Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ditto for me

Suzanne, I had a similar experience. I had been divorced for two and a half years, but separated for nearly five and dating on and off since that time. Like you, I had a few dead-end relationships with Mr. Wrong's. Also met a string of losers through online dating. I took a full year off from dating and devoted myself to my work, my friends, and learning to be comfortable with my own company. Of course, all of that had been taking place ever since the separation, but that year I made a conscious effort.

A few months ago Linda and our literary agent, both divorced and now happily in love, urged me to go back on JDate. I signed on reluctantly and with expectations in the deep negative range. After a few weeks, and just at the point when I planned to terminate my subscription, I started dating an interesting guy. We took our time getting to know each other, and I wasn't concerned about whether our friendship would "go anywhere." I just enjoyed his company and focused on the present. Our relationship evolved slowly, and while I am definitely not a "mush," we are seeing each other regularly and very happily. No matter what happens, I am grateful that he came into my life.

It Took Me 50 Years But... A Guest Blog

"It Took me 50 Years But…"
A Guest Blog from our friend Suzanne who was until now the most jaded woman we knew, but now she’s in love!

After divorce 11 years ago, I had 2 long term relationships. Both turned out badly and I had given up on ever finding someone. I had come to terms with the fact that I would be alone and I was really okay with that.
My job takes me all over the country and I was working in Colorado when I said that I would try eharmony, not thinking it would work out.
I have met the most wonderful man I've ever known and after 2 weeks with him we both discussed our future together. I have turned into what my friends and co-workers have called a "mush". If I can find love anyone can. As my friend from New York always says, "there is a seat for every ass".

A sampling of Republican morality

There are a number of Republicans in addition to McCain who have adulterous pasts but freely condemn Democrats like Clinton and Edwards. It's not that those two don't deserve criticism -- it's the "family-values" hypocrisy of the guys pointing their fingers that galls me. Here are the stories of two prominent Republicans who betrayed and humiliated their wives and yet present themselves as icons of integrity.

Giuliani informed his second wife, Donna Hanover, of his intention to seek a separation in a 2000 press conference. Nice way to break the news! The announcement was precipitated by a tabloid frenzy after Giuliani brazenly marched with then-mistress Judith Nathan in New York's St. Patrick's Day parade. In the divorce proceedings that followed, Hanover accused him of serial adultery, alleging that Nathan was just the latest in a string of mistresses, following an affair the mayor had had with his former communications director.

The most notorious is undoubtedly Gingrich, who ran for Congress in 1978 on the slogan, "Let Our Family Represent Your Family." (He was reportedly cheating on his first wife at the time). An alleged mistress from that period, Anne Manning, told Vanity Fair's Gail Sheehy: "We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, 'I never slept with her.'" Gingrich obtained his first divorce after forcing his wife, who had put him through graduate school, to haggle over the terms while in the hospital as she recovered from uterine cancer surgery. A few years later he was caught in an affair with a congressional aide while spearheading the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Listen Up, America: Ross Perot Speaks the Truth

There’s a lot of chat out there in the blogosphere about why John Edwards’ infidelity leads us all to assume his political career is shot, while John McCain’s infidelity is just a little blip that he manages to ignore while he traipses on his merry way. McCain has written openly in his memoirs that he ran around with women while he was married to his first wife, so I guess he figures he has already fully disclosed and doesn’t need to comment. Or maybe he figures there is a statute of limitations on cheating, and since it happened thirty years ago, he’s exonerated. Shame on the Republican hypocrites who wanted to fry Bill Clinton for his wayward behavior. These same self-righteous right wingers don't even acknowledge McCain’s less than upright position.
Ross Perot, on the other hand, apparently has been furious with McCain since he first dumped his wife for Cindy.
Perot says” McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory.” And a leggy blonde, we might add.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More McCain

I was happy to see that after I found that McCain story on the internet,it was picked up by the Huffington Post. That will ensure wide readership.

