Monthly Archives: December 2013

Creep.

As you know, I’ve made no secret of my dating experiences, which, by and large, have been positive ones. The women have been in general, intelligent, charming, witty and attractive, even if our first meeting was our last. I had assumed that my ex had begun dating even before she announced that she wanted a divorce, but I was informed recently by an impeccable source that in fact she didn’t start dating until after she had learned that I had. I don’t know how early she started dating, or what kind of guy she would want to date, but now the pieces have fallen into place.

Let me back up a little. A few months ago I was getting the kids ready to take them back to their house after their weekend with me when in response to her brother, my daughter said “Oh good, that means I get to meet Ryder”. I assumed that this was a new horse at the stables where she takes lessons, and let the remark go. Imagine my surprise when upon exiting the car we were assailed by a large dog of somewhat mixed heritage. This, I learned was the “Ryder” in question, and my son then informed me that his mother was
“Taking care of it for a friend”. I said nothing, being too busy extracting  burning fragments of bullshit detector from the walls and treating the  wounds I suffered in  the explosion.

After their next visit, I saw a guy in the far reaches of the garden, and was informed by my daughter  that this was “Andrew”, a friend of her mothers’ who was helping with the garden. It was then that I decided to spare no expense and invest in a really high end, industrial strength bullshit detector. They don’t come cheap, but in the long run they are more cost effective than the ongoing cost of  bandages, Neosporin and fire extinguishers.

I never doubted that at some point she would start dating, but when we were having counseling sessions, we both agreed to give the other a polite heads up if we started dating someone on a regular basis and would wait six months before introducing anyone new to the kids. For the record, I’ve stuck to that second rule, but as she seems to have torn up the agreement, I see no need to inform her of my current situation.

I did wonder about him, but as my ex said nothing, I refused to give her the satisfaction of seeing me make the first move. I had expected that at some point either she would say something or he would at least introduce himself, no matter how sheepishly, but not so. In fact, he didn’t even have the guts to look me in the eye, making sure he got as far away from me as possible, even when he had to walk within three feet of me to get out of the garage when I arrived just as they were unloading the car after a Costco trip.

Even when in the same room, he lacked the courage to act like an adult. On walking into the kitchen one Friday to collect the kids for the weekend, I saw him sitting at the counter eating a sandwich. Rather than stay where he was, I spied him out of the corner of my eye slipping out of the back door like a loose turd. And this from a man who is supposedly in the armed forces, purportedly an Army Ranger. Hmm, if that is the kind of individual on whom this country depends, Darwin help us.

Since then, my opinion of him has not improved. Far from it, in fact. Apparently, he chews tobacco and then spits into used soda bottles. Charming, really charming. He also lacks the ability to put anything away, as his gear litters every spare inch of floor space. He has been heard swearing in front of the kids, and is a redneck to boot! Apparently the first time he met my ex Father In Law he got into a heated political argument. Nice. My ex Father in Law is very liberal, very well read and a PhD, and  yet this Fox “News” watcher tried to argue politics with him?

The kicker, however, came a few weeks ago. I received a text from a friend saying that she and another friend of ours wanted to have a talk about my kids. Apparently, GI Joe had forced my daughter to perform some sort of military calisthenics as punishment. Yes, you read that correctly. Thankfully he has not laid a hand on either of the kids, but if he ever does, I guarantee that I will put him in a wheelchair. As a result of his boorishness and my ex’s inability to see the situation, our two closest friends have cut off all contact with her, and refused to let their kids associate with ours at their house. Bear in mind that my son has known two of these kids since he was two years old, and my daughter has known all four of them all her life, and you can imagine what this means.

I had a chat with the kids about the situation, and both of them understand that he is not their father, has no right to tell them what to do and that they do not have to listen to him. In fact, I made it quite clear to both of them that if they felt uncomfortable at any time that they should call me and I would come and collect them.

Now, I realise that I am not the perfect partner. I accept and acknowledge my wide range of faults, but since when did regaining singledom mean that someone trades down? I know that sounds harsh, but really? Has my ex’s self esteem dropped so low, is she so lonely and desperate that she is willing to accept a tobacco chewing redneck enlisted man as her best option? To be honest, I only really care about the kids in all this. She can go to hell in a handcart for all I care. I know that sounds harsh, but as we told the kids when they were small, choices have consequences. I can’t imagine she is actually happy with the situation, especially as he is out of the state for several days at a time, and I have no reason to believe that he can be trusted to be faithful to her. May she live in interesting times.

