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 25, 2009

Told you so (a follow up)

Yesterday I wrote a blog post analyzing the question of "how do you know him???" that I received in a message on Facebook in which I concluded that "just out of curiosity" means "I really want the scoop on this man who was/I wish to be mine" and that anyone responding to such a question should proceed with caution. Once again, my unheeded prophetess sense didn't fail me. Here's an excerpt of the message I was sent in response:
"Oh ok I know [so-and-so] from school I had the biggest crush on him too...."
Bingo-bango. Told you so.

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June 24, 2009

How do you know HIM???

Today I got a Facebook friend request from a friend of a friend whom I'd hung out with a few times (ok, so we all went on a trip together, so she's more than just a passing acquaintance) and this is the message she sent me along with the request:
"Hey, How are you doing girl? How's things going with you? I was looking threw your page and on friend lists I seen [so-and-so] just out curiosity how do you know him???"
Now, anyone who has ever used Facebook, or MySpace, or any other social networking site knows that nobody actually knows everyone on their friend list. On Facebook, the friend request may be based solely on the fact that you have a lot of mutual friends (at least, that's how I do it.... and if I get a request with a very low number of mutual friends or none at all, they get the "Limited Profile" approval). And most friends on my friend list never get a message, wall post, Like, comment......nada. They're just kind of there.

My initial thought was "Hmmm..... this must be some guy she's been with, some guy she wants to get with, or some guy one of her girls has been with or wants to get with." The message is oozing with nosiness, messiness, and/or desperation. So how did I come to this conclusion so quickly? Let us analyze this 3 sentence message......

First, she went through all 320 of my friends (which is admittedly low for Facebook standards, but still objectively a lot of people) and picked out this ONE guy to ask me about "out of curiosity." "Out of curiosity" is one of those cover-up phrases which actually mean "I am desperate to know tell me everything right NOW!" I've encountered this phrase before and it always throws up a yellow flag that this person has ulterior motives for wanting to know this information aside for satisfying curiosity, usually of a personal (and intimate) nature.

Next, notice the use of excessive punctuation... not one question mark, but three. Maybe as a grammar geek I'm reading more into this and perhaps this chick always uses way too much punctuation, but even still excessive punctuation offenders usually get carried away with the exclamation points, not the question marks. No, to me this is a bit on the frantic side and smacks a bit of urgency to know this information.

Finally, notice how she didn't share how SHE knows this person. Normally when you ask how someone knows a person, you tend to share what your connection is to them as well. Example: "I saw John on your friend list, just wondering how you know him? He's my cousin on my momma's sister's auntie's side." The absence of such information leads me to believe that she doesn't WANT me to know her connection with this person because it may impact how much information she gets out of me, and that I may slip up and say something that I might not have had I know the extent of the relationship with this person. It's a set up, and I tend to side step set ups.

With all that said..... I don't know the guy from Adam. I had to go find him in my friend list to see who he even is, and even then nothing rang a bell. At most I've run across him in passing merely by virtue of the fact that this city is so damn small and all the folks with sense hang out at the same places, but still I don't know him from the next person out and about. Even still, though, the fact that my yellow flags were up helped me to temper my response. Something told me that it was a rather loaded inquiry, so this was my response:
"I don't. Just another random facebooker who must have saw that we have a lot of mutual friends. I only send friend requests to people I know personally."
I wanted to make it very clear that she could lower her hackles and let her girl know that she doesn't have to come beat my ass. But dang, chicks.... be a little slicker about your stalking activities! 'Cuz you know what? Even if I did know this guy and did have some scandalous scallywagging going on sort of relationship with him (past or present), my response would have probably been the same.

Bottom line..... don't do this sort of thing. I can see a fishing expedition a mile away. It's not slick or cute, and makes you look like a stalker. And nobody wants to be a stalker.... at least, they don't want to look like one.

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June 11, 2009

Better safe than sorry.....?