Here is another tidbit. On the McCain campaign trail, a reporter raised the issue of McCain's objection to gay marriage, plus his own infidelity, vis a vis his holier- than-thou alleged family values. As usual, he dodged the question and his fans cheered. Here's the account:

During his stop in Nashville on Wednesday, McCain was asked if he was "going to talk about" his "own situation," in the context of how infidelity is as serious a threat to the sanctity of marriage as is gay unions.

"There is nothing," the questioner asked, "you see long-term couples splitting up, it's, it's just crazy...I know that you, your own situation, you're going to have to address that in the campaign. Infidelity is just a terrible cancer on this country....and I think if we're going to talk marriage, it has to be in the context of the preservation of marriage."

McCain drifted around the personal implication by reiterating his opposition to the marriage of same-sex couples. "I just believe in the sanctity and the unique status of marriage between a man and a woman.," he said to cheers in the crowd.

What Would Sarah Palin Say?

That is sleazy and repulsive--especially from a guy who works to appear righteous and brave and dedicated. At least George Bush has remained devoted to Laura!

We had such fun last Friday evening at our Still Hot reading in Connecticut with women- married, single or divorced all drinking cosmos and laughing together over the pitfalls of dating a Mr. Wrong!

We also shared our own stories. One of the women talked about her husband whose MS symptoms became so debilitating that he needed permanent nursing home care while still in his forties. With regrets and guilt, and his consent and understanding, she divorced him so that he would be eligible to receive full medical coverage and benefits. Had they remained married, her insurance would have only partially covered him. She visits him every other day in the nursing home and is as devoted to her disabled partner as anyone could ever be. A far cry from going after the nearest young rich guy she might have found and abandoning her husband a la the Republican presidential candidate.

Until I just read your John McCain expose, I thought the worst case of this kind of desert-‘em-when-the-chips-are-down was the guy I know who left his wife while she was in a coma because it was too boring to sit endlessly beside her hospital bed. Luckily, she came out of the coma in time to sue him for big-time alimony! And, as he justly deserves, his next ex-wife did the same!

Monday, September 22, 2008

John McCain's mid-life crisis

I think women should know the kind of husband that John McCain is and how he treats the women in his life.

John McCain first married Carol, a beautiful swimsuit model. They had three children whom she cared for while he went to war and was held captive as a POW. One wintry night during his absence Carol had a car accident on an icy road and was severely injured, requiring multiple operations that left her five inches shorter in height and with a permanent limp. When McCain returned from war, he commented to friends that his wife "is no longer the woman I married." The war hero immediately began running around with other women and eventually met the beautiful, rich, well-connected Cindy, who was 18 years his junior. He pursued and dated her during his marriage while still living with Carol.

In the divorce settlement, McCain agreed to pay for Carol's future medical expenses. Carol chalks up his behavior to the classic mid-life crisis, explaining that John left her for the young heiress because "He was 40 and wanted to be 25."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Well- Deserved Smack Over the Head

After graduation, one of my college roommates, Deb, came to New York and began working at a big international Fortune 500 firm as what was known in those days as a secretary and is now called a special assistant. Her boss was a tall, lanky, handsome 35 year old married guy with three very young kids, a beautiful wife, a big salary and a roving eye.
Soon he and Deb had a hot and heavy romance going. They often spent the night at his pied-a-terre in the city. I wonder what his wife thought about his claiming to be so overworked that he couldn’t make it home to Greenwich (less than a 45 minute commute).
For years, Deb believed that he loved her, that he was working on leaving his wife and that she and her boss would live happily ever after. They enjoyed their stolen moments in the pied-a -terre, not to mention dinners at Lutece and the Four Seasons, and she accompanied him on all of his business trips to Frankfurt, Paris, London, Sydney and Geneva. He bought her perfume, jewelry and expensive watches. After a while, she began to notice her biological clock ticking away.
Finally she delivered the ultimatum--it had to be now or never. He assured her that he was working on it, that he constantly brought the matter up with his wife and that she just wasn’t quite ready to let him go, but to rest assured that it would be soon.
Alone over the holidays for yet another year, Deb knew she had to do something. Shortly after New Year’s she called the wife one day and said something like “We both love him, I know. But if you really loved him as much as I do, you would let him go and find his happiness.”
The wife hung up on Deb, then called back about an hour later for some details.
When hubby arrived home in his Mercedes that evening, the wife smacked him over the head with a shovel.
He needed about a hundred stitches, immediately had Deb transferred to another division in the company and never spoke to her again.

