Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, and create a new slideshow for my profile page). Contrast that with being told that folk REFUSE to come home and serve as my "babysitter" so I can go socialize with friends..... even though folk don't like the club and have to be pushed out the door. But I'm here in SOLITUDE.... so it's not about wanting me home to spend time with me, it's about not wanting me OUT. And, loved ones, that irks me to no end.

The problem in this situation is that the the world landscape has changed drastically..... as it should when people mature.... and things have flip-flopped and turned on their heads. And that's a hard thing to deal with. But instead of embracing change and adapting, some people FIGHT change..... But I learned a LONG time ago that fighting the change is just that...... fighting. And it gets old, and tiring, so there's just no point.... go find something more productive to do than sit around and stew in your own anger, and don't cause drama, because who wants to be around a drama queen?? Certainly not me......

Anyway, back to.... um..... I guess there was really nothing to get back to. Oh, you may ask how he is a "babysitter" and I'm just here with Miss Thang**? Dunno.... it's one of those great mysteries of the world that women everywhere ponder.

But ya know.... its all good. I was able to get my hair in order, watch Top Model with the girl, do the slideshow I tried to do for like 2 hours last night, and I won't have a hangover in the morning that will cut into my festivities that will begin at 4pm-ish and continue for the next 12 hours. I've got my Tylenol PM, my.... uh..... um.... yea, that, and the peace of mind of knowing that I'm one of the coolest effing women a man could ask to have with regards to the desire for autonomy, and because of that, I'm just chillin' tonight.

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*Boss Lady was my nickname that my "work spouses" gave to me because I was the first "work wife" to our "day husband"..... if you're not a fan of the show Big Love, then I'm sorry, you may not get it.

**Our then 7 year old. Don't ask me where the 12 year old was. Out kickin' it or some ish..... he tends to have more of a social life than I do.

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June 24, 2008

Predictions of change (kind of eerie)

Saturday April 28th, 2007 is when the excrement hit the air conditioning with my marriage..... that day was a VERY VERY VERY bad day and was The Beginning of The End. I'm not going to go into the details of that night now, but I came across this post that I wrote 3 days before that day. Kind of eerie.......

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Wednesday April 25th, 2007

I usually don't post before work, but I'm kinda feeling like.... yea. That. No, not that.... the other thing. Sensing winds of change coming, the tense and uncomfortable, yet comforting, anticipation of transition. Sure things change all the time, but there are those junctures in your life where everything makes a seismic shift. Who are those scientists who predict earthquakes?? *doing quick research* Oh yea, seismologists (duh)..... but seismologists say there's no way to accurately predict when an earthquake is coming, but the animals can.... they know everything before we do. So yea, I feel like that..... like something is coming, something big, and I better brace myself...... but I can't tell you how, when, where or how big or how long.

I feel certain connections with people slipping away.... not leaving my life, but dimishing in their role, while others move to the forfront. It hurts a little, but the prospect of new experiences is exciting.... if not a little daunting, just because it means I'm starting anew, and I will admit that I have a slight phobia of the new. Certain things I think have just run their unnaturally natural course..... and I guess I have to be fine with that. Nothing lasts forever.

Other things I know are done, over, finished, and I'm just biding my time waiting for the next thign to come along so I can shed and cleanse myself of such old, hurtful things. Waiting..... searching.....

Still others I know that I'm going to have to grip my hands around and manually wrest them into another form, because their current form is not working. These are what I'm most scared of, because I'm afraid of making the wrong move, making the wrong change......

So tears for the old, smiles for the new..... it's all life I suppose.... My friend of many many many years said at our class reunion last saturday that our cells completely replenish every 7 years, so basically every 7 years we are essentially a completely different person. Yea, I think that's right on time......

There've been times that I've thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come
~Sam Cooke

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Love vs. Respect

I think there's a misconception that love is the most important factor in a relationship. While there are many, many elements that are necessary for a successful long term relationship (in my novice opinion), I think the most important element is RESPECT. Once respect is gone, everything else follows suit. Respect is what causes you to to considerate, respect is what causes you not to cause hurt and pain to your significant other (hereinafter referred to as "S.O."), respect is what makes you care and want to be the best you can be for your S.O.