So today on Twitter I was following and participating in a discussion initiated by The Red Pump Project regarding opinions on women who carry condoms. The discussion began as follows:
Question: Ladies, how do you feel about carrying condoms on you? Men: Would you frown upon your girl if she had condoms in her purse? (@RedPumpProject)
Here were some of the responses to the discussion:
WORD RT @anesidora I used to carry them & see nothing wrong with it. Presumably guys have condoms on deck, so why can't we? No excuses. (my response, of course)

RT @superhussy @RedPumpProj why not? i have to protect myself and you can't count on someone else to look out for your sexual health.

See? How does her protecting herself make u think she's a jumpoff? RT @peyso Yea, she's about safe sex. But I might think she's a jump

Handy nonetheless RT @TheBiasedTruth used to always carry them with me they always came in handy, but mostly for my friends! #redpumptalk

@RedPumpProj dudes usually know when there is the smallest poss of it going dn, he should be prepared if he's not, u should wonder why (@bsleet)

@bsleet It shouldn't be a 1 sided obligation. I believe in CYA (or rather CYP) & you don't always kno somethin will go down. #redpumptalk (@anesidora)

EXACTLY! RT @anesidora Not sayin its definitely goin down. I'd carry condoms for MONTHS & never have to use em. #redpumptalk
(you can follow more of the discussion on Twitter with the tag #redpumptalk or go to RedPumpProj)

It seemed like the general consensus was that there's nothing wrong with a woman carrying her own condoms, but a few of the dissents bothered me:

1. If she carries condoms, it makes her look like a jump off.

Since when did being prepared automatically make you reckless?? You don't buy car insurance with the intent of causing a 10 car pileup on I-69. You don't get anti-virus software for the purpose of downloading malicious executable files. Likewise, women don't necessarily carry condoms with the purpose and intent of finding some strange (or "new-new" as one of my friends calls it) and taking it home later that night. It's just in case, loved ones. And not just in case you find yourself in a one night stand situation because you were out hunting for some new-new before you even walked out the door. You never know if or when you may run into an old flame with whom you may want to rekindle that spark "for old times sake"..... you never know if you and your man may want to meet up later..... you never know if your friend or homie may need one. It's better that you have it covered (no pun intended) than leave something to drunken chance.

I won't launch into my full on assault on double standards, but this is CLEARLY one, and a very bad one. Sex takes two people equally involved, and ideally a condom should also be involved. You just cannot tell me that a woman being the one to supply said condom is somehow a less than desirable individual when she was going to have sex with the man ANYWAY. The logical fallacy is hurting my brain, so I'm going to have to stop.

2. The guy should have some, and you should question his level of responsibility and not deal with him if he doesn't.

This is an argument that would have my BFF, who is a Planned Parenthood lobbyist, springing to the attack and intellectually ripping you a new one. Going back to the car insurance analogy, you can't just say "well, everyone else should have insurance so I don't need any." It is every woman's right and obligation to make sure that she is in charge of her own sexual health. This is NOT an obligation that we need to place on others for the sake of not "looking like a hoe" (which is a BS argument and view anyway). Yes, men who are sexually active should have condoms in their possession..... but what happens if he unexpectedly runs out? What happens if he thought he had a whole box and his roomie came and "borrowed" them all? What happens if he gave his last one to his boy while they were out because it was obvious he was about to get into some meats (as my beau and his roomie say), and then you come along at 2:57am?? I can think of much more egregious deal breaker offenses and indications of lack of responsibility other than "he wanted to have sex but didn't have a condom." Well, obviously, you wanted to too, or you wouldn't be there, and you didn't have one either. Double Fail.