What the sexual revolution wrought

While it's common for single women who are sleeping with married men to issue ultimatums, I still think the blond intern's move was audacious. Call me old-fashioned. Here you have a much older man with a wife of 30 years and a child, and this young cupcake DEMANDS that he leave them. Where do these women get the chutzpah to heedlessly, selfishly -- even self-righteously -- trample all over other people's families that way? Whatever happened to guilt?

Don't get me wrong: the men who leave their families for these women are the real villains of the story. It's not new for single women to give married lovers ultimatums, but their married lovers didn't always follow them so easily. In the 1950s, when divorce was so unthinkable that people used the expression "broken home" and I grew up not knowing a single child in that situation, I think married men (and women too, but fewer) had affairs. And that their lovers issued ultimatums now and then. But when push came to shove, most men ended the affair and stayed with the family. They weren't saints, but people didn't blithely walk away from marriages and destroy families back then.

Today the opposite is true. As the "me" generation grew up and instant gratification served to legitimize every whim, the divorce rate soared. My kids knew plenty of little classmates in grade-school whose parents were divorced, and the numbers multiplied as they passed through middle school, high school and college. So it's come to this: young single women indignantly issue ultimatums, and married men don't deliberate for long. They walk, entitled and self-justified, leaving the wreckage of a family behind and rarely looking back. Let's get something straight: the sexual revolution was not a boon to women.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Silver Lining? Make That Lying.

Gina and Patti really are horrendous women. You counted on Patti to be there for you as your sister-in- law and your daughter thought Patti was her loving aunt, but she certainly showed her true self. And, April is certainly better off without a friend like Gina, that turncoat.

Sally never had a really close friend betray her during her divorce, but she did learn the hard way that some so-called friends are just plain scummy.
Sally and her then-husband Clark were friendly with a couple, the Silvers, Don and Fran. Fran was totally boring, had a drippy personality and whined as a matter of course. Plus she had a wicked bad nose job. Although Sally’s friends all mimicked Fran’s nasal moan, Sally tolerated her and even grew to like her, at least somewhat. Don was a flirt and always seemed smarmy, but he was Clark’s friend and Sally went along with the program, uncomplainingly spending as much time with the Silvers as Clark wanted.

Don and Fran had met in graduate school, each already married to someone else. Fran’s marriage was starting to unravel. Don was happily married to Iris. One long study session led to another, and soon Don left Iris for Fran. Don’s mother and sister were angry and blamed Fran, but in a short time accepted her as family especially since she became pregnant immediately.

Fast forward several years. Clark and Don worked with a young blonde intern who had eyes only for married men. After breaking off a long relationship with an older married man, her attentions turned to ready, willing and able Clark. For six years, they kept their romance pretty much under the radar. As a matter of fact, the only people who really knew about it were Don and Fran. The lovey-dovey couple were invited to dinners at the Silvers' so they wouldn’t be seen out in public together at a restaurant. And the Silvers often loaned the lovers their lakeside country house for secret getaways.

The intern eventually decided it was time settle down and gave Clark an ultimatum. He broke the news to his wife and kid--he just needed a little time alone. Two months later, he was engaged. As he was packing his bags, Sally begged him to work on the marriage for the sake of the family, and finally he gave it all up—the six year affair, the golden moments sponsored by the Silvers.

The Silvers? Sally was so shocked. How could the Silvers have shared dinners and birthdays and vacations with her while secretly harboring Clark’s “other life”? And for six years?!