I think Machivelli had it right when he said that he would rather be respected than loved (or rather, have respect based on fear rather than love... but whatever); love is fickle, respect is more enduring. Because I'll tell you a secret about "love" in marriages and other long-term relationships: it ebbs and flows, rises and falls like the tide, and unless you have something stronger than love... which has to be MIGHTY strong... to anchor you down, the ship that is your relationship will go right out to sea with it, or end up washed up and stuck on the beach.

Just think about other relationships with people. I'm sure everyone knows that person at work who may be the most callous asshole on the face of the earth, just a cantankerous SOB.... but he/she is extremely well respected. You aren't going to do wrong by that person because of that respect. That respect is stronger than the like or dislike of the person. There's a scene at the end of Anchorman where Ron Burgundy is climbing out of bear pit (after Baxter saves him and Veronica Corningstone), and Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn... I love him) grabs the ladder, seemingly about to push Ron back into the bear pit and be rid of him once and for all. But then he sets the ladder back down and says: "I hate you more than anyone else on Earth, Ron Burgundy. But damn it, I respect you!" and gently kisses him on the forehead. Now THAT is the power of respect.

But you may say "Hey! What about trust?? That's pretty damn important too!" Agreed.... but I see trust as a subset of respect. When you trust a person, that is a form of respect.... respect for their word. So that takes care of that.

So, ask me which I'd rather have: Love or Respect? If I had to pick one, I'd choose the latter. I don't want to be the lovable idiot who's never taken seriously. But to make a serious relationship work, you gotta have both.... but you gotta, gotta, GOTTA have respect as that anchor. So don't ask me what happens when respect is lacking, or how to find it if it's come up missing.... if you have any ideas, fill me in.

(Originally posted May 29, 2006)

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Well, I found out what happens when respect is lacking...... PEOPLE CHEAT! More about that another time, loved ones.......

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"And we're still together!"

This morning I woke up rather early (for me) and sat in my bed looking around bewildered, and my eyes stopped on two pictures of my grandparents in their youth that are stuck above my bulletin board. My grandparents stayed together til the end--that is, until my grandfather died of a heart attack, which I've heard family members say in anger that it was because my grandmother stressed him to death. I thought back to my childhood when I'd go visit my grandparents and how every night, without fail, a huge argument would break out between them and I'd end up shuttled off to my cousin's house to stay with them. That is how I remember my grandparents. Then I started thinking about my own parents, and the scenario hasn't been much better.

Not saying that I blame my parents and grandparents for my divorce, but experiencing all that growing up did not help the cause any and, well, just didn't give me much incentive to stay married. Troubled couples tend to stay together "for the kids", but as a child of two generations of "intact" famlies, I say you can keep that shit. I've been walking on eggshells my whole life, waiting for the next melee to pop off. I wouldn't know what a normal, happy marriage looked like even if it walked up and bit me on the nose. And let me clarify that there was no violence or abuse involved, just lots of tension in the air and arguing and conflict. And it wasn't all bad all the time, but the negative definitely had an impact on me to the point where I wake up 20 years later and think about it and feel it in my soul (I'm tense right now just thinking about it). Honestly, there are times when I wish my parents would have gone their separate ways to go seek their happiness somewhere else, because it seemed like they weren't finding it there. Not that I am not grateful that they stuck it out, but I will definitely say it made an impact on me.

So...... on to the main event. I wrote this blog back in 2006 (pre-separation obviously) and wanted to repost it just to demonstrate that divorce is one of those things that's a long time coming, and you can't point to one thing that "caused" the divorce (though stay tuned because I might one day discuss The Beginning of The End..... I just don't think I'm ready for that yet) and it's not something that you just wake up and decide to do. You can hear the distant rumblings before the storm hits, and here's one of those rumbles:

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After countless surveys asking the question, I think I've finally come up with what my greatest fear is: growing into an old woman who can't stand her spouse. If you're friends with me, I'm sure you're old enough to remember the skit from In Living Color with Mr. and Mrs. Brooks, the old married couple that had been together for 50 years, but continuously and unsuccessfully tried to kill each other..... "And we're still together!"

In Living Color - Mr. and Mrs. Brooks (sorry about the commercial... just be patient, it's worth it)


I think this happens more than we'd like to acknowledge. I think both sets of my grandparents despised each other as much as they loved each other..... I rarely heard my grandmas talk fondly of my grandfathers until they were both dead. And I've heard of or seen other couples who, while they're still together, they don't treat each other very well. You love the person, but, well..... you just don't like 'em very much. And, if you're constantly on the brink of killing each other, is being able to say that you've been together for 50 years really worth it??