This should not be some sort of "test"...... if you read my blog posts, you know how much I abhor tests, checklists, and games. Why set yourself (and him) up like that?? "Oh, I'ma go to his place, get all ready to do the do, and if he doesn't have condoms on him he gets deleted from the Blackberry." Why not just have your own and everyone is happy? Now, the dealbreaker would be him not having any, you having one, but he still insists on following Old Dirty Bastard's advice anyway. *cue Shimmy Shimmy Ya*

(ok, so I admittedly "indirectly" used one test..... I used to buy Trojan Magnums, so if you were foolish enough not to have your own, and the ones I brought were a little... um..... "roomy", then you have failed on 2 fronts, not just one, and in theory, hopefully you would have been embarrassed enough to not make the same mistake again.)

Ok, I'm off the soapbox. To read more about my views on this, check this out: "....and if you need 'em I got crazy prophylactics....."

Also check out The Red Pump Project, a campaign to raise awareness about the effect of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.

And thanks to the homie BSleet for providing the intellectual banter.... we lawyers like to argue just for the hell of it sometimes, but it's all in love.

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June 10, 2009

"Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be lawyers...."

I am officially done with traditional legal practice. I'm completely jaded. I tried, I really, really did.... for 5 years. And I've come to the realization that this ish just isn't me.

Here's proof in black and white from a book that I was required to read for work (that, BTW, I never finished):
"I feel the need at this juncture to direct or word to those readers who might be slightly put off by the seeming "game" and "gamesmanship" aspects of what we have and will be discussing. I don't want to wax too philosophical, and I suppose this could be handled more gently, but the fact is that the world of business is peppered with gaming elements, and negotiating and acquisition may well be the biggest game of all. I say this with no disrespect or opprobrium; quite the contrary, it is these very ingredients--the movement of big money, a high-level of matching of wits, achieving tangible results in an expeditious time frame-- that for me make acquisition work so fascinating. But it would be delusional to suggest that this kind of endeavor has a number of socially redeeming features, and if you hanker for that, negotiating deals will probably leave you empty and dissatisfied."
~ James C. Freund, Anatomy of a Merger: Strategies and Techniques for Negotiating Corporate Acquisitions, Section 2.4.3 (reprinted without permission, so I will probably be getting sued by this shark)

Empty and dissatisfied. Yup, that sums it up. And when you are totally devoid of passion, it shows in your work, especially when you are working with someone who is a ZEALOT for type of thing. I'm just not that adversarial and confrontational and, well, dirty. I went into transactional law trying to AVOID the adversarial climate of litigation, but I've come to realize that it's still there, just in different forms. At least in litigation the lines are definite and drawn and you know who, how and why you're trying to screw someone over. The transactional world is a bit sneakier about it.... you have to make the other person seem like they are winning when you're really just lining them up for a good screwing (sans lube).

Yup, I'm finally admitting it to myself..... I just don't have it in me. I'm smart as all get out, but I just lack that certain je ne sais quois (i.e. win at all costs cut throatism). Don't get me wrong, I love law...... the research, the analysis, the problem solving, the writing...... it's just the screwing part I have the problem with, and unfortunately in traditional practice that's where the rubber meets the road.

So aside from contract specialist work or compliance officer or something like that, I'm D-O-N-E (if I possibly have any say in the matter, which, in this economy, then answer leans toward "B....., not really"). Right now I'm looking to break into academia.... not necessarily as an instructor, but just in that realm period. I think my eccentric nature, idiosyncrasies, and outside the box nature are better suited to the academic world than the corporate one.

My "dream job", however, is in writing and publishing.... and not even just my own work. I know this sounds sick, but I like editing (even though I don't FULLY edit my blog posts so don't hold me to that high of a standard, but if I had to I could spot a period at the end of a sentence that is accidentally bolded when the rest of the text isn't). It's funny (not in a ha-ha funny kind of way though) that I remember a career day that they had at my high school and you could choose which presentations you wanted to attend. I picked law, journalism, and something else (I forget because I was busy puking from morning sickness..... *sigh*) and my favorite was actually journalism. That is, until I found out that they don't make a lot of money generally. I wish I could go find a time machine, corner my high school self in the bathroom, rough her up a little bit and tell her that's a stupid way to make a career choice, tell her never to mention that this happened or else, get back in my time machine and come back to 2009. Would have saved myself a lot of heartbreak......and student loan money.