When Sally recently bumped into Don and Fran at a wake, Fran said “ It has been so long. I don’t know why you stopped calling me, but let’s get together soon.”

Yuh. Right.

"Friends" who think they can be like Switzerland

A good friend can't be neutral in such cases. Even worse are those who, like Gina, purport to be neutral but actually take sides.

In my marriage, my husband had an affair with a much younger woman who, like him, was married with two kids. This woman was clearly a gold-digger, as evidenced by the fact that she introduced herself to him by walking up to my pudgy, balding, 55-year-old then-husband amidst a room full of 30-something dudes and declaring, "You are the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my life." Enough said.

My husband left major evidence of the affair around for the kids to find, then warned them, "Don't tell your mother about this or you'll blow up the marriage." Of course, I eventually found out on my own, and the marriage blew up, devastating both kids and everybody in the extended family.

My sister-in-law Patti (wife of my ex's brother) and I had always been close and enjoyed each other's company. When this happened, Patti was appalled and expressed support and commiseration via email. But before long she stopped communicating and I noticed photos on my mother-in-law's fridge of the four of them -- my ex, his new babe, his brother and Patti -- laughing uproariously while splashing down an amusement-park water ride. My daughter graduated from college six months later and didn't receive so much as a card or call from Patti and her husband. The following June, a full year after my daughter's graduation, Patti sent her a "Happy Graduation" card with a note that explained, "I'm not sure when you graduated but I found this card among my stuff. I guess I meant to send it earlier, but due to your parents' messy divorce, I didn't want to get in the middle. [By sending her niece a graduation card?] In any event, I've moved beyond the divorce now and think it's time for you to do the same."

I'll repeat: enough said.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Et Tu Brutus- the Unkindest Cut of All

April’s former best friend Gina is the worst sort of Friendly Enemy I’ve ever heard of!!!
April and her husband Patrick hung out all the time with Gina and her morbidly obese husband Max. Their kids all grew up thinking of each other as extended family. Despite her Frida Kahlo unibrow, Gina is a forty-something beauty who looks better than ever now that she took off a stone as the Brits say—on Atkins. Not an easy diet for someone who regularly whips up huge trays of lasagna for her 4-person family.
When April’s mother recently passed away, Gina showed up every night of shiveh with a different Italian delight from tiramisu to baked ziti. April felt blessed to have a best friend like Gina for the past sixteen years. She confided everything to Gina including Patrick’s recent infidelities with Shari, a neighbor.
As the marriage deteriorated and Patrick continued his dalliance with Shari, April had to give him the boot. It was too demeaning for April to keep trying to ignore the affair once their son and his friends had spotted Patrick’s car in Shari’s driveway at 2 am.
A few days after Patrick left with his suitcase and the Mixmaster--he refused to leave without it--April had a call from Gina. She and Max had been out to dinner with Patrick and Shari, and Gina called to report, “She doesn’t look so hot to me. She’s crazy short and she kind of resembles Bob Hope. She has a Dr. Diamond nose. She looks sixty five in dim light--who knows how she looks when it’s brighter.”
After Patrick was out of the house, April hibernated in pain for weeks. Understandable, since within a short time span she lost her mother, and simultaneously her husband was carrying on in a public way with a neighbor. When she was ready to emerge again, she began to realize she hadn’t heard from Gina in what seemed like forever. She called several times and received no reply. She dashed off a “hi-how-are-ya” email to Gina and again nothing in response.
A couple of months later, not sure what she could possibly have done to Gina, April got a shock. Her son came home from a dinner at Max and Gina's. His dad had been there with Shari and her tots. After dessert, Gina had taken April’s son aside and said, “Tell your mom when the divorce is all over, I’ll call her. Until then, I can’t get in the middle. She should understand.”


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Frienemies and fair-weather friends

That's a primal taboo: don't go out with your friend's boyfriend or ex-boyfriend. As previously described on this blog, I was a victim of that violation: a frienemy dated and slept with a guy I had been seeing; he and I hadn't even broken up! I was surprised when I told the story to a friend, who passed it by her 30-year-old daughter. The daughter said that if the relationship is over, the guy is fair game. Maybe so, but you will definitely lose that female friend, and as we all know, female friendships usually outlive boyfriends.