I see it with my own parents all the time..... today was a perfect example. My dad got taken to the hospital at 1am last night because he couldn't breathe.... turns out his blood pressure was way high because he hadn't been taking his medicine (bad daddy!!). My mother doesn't call to tell me about it until THIRTEEN HOURS later and tells me "Your dad's in the hospital again. I'm going home because I haven't had any sleep" and she just sounded irritated more than worried. I asked my dad if she was coming back up there, and he just shrugged. I know what it was..... she was mad because he inconvenienced her. I believe my mother loves my dad in some way, but there's just no compassion, no consideration, none of what makes a relationship enjoyable and not just something that you tolerate or that makes life a little easier (for financial reasons, child rearing, someone to talk to, whatever). One of my very good friends told me that he viewed marriage as a business.... I told him that was a fucked up attitude and that he'd be divorced within a year.... turns out my prediction was true, but I'm starting to wonder....... maybe you have to view it that way in order to make it work.

Let's be real here...... 30, 40, 50 years is a looooong ass time. And like Andre 3000 told Erykah's momma: "Forever never seemed that long until you're grown" and as Machiavelli observed, Love between humans is unreliable and fickle, and Love is perishable. Anyone who's been in a long term relationship know that "love" and "work" go hand in hand. So it's easy to see that the odds are stacked against enduring love. Sad, but real. That is not to say that we are all doomed to end up in loveless, old beat down marriages..... but it just shouldn't be surprising that people do.

I'm only 28, so I don't know shyt about shit about relationships. But if I had to put some money on one side or the other, I'd say it is worth it from the perspective of keeping family units whole, which typically creates more stability in a person's life. Maybe the key is just being real and having real expectations from the person you're with. If you're constantly measuring your mate against the person that they should be, they're going to be a constant disappointment, and it's no wonder that you can't stand them after 30 years.

I don't know what it takes to have a long, happy relationship.... maybe it just takes the stars being aligned just right (seems like Saturday I was having a very drunken conversation where someone talked about the "stars being aligned" and I started pontificating on how the universe is expanding and stars move, and the Big Bang theory and all that..... if that convo was with you, it really DID make sense at the time..... but I think whoever it was said they couldn't stand my ass..... LOL!) or maybe it's just luck. But I just know I don't want to be stuck in that relationship purgatory, teetering on that thin line between love and hate.

(originally posted September 18, 2006)

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The secret to long life

According to some woman who is turning 110 today, her secret to long life was not getting married. Years ago I met a 90-something year old woman who said the same thing.

Isn't there data that marriage increases life span true for both men AND women? I may have to research that one......

Ok, after a quick Google search, here's what I found:

"Australian researchers have found that marriage may add almost a year to a man's life, but it does little to boost the lifespan of women. A study of about 3,000 elderly men and women since 1988 found married men lived on average 11 months longer than their single counterparts."

DAMMIT!! Once again, the deck is stacked in favor of men......

(originally posted October 10, 2006)

June 21, 2008

WANTED: Cuddle Jump Off

I think I may have a problem. Ok, so I have many problems. But this particular problem deals with the fact that, for over 10 years, I always had someone to sleep in the bed with me. I'm not talking about sex here.... I'm talking about someone's physical presence next to me in my bed. Someone whom I could roll over and snuggle against his back for a few minutes and then roll over and go back to sleep, someone to reach over and give me a lil rub, someone whose rhythmic breathing was the normal background sounds to my sleeping every night. For the past year I've been doing without it..... I've migrated to the middle of the bed, I stack up pillows on both sides of me (and even went so far as to buy a body pillow recently), and I spread out far and wide across the mattress. But still, old habits die hard, and I often find myself just wanting someone to come sleep in the bed with me.

I've termed this as needing a "cuddle jump off." Yea, I said jump off. Someone whose sole purpose is to sleep in the bed with me and provide the occasional cuddle (because I'm really not a HUGE cuddler, especially once I really get down to the business of sleep). I need nothing else from you, just your physical presence while I sleep. The problem with finding such a person to fulfill this role is that usually when you get in bed with a man in some sort of sleep attire short of flannel PJs (which I don't wear..... ew), and you don't normally sleep in the bed with this man every night, it usually makes them want to have sex. Darn. But I can't say I blame them, and I've always thought it was unfair of women who would get in a dude's bed scantily clothed, or not clothed at all, and then act appalled when he tried to make a move. Getouttaherewiththatbullshit. You don't throw a steak into the lion's den and then get pissed when he tries to eat it.