So, anyone thinking about going to law school (and I wish I had a dime for everyone who has ever told me they thought/are thinking about going to law school, my student loans would be paid off by now), do a REALLY thorough self assessment of not just your intellect, but your personality as well. Not saying you have to be a cut throat sociopath extremely aggressive person to be a good lawyer, because there are lots of lawyers out there that truly help people and look out for the public good, but to be the big baller high roller attorney that everyone automatically thinks of when they hear the term "lawyer"..... well, yea, you kind of do have to be that person.

And now, I leave you with an excerpt from a blog post that I wrote back in September 2006 when I was still working at Big Firm..... a little parody (or warning, if you will):

"Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be lawyers.
Don't let 'em write briefs or drive luxury trucks.
Let 'em join peace corps or be artists and such.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be lawyers.
'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone.
Even with someone they love."

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June 8, 2009

Independence is overrated

Much ado is made about the appeal of the "independent woman" versus a more "traditional woman", particularly among the black community. Quick..... name 5 songs about "Independent" women! *cue Jeopardy music*

1. "Miss Independent" by Ne-Yo
2. "Independent" by Webbie
3. "Independent Woman" by Destiny's Child
4. .....
5. ......

Crap, I'm drawing a blank. Anyway, you get the idea.

Yes, there is a certain appeal and value to a woman who can provide for herself and contribute to a relationship. However, the Dark Side of this independent woman movement is the A.B.W. Syndrome..... the woman who will hoot and holler that she doesn't need a man for a DAMN thing and she can do everything by her DAMN self, and DAMN a sexist ass man for expecting her to submit, or compromise, or anything that goes against exactly what SHE wants with her stupid checklists and unrealistic demands for perfection when she herself is one hoof away from being a wildebeest with a Mussolini attitude to match.

Ladies..... that's not cute.

I would consider myself to be independent..... whether my bills get paid does not depend on whether or not I'm in a relationship and/or how well I "put it on him" last night. My plan for financial success does not include how I'm going to rope in a man to take care of my finances. I also know how to change a tire, put together a book shelf, install a ceiling fan, hook up a router, I can even stain and polyurethane. On the flip side of that, I think I do have a few qualities that may be at odds with the hard-core feminist notion of the "independent woman" that, in my opinion, make me a pretty decent catch:

1. I can cook.

I always hear about guys complaining that women today can't cook. I thought this was just an over exaggeration and they meant that these women couldn't cook like momma or grandma with the meals that you have to start cooking at 3pm in order to be done by 6:30, because SURELY there are plenty of women out there who really need to have more fabric to cover their asses in the club who are obviously eating good. But I fully realized the magnitude of this problem this past weekend when I got up and made my beau breakfast..... he said that was the first time in his 28 years of life that a woman he was dating made him breakfast (aside from some eggs once, which he said were too nasty to eat). I almost didn't believe him. And it's not like I made come complicated breakfast..... Belgian waffles, turkey bacon, and scrambled eggs. Ladies, these are not hard things to make. A $30 waffle iron, some $3 belgian waffle mix, a $1.50 can of apple pie filling, turkey bacon thrown in the oven or skillet, and scrambled eggs.... I don't even EAT scrambled eggs but they're not that complicated where I couldn't figure them out.