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Filed under Divorce, family, friends

Football Crazy.

Editorial note: for “Football”, read “Soccer” if it makes it easier for  you.

I’ve been a fan of Liverpool Football Club for as long as I can remember, so it must be at least 44 years. In fact, I can’t remember ever NOT being a Liverpool fan. When living in the city, attending games was never a problem, and there was always “Match Of The Day ” on Saturday night to give access to the highlights of other games, and eventually, in the mid 80s’ live games on a Sunday afternoon, so I never felt deprived of footballing action. Moving to the U.S. in 1992 changed all that. Our first computer, a 486/66 at least gave me access to scores and game reports, but nothing else.

I dwelt in this netherland for a couple of years until Fox launched a highlights show fronted by Mario Machado, and pretty dismal watching it was too, as poor MM seemed to have no real understanding of the game, the laws or  the teams. Still, it was English football, and that’s all that counted. The expansion of cable, and then satellite gave greater access, and praise be, whole games, not just highlights, made all the easier to watch with the addition of a DVR to the home. The arrival of the kids made watching somewhat problematic due to the disappearance of all free time from the schedule as well as a permanent state of sleep deprivation  seen only in those individuals singled out for special treatment at Guantanamo Bay.  One bright note was the European Champions League final of  2005. It took me 3 days to watch the game,avoiding all potential news of the game, fitting it in around regular fatherly chores, and I still have the tape, but at least I saw all of the game, and the depression induced by the first half made for a pretty miserable day until I could find the time to watch the remainder.

When I moved to my first rental, I paid the extra $10 a month for a DVR and at long last, I could stretch out on the sofa with a beer or five and watch the games in all their  high definition 64″ flat screen glory. Oh happy day! Leave aside the frustration of lacklustre performances and defeats against “weaker” opposition, I was again watching full football games uninterrupted. In April of this year I moved again, and had already decided not to pay for cable, as the cost just doesn’t match the value I would derive from watching T.V. “The Daily Show” is available online.

A friend pointed me in the direction of a free website that shows football matches not just from England, but from all over the world. “Great”, thought I, but of course, there is always a catch. That catch is that the games are streamed live, with no ability to pause or rewind, transporting me back to the early 80s’ of I.T.V.s’ “The Big Match”, sans Brian Moore.

Just in case you missed it, the games are carried LIVE. This means that a 1:30pm kick off in England means a 5:30am kick off for me. Yeah. Now, I’ve never been one to slip out of a young ladies’ bed before either she or the sun was up, but this is what I found myself doing  one recent Saturday morning so that I could watch Liverpool take on their local rivals Everton in what is always a fiercely contested game – 20 players sent off in the last 20 years. At least my sweetie had the good grace to understand my need to see the game,  having gotten up with me the week previously when staying at my house to watch her first ever football match, for which I appreciate her greatly. Still,  I experienced a  mix of emotions as I dressed in the bathroom and then proceeded to make coffee and set up the laptop in anticipation of the game.

It’s not the easiest thing to watch such an emotionally charged game under such circumstances, especially if you are the kind of person who still yells “YESSSSS!” at the top of his lungs when your team gets a goal, or something less polite at a poor refereeing decision,   but somehow I managed to restrain myself and returned to bed 2 hours later slightly disappointed at a draw, but having seen a 6 goal game full of excitement, skill and passion. At least on that occasion I could return to welcoming arms and a bed kept warm. Not so this week. The need for silence remained, as the kids were with me, but knowing that once they awoke I’d have no opportunity to catch up on my lost sleep, I made the coffee just that little bit stronger. It’s a pity I only had coffee on hand, as a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Hull City needs something fermented or distilled to ease the pain.

Why the hell do I do this? Why the hell do I get out of bed at an ungodly hour on a weekend to subject myself to the possibility of said weekend being ruined before it’s even begun? Maybe there really is an element of masochism in being a football fan. Maybe I’m pining for my youth spent standing in the stadium with all the cameraderie, joking and sense of purpose that it entailed. Or maybe, my mother was right, and, as she used to say, that I haven’t got the sense I was born with.  Only the remaining 25 games of the season will tell.

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Filed under soccer, Sport