So there lies my quandary.... finding someone who will keep me company in bed without all the extracurriculars. I actually did have one for a minute.... a nice young man who would let me come over and stay the night when I'd had too many drinks at my Saturday Spot downtown and he never tried to make a move. Aw, his momma taught him right. But that's extremely rare, and I don't know what kind of self restraint techniques he used, but I'll tell you, most men don't have them. And I'm not saying that I expect them to. I know I'm asking for something unrealistic.... a girl can dream, right? I'm just saying that lonely sleeping is definitely something I'm still trying to adjust to.

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June 20, 2008

Less Money, More Problems

We all know the song "More Money, More Problems"..... forget that. One major adjustment that comes with separation and divorce is adjusting to the sudden disappearance of one person's income. It doesn't matter if your spouse was making significantly less than you were (as was the case with me), the disappearance of 1/4 of your household income is something that takes some adjusting to. Needless to say, a few months ago I wasn't adjusting very well........

(originally posted on October 24, 2007)

I'm officially panicking right now about the state of my financial affairs. Not to get all into it, but it's bad..... really really bad. Fuck The Firm (yea I said it) for only paying associates once a month, while all the other employees get paid every two weeks. I'm sure it works out to some finanacial benefit to the partners, like an extra $23 they get to collect in interest or some shit like that..... it's always for the benefit of the partners; that's the whole goal. But that's the least of my concerns (partner/association relationship)...... my concern is trying to figure out how I'ma make it to November 15 without hoeing or some shit like that.

I just wanna smack the shit outta this dumb muthafucker (The Ex) that doesn't understand that if I spend $1000 on a cell bill (that he ran up) and $1000 on an attorney (which I insisted we didn't need attorneys and could just go to mediation and be done with it), plus all the other bills that normally get paid with two incomes and STILL come up short, that I don't then have the money for the mortgage, and since its his loan and not mine, and he's got no expenses but to feed his still fat ass, that he needs to pay it this month. Foreclosure?? Don't you think I know that shit?? Don't you remember that I've taken TWO real estate classes (one in undergrad, one in law school) and a property course?? Obviously not, just like he forgets all my other eductational attainments and wants to treat me like he's smarter than me...... an obvious sign that he's the dumbest muthafucker in the world. You bringing a wiffle bat to a gun fight, dude. So at this point I really don't give a fuck about his credit when I'm trying to figure out how I'ma pay for lunches, car insurance, food, and toilet paper until the 15th.

I should not be in this situation. I should not be a fucking cum laude JD grad corporate attorney and be stressed about my finances. That fact right there stresses me out. My money ain't as long as y'all think.... you know how money like this gets long?? Minimum credit card payments, and I use my credit card so infrequently that they suspend my shit when I DO use it because it triggers the fraud alert. But when you're using cash, and have drafty finances (i.e. someone running your cell bill up to $1600.... all that money for fucking TALKING!! Nothing to show for it!), your shit is mighty short.

I'm on the brink of some tortious (and possibly criminal) behavior..... either to get rid of this anger and frustration and/or to get me thru. But instead I know that the Universe will prevail and God will take care of the situation somehow..... in the end it'll be alright...... because it has to. My credit may be wrecked and mangled to hell, but I'll still have my life, I'll still have my kids, I'll still have my education, I'll still have right on my side. I'm a smart girl..... I'll figure out something.

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June 19, 2008

A lesson in jurisdiction

ju·ris·dic·tion /ˌdʒʊərɪsˈdɪkʃən/ [joor-is-dik-shuhn] –noun

1. the right, power, or authority to administer justice by hearing and determining controversies.
2. power; authority; control: He has jurisdiction over all American soldiers in the area.
3. the extent or range of judicial, law enforcement, or other authority: This case comes under the jurisdiction of the local police.
4. the territory over which authority is exercised: All islands to the northwest are his jurisdiction.


In law, jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning "law" and dicere meaning "to speak") is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility.

There are three main types of judicial jurisdiction, personal (personam), territorial (locum), and subject matter (subjectam):

Personal - Authority over a person, regardless of his location.