Ladies, I'm not saying you need to become a gourmet cook or your man's grandma reincarnate. Start simple... hell, start INSTANT. Example: Spaghetti.... I've never met a man who doesn't like spaghetti. Find a sauce that you like (don't eff with Ragu unless you plan on seriously doctoring it up, which is NOT simple), cook noodles for 7 to 9 minutes (longer if you use whole wheat), , get a bag of pre-cut romaine lettuce & some Caesar dressing (I recommend the stuff that's in the refrigeration case with the salad mix... those tend to be better) throw some Parmesan cheese & croutons on it and you have a whole meal. Target is great for interesting instant meals..... their tortellini (boil for 5 minutes) with some marinara sauce is one of my favorites. My point is that you should find some simple GOOD meals and get proficient at making them. It will go a LONG way, trust me.

2. I respect sports.

Notice I didn't say I LIKE sports, at least not on the level that most men like sports. But I respect when important games are on and I will either not protest to it being on the TV, or, even more noble, I don't mind if he wants to go watch it with his boys. I don't throw a hissy fit and demand that we watch MY show, because chances are MY show will come on again. And I do try to know a little bit about the games, who's playing, who the key players are, at least the basic rules (mostly thanks to years and years of watching youth sports) so that when he does choose to stay home and watch the game with me I can actually enjoy it (to a degree) too.

Love it or hate it, but always respect it..... men and sports go together like peas and carrots. It's not going to change. You're not going to change it. Stop fighting it, accept it move on. It is simply a battle you will not win in the long run, and your short term wins will be pyrrhic victories.

3. I accept chivalrous acts.

Ok, I admit, this is something that I am actively working on, but more so because I hate to inconvenience people than having the attitude of "I can do it all myself I don't need you step off." It's just a fact that men like to feel needed and they still have a protective streak about them.... millions of years of instinct fighting off wild animals for us doesn't go away easily. One thing my beau likes to do is give me the shirt off his back.... literally. If he sees that I am cold (especially in the grocery store, where it's always cold) he will offer to take off his shirt so I can wear it. Most times I tell him it's ok, but sometimes I accept his offer. Same goes for opening my car door, letting me get my food first, and carrying heavy things for me. Ladies, let a man be a man sometimes, particularly if you are one who is complaining that there are no good men out there. Chivalry is dead in part because we killed it. Give it a chance to grow sometimes.... you just might like it.

4. I'm submissive.

This can be taken in many ways. *brief pause* But I shall speak on it generally. I am not religious in the traditional sense, but I do believe the man is the head of the household and should have the final say on certain things, and as such I will defer to those decisions. Granted, any man who I am with and would be attracted to would necessarily seek and respect my input and intelligence, so it's not like I'm advocating Coming To America like obedience (no standing on one foot and barking like a big dog for me).

Now, considering that I am in a relationship but not married, this plays less of a role than it would if I were married (membership has its privileges). But I still seek out my man's opinion on some things, and it's not always my way or the highway. We don't always have to see the movies *I* want to see, or go to the restaurants *I* want to go to, or hang out with *MY* friends. Mix it up a little and do what he wants to do sometimes, ladies.... you may just accidentally enjoy it.

5. I'm "creative" intimately.

I've written on the topic of One Stop Shopping before, so I won't rehash what I've already discussed (i.e. stop and go read it). But nothing drives me more insane than a woman who reasons that her man doesn't "respect" her if he asks her to do certain things in the bedroom (or couch, or car, or.......) and exclaiming that she could "NEVER do THAT!" because she's too much of a "lady." Um, no.... not respecting you is him asking someone ELSE to fulfill his fantasies because you won't. There's nothing wrong with being your man's personal Darling Nikki. In fact, you SHOULD be, because think about it...... if not you, then who?

Ok, I'm done with my list for now. I'm sure I can think of some others, in which case I will come back and do a Part Deux. Just remember, ladies, being independent is all fine and good, but still remember that your man likes women, so it's ok to act like a woman from time to time. Nobody is asking you to stay barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, but it won't kill you to do some of those things your grandma used to do for your granddad. It doesn't make you any less strong or independent or less of a person. Just give a little sometimes.

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Adventures in Divorce: 06/2009 - 07/2009

Adventures in Divorce