Territorial - Authority confined to a bounded space, including all those present therein, and events which occur there.

Subject Matter - Authority over the subject of the legal questions involved in the case.

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Today's topic is, as you can see, jurisdiction. It takes the average law student about 4 months to understand the concept of jurisdiction, but I'm about to break it down right here and now. Ever wonder why the bad guys in the old movies were always trying to get "over the county line"?? It's because the sheriff chasing them lacked jurisdiction in the next county over...... it was outside of their territory so they had no right to enforce any laws over there. That was left to the sheriff in that county. That sheriff has a "defined area of responsibility," namely his county.

Likewise, jurisdiction applies in relationships. Yes, I said relationships. Different types of relationships give rise to the three types of jurisdiction to varying degrees. Let's start with the easiest and broadest one: personal jurisdiction and marriage. Marriage gives each spouse personal jurisdiction over the other. That means regardless of where you are or what you're doing, your spouse has some say in what you're doing and has the right to get upset about whatever you're doing (if he/she finds out, but that's a whole 'nother issue). He or she has the right to say something about who you're spending time with, how long you spend time with them, where you're going, how much money you're spending, and what you doing. It's part and parcel to marriage.... they should just print it on the back of the marriage license: "This document confers in personam jurisdiction to the parties to this agreement." There are no county lines you can cross to escape it. Sorry.

Next we have territorial jurisdiction, which may apply when you have yourself a boo-thang in another city but you're otherwise not exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. It's summed up best by the line from Common's song So Far To Go: "Sweetheart you know that you're the most...... important, at least on the west coast......." When you're in town with that person, they have the right to have a say in what you do and have a right to get upset about such things. For example, you can't go visit your Chicago boo and be out trying to holla at other men while you're there, but this may be perfectly acceptable for either one of you when you're back in your respective cities. Their jurisdiction exists only in that territory, i.e. that city.

Subject matter jurisdiction is a little trickier to apply in this context (but bear with me, for I am the queen of the metaphor). Subject matter jurisdiction falls more into a grey area, and comes into play in the "just dating" realm or any other relationship that's short of being engaged or married, but is obviously someone you spend a decent amount of time with. Which subject matters you have jurisdiction over (i.e. which you legitimately have a say about) really depends on the nature and stage of your relationship. These subject matters would include, but are not limited to, how often a person calls, whether that person can talk to/flirt with others, your priority in relation to that person's friends/family/pets, whether you get invited to family events, etc. The longer and more involved the relationship, the more subject matters you have jurisdiction over. This is the area where people get confused as to how much say they actually have, and this is where people are most likely to get their feelings hurt. It is very important to have a realistic view of the subject matter jurisdiction that you have in a particular relationship. Stalkers, for example, have NO concept of subject matter jurisdiction, whereas true "friends with benefits" have a very good concept of subject matter jurisdiction.

Being a recently divorced/single woman, I am having issues with subjectam jurisdiction..... not so much over others, but what others feel like they have over me. I can do things that might otherwise be considered disrespectful or hurtful if I had a more developed and committed relationship with certain individuals (like, for example, The Ex)..... but bottom line is I don't, so those people don't have anything to say about certain things I choose to do. That was part of the motivation behind Le Divorce Tattoo (the tattoo I got after my divorce was finalized)..... I no longer had anyone who had a say over whether I decided to get a very prominent (and very beautiful) tattoo. It's just me here, for the first time ever in my life really. I respect the relationships that I have with people, but I realize that there are certain things that I have no say over or about...... anymore or yet, depending on who we're talking about (which I'm not going to go into specific situations). Likewise, I wish certain folk (ok, so namely folk on the ex side of things) would do the same for me.

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June 18, 2008

Priceless

Several months ago (pre-final divorce) I was talking to The Ex, and he made a comment to me to the effect of that he knows I'm new to the dating game and to make sure I'm not just "giving it up" without getting anything in return (this was in response to me saying that I'm not dating as much as he assumes I am) because I'm a special person and am worth more than that..... in other words "Don't give it away for free." This comment has been kind of bothering me over the past couple of days as I've let it roll around in my head for a bit, first because I didn't like the negative assumptions and implications that he put on me, but also, in the grander scheme of things, what does that really mean?? Does that mean I should have some sort of dollar amount in mind that some guy should spend on me before the relationship gets physical?

(and I'm not factoring in the religious/moral implications of relations outside of marriage..... yea yea, I know, but everyone does it anyway, and if you don't then good for you. Have a cookie.)

And if you're putting a dollar value on your goods, doesn't that make you a....... dare I say...... prostitute?? Ok yes I know I'm oversimplifying it and may be taking this logic to it's absurd extreme, but seriously....... if I'm demanding some level of quid pro quo when it comes to sex, and this amount is tied to the value of what I believe my "goods and services" are worth, that to me makes it seem like I'm just having sex so I can get something in return. Which is what courtesans do. Which I don't speak enough languages and am not well traveled enough to do.

But how about this novel idea..... sometimes some women want to have relations with a person for the same reason a man does, and doesn't WANT anything further from that person. And what she's receiving in return is her own pleasure. *gasp* Yea, I know..... scandalous. Women should ALLLLLL want romance and chivalry and roses and flowers and shit. But just as dating is putting in work for a man, it also take some work on the woman's part. Nobody's going to want to sit through a dinner (or two or 5 or 10) with you AND pay unless you can be nice and sweet and charming and appealing in ways that HE likes. Which is fine and good. But sometimes the dog and pony show gets tiring. And some people suck to talk to. And sometimes you just don't want to wait 6 weeks til he's spent the requisite dollar amount. And sometimes it's STILL the case that once he gets the goods he's done.... it's just delaying the inevitable.

Bottom line I guess is that I ain't mad at a woman if she wants to have herself a Friend With Benefits who doesn't spend a dime on her unless he happens to have a pizza there when she gets over there, and they don't talk about anything of substance or hold hands or get all kissy-kissy in public, and they simply have an "understanding". I believe that a woman's sexuality is NOT a prize to be won by the highest bidder, and I don't think women are always being taken advantage of when they CHOOSE to have relations with someone and that's it. Everything has it's time and place and purpose, and if she's satisfied with it and doesn't feel shortchanged or disrespected, then so be it. I tip my hat to those women who are good and patient and wait some minimum amount of time and dollar amount spent. But Nola Darling didn't just spring forth from the imagination of Spike Lee like some brand new and novel concept. Some of us like (and demand) physical intimacy a little more than others.......

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is no dollar amount or material value that I can put on myself, so any rule with respect to that is simply an arbitrary one, thus making it no good really. The rules I impose upon myself to dictate my conduct will be tied to some other principal other than material. I am not for sale......I am priceless.

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June 14, 2008

"....and if you need 'em I got crazy prophylactics...."

So I'm in Meijer today doing some early morning grocery shopping and I make my way over to the health and beauty section to pick up a few things before I check out. I'm meandering around, telling myself not to make the endcap makeup display impulse purchase, when I find myself, once again, walking past the condom display. This is not the first time I've wandered past the condom display, not just in this store but others as well..... Target, Walgreens, CVS, the gas station...... glancing but never having the guts to pick up a box. Being a newly single, educated, self-sufficient, healthy red-blooded American woman, it goes without saying that I would, at some point, have occasion to use such things. But for some reason I've always been too embarassed to buy them myself. I'm really not sure what I think the check-out lady is going to think and why I'm so afraid of what she may think, knowing good and well in my rational mind that she probably thinks absolutely nothing except for how long it is until her lunch break. I always chicken out, telling myself "Oh well, if and when the situation arises, I guess he'll have some (if he knows what's good for him)" so I put it off for another day. But then I think about one of my best friends who works for Planned Parenthood as a lobbyist and is working long and hard in DC for not nearly enough money in order to safeguard my uterus and everyone else's, so dammit it seems like that the least thing I could do is take responsibility for my own reproductive health and do something to safeguard it myself.

So back to the health and beauty section..... I make a pass through the aisle, slowing down slightly in front of the multicolored boxes, but then, once again, I keep going. As I'm walking to the check out lanes I remember..... eureka! Meijer has no limit self check out lanes! Yesss! This is my chance to purchase prophylactics without anyone noticing! I make a U-turn back, quickly snatch up a box of Magnums before the stock woman comes back to finish stocking the maxi pads, shove the box under a tub of sour cream in my cart, and high tail it down to the self check lanes. I'm almost home free until my perfect plan has a SNAFU thanks to the aformentioned tub of sour cream. The damn thing rang up the wrong price and I had to have the attendant come over and void it for me, which was all fine and good because I was only half way through my cart of groceries. Whew... she didn't look back into my cart! But then, to my horror, the nice attendant lady proceeds to start bagging my groceries for me! Noooooo!! I slowly and anxiously ring up one thing after another and watch it travel down the conveyor belt toward this extra kind woman, and I am cursing her secretly for being such a good samaritan. I took a deep breath and kept ringing.... nothing was going to stop me now. But then, in a stroke of luck, the people in the next lane over needed some assistance and she left just as the last 3 items were in my cart. Mission accomplished, and I'm now the proud and responsible owner of a dozen "just in case you forgot" condoms.

In all seriousness, though, this was a really unnecesary phobia I needed (and probably still need) to get over. I cannot call myself a progressive, self-reliant, responsible adult woman if I don't take charge of my own reproductive health. This was more about empowerment of self than the absolute need to have them around. Organizations like Planned Parenthood encourage women to not allow other people to be in control of and make decisions about our reproductive health, whether that's the legislature, judges, or our partners. Fact of the matter is "everyone is doing it" and it should not be the case that we are embarassed to buy condoms, but rather embarassed if we don't.

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June 13, 2008

*Truly* murder-worthy behavior

I posted this back in October 2007, so here's a lil background: When The Ex and I separated, I took my Civic and he took the Durango. Now when we bought the Durango 2 years earlier, I never wanted it. Gas was in the mid-$2 range and I knew we'd never be able to get rid of it. So when it came time for me to get a new car (yes, he got a new car before I did when I started working full time..... but that's a whole 'nother issue) I was responsible and got a much cheaper, much more fuel efficient car.

Anyway, even though he took the Durango, I was still making BOTH payments on BOTH cars, including insurance. I tried to ask him nicely that all I wanted from him was to pay for his car..... I didn't ask for child support, I didn't ask for money on the household bills (including the debts), nothing. But this dude refused, and refused, and refused. So one day I was like fine, if I'm paying for both cars, I'm going to have both cars. I went to his job and I took it right there, and then had a friend bring me back to pick up my car. The next morning, this is what I woke up to..........
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WEDNESDAY October 3, 2007: (get ready, cuz it's some fucked up shyt....)

Soooooo..... this is what I woke up to this morning and saw as I was going outside to get my babies on the bus:

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and.....

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Needless to say, I was just a wee bit pissed.

Who could have done this in the middle of the night?? Perhaps the man who's truck I had to take back yesterday because he wouldn't man up and pay for it, who I busted trying to let the air out of the tires of my car as it sat down the street from his job (while accompanied by two dog head gorilla looking bitches.... can't even do your shyt solo), who was mad cuz I had to call the po-po on him for violating his restraining order?? Whodoya think??

And he thought writing a bitch-like phrase all across the sides and back of my car would point the finger away from him...... but doesn't he know that he's been so bitch-like over the past 5 months that it points DIRECTLY to him??? Please.

And then...... why was MY (yes MINE) Durango tire ALSO slashed?? That's SUCH a bitch move!! And WHY are you so stupid as to do the shyt the VERY SAME DAY I get into it with you over your bitch-like ways in wanting to live off of a female and not pay for what you use??

Damn, at least be stealthy and think about that shyt...... don't stick the gun in your pocket while it's still smoking.

But..... here's what my shyt looks like now:

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AND.....

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That's 4 hours of elbow grease, bitches!

Niggro didn't you know my daddy is the Black McGuyver??? And I'm DEFINITELY his daughter. What!!!

(And peep the Durango in the background.... it may be sitting on a flat, but yo ass is still walkin'.)

When, oh, when will he realize that he cannot fux with me??

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*Afterword: The Ex claims (swears/insists/persists) that he was not the one who vandalized my shyt...... whatever. If it wasn't him directly, it obviously was someone affiliated with him so basically he's guilty as the principal acting through an agent. I just had to put that out there for legal purposes so he doesn't do some bitch shyt like sue me for libel. And, he eventually did start paying on the Durango and I gave it back...... but now that MF is sitting on the repo lot. Anyone wanna buy an '05 Durango?? I'm sure you could get a good deal.

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Man-Children

There are just some things that come with time and age, no matter how "mature" a person thinks they are. Last night I met this man-child at Level (on Wednesday it's cool....trust me) who tells me he's 22 and proceeds to give me the whole "I'm mature..... I got the experience of a 40 year old..... people tell me I don't act 22....... I'm going to the league" bullshit spiel. Thanks but no thanks, I'm good. Then I end up at The Pub on Mass Ave and lo and behold, once again it's Man-Child sitting with my group of folks, and he come and sits his big Man-Child self right next to me. After explaining to him for 10 minutes that no, I do not want to partake of the big ass bag of weed he had in his pocket that he kept wanting to show me over and over, the topic turns to "what he can do for me" and how "mature" he is (he also asked if going home alone is a regular thing for me.... uh yea, man-child, I'm not into random mens in my home, let alone anywhere else). I tried to explain to him that there are certain intangible things that I need that only come with age and *true* maturity, but I couldn't quite break it down for him because I had too many framboises and was too busy trying to give Court and Kei the "please save me" look which they missed, so I was stuck. But now I can break it down in a simple example:

Offer 1: I know how to work it.

Offer 2: I wanna bathe you, dry you off, rub you down with lotion, massage you and pleasure you orally for an hour.

Now, which offer came from the 22 year old and which one came from the 30-something year old?? Not hard to figure out. Youngstas need to realize that there's more to life than penis...... hell, I can go buy one of those, and I've also gotten to the point with myself and knowing myself that I can make just about anything that a man has to offer work to my advantage ("uh, yea stop and I'll take over from here....."). Being attuned to what women really want and being mature enough to be selfless like that is something that only comes with age, and the realization that selflessness on that level will yield you more than good "do it" is not something youngstas are ready for. If you come pleasure me with no quid pro quo, no expectation of a return favor, you're gonna get the Business 10x over next time around without even having to ask. (Patience, grasshopper.) Man-children just haven't figured that out yet, so they really have no business trying to step to an almost 30-something like me.....go holla at that 21 year old girl who hasn't figured out what she wants yet.

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June 12, 2008

A Little Background.....

My name is.... well, my name really isn't important. What is important is the fact that I am an almost 30-year old woman who has spent the last year of my life getting divorced, and even though the ink is dry on the final documents, I am still in the process of getting divorced. Divorce isn't just a break.... it's more like a disentanglement where you try to separate everything with the least amount of damage as possible. Unfortunately, damage avoidance is impossible.... financial damage, property damage, emotional damage, reputational damage..... I've been through it all.

So here's basically the background leading up to this point: My ex husband (hereinafter "Ex" or "The Ex")and I were high school sweethearts who started dating freshman year. We met in the cafeteria, went to all the dances together, all that cute stuff that makes you say "awwwww"... but you can save it. Sophomore year of high school I got pregnant and had our son when I was not quite 16. We graduated from high school in 1996 (me at the top of the class, him at the bottom) and I moved out and got my own place where he lived at when convenient (i.e. lived there when he wanted somewhere to lay up, didn't live there when bills came due). We had a daughter when I was 20 and a junior in college, and then we were married at 21 (why 21? Because I wanted to be able to (legally) drink at my own wedding). I kept going to school, graduated with high distinction from the school of business in 2001, went on to law school, and that's when the shyt started its slow downward slide. I graduated from law school cum laude in 2004, got the "dream job" at the big firm, and shyt started sliding faster. Long story short, we separated in April 2007 and finally divorced in May 2008.

This past year has been the most hellacious of my life... I've dealt with infidelity, domestic battery, vandalism, suicide, therapy, theft, unemployment, pregnancy/abortions, and a whole lot of bitchass behavior. But I can honestly say I don't regret my decision one bit and I think I'm a better, stronger person for it. But now comes the hard part..... remember I said that we were high school sweethearts?? That means, at 30 years old, I am completely new to the dating scene. Last time I was single all that was involved in "dating" was asking someone if they wanted to "go together". Now I find myself trying to navigate all the rules and standards and craziness of this thing called dating, all while still trying to deal with the fall out of the divorce, raise a 14 year old boy and a 9 year old daughter, and maintain my sanity at the same time. Oh, and did I mention that I'm one of the most random, eclectic, strange, free-spirited people that I know?? Craziness......

So this is what I want to do.... I want to document all the crazy crap I've been through, am going through, and will go through trying to deal with divorce and being new on the dating scene. Aye dios mio.... what a ride.

Adventures in Divorce: 06/2008 - 07/2008

Adventures in Divorce