Here's a subset of that kind of behavior in that it too prizes boyfriends over female friends, though it's nowhere near as hurtful. I have a friend who got separated around the same time I did. At the beginning, when we were both shell shocked and needed an empathetic ear, we spent a fair amount of time together. But I soon realized that this woman requires a boyfriend at all times. Not to have one, for her, would be like going without food. It's her sustenance. Her pattern is to go on, meet four or five guys, and within a week or so get deeply involved with one of them. During the involvement she might drop me an email about how great her new bf is, but otherwise I wouldn't hear from her. Eventually though, whether after four months or a year, the bf would dump her and she'd be broken-hearted. Then, just like that mole arcade game -- where the irrepressible mole keeps popping up no matter how many times you pound it down -- she would immediately reappear on match and begin the whole process over again.

This pattern has been going on for the past five years, leaving her with periodic two- or three-week gaps between boyfriends. It is during these breaks that she resurfaces in my life and is suddenly interested in my company. The instant her next relationship sparks -- and that never takes long -- she disappears again. The only exceptions are when the boyfriend-du-jour is out of town, in which case she will occasionally call and offer to get together.

This isn't frienemy behavior -- in fact, she is not the type to date a friend's boyfriend -- but it is fair-weather-friend behavior, and she makes her priorities clear. Consequently, I made a mental note to demote her from former friend to current acquaintance whom I'd see out of boredom and only if convenient. Oddly, though she operated that way herself, she apparently had a different view of our relationship. So when the last boyfriend kicked her out of the apartment they shared and she found herself temporarily homeless, she called to ask if she could bunk with me for a while. I was amazed that I was the first person she called, because if I found myself in similar straits, I would have called at least eight other female friends before I'd think to call her. Needless to say, she was angry when I let her stay for a night but declined to house her for longer. What she didn't understand is that I felt no loyalty to her because she had done nothing to engender it.

Moral of the story: Don't take your female friends for granted. Girlfriend relationships need tending too, just like relationships with guys. Especially because in the end, it's your girlfriends whom you will turn to.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is Your New BFF Really Your Frenemy?

Remember when Hillary was in the presidential race? Her girlfriends were here,there and everywhere with testimonials about what a solid, reliable, giving friend and mother she is. Have you noticed that not one Sarah Palin girlfriend has surfaced? No woman who knows her well, other than her sister, has said anything positive about her character. Uh-oh. We know what that means. She’s probably a frenemy type.
Here’s a frenemy story straight from my office. A few years ago, Marisol worked with us. She was smart, attractive and tough. She came from Puerto Rico with her two kids and raised them as a single mom while also caring for her mentally ill, verbally abusive mother. We all admired her fortitude.
Jacki sat in the next cubicle. Originally from London, she too was an immigrant far from her extended family and raising a child alone. They quickly became close friends. Jacki often cooked for Marisol and her kids and treated them all as family.
Back in London, Jacki had been in love with Walter. They had lasted as a couple several years after her move to New York, but over the years, distance faded the relationship into more of a friendship than a romance. Walter continued to visit Jacki two or three times a year and she often would throw a party during his stay. At one of these parties, Marisol and Walter spent the entire evening in deep conversation with each other. Walter returned to England and Jacki and he continued as always to e mail frequently. A month later, Jacki noticed a photo of Walter on Marisol's bulletin board. In tears, Jacki confronted Marisol who replied that she and Walter were in love and that Jacki had no right to care since she and Walter had broken up years before.
Rule #1 in girlfriend etiquette is never,ever go out with your bff’s ex. Ever. Who doesn’t know that?!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bad things happen to bad ex-husbands

he is apparently holding out for a piece of his wife's inheritance, and the lawn chair remains a mystery, except I think it was a ploy for him to duck out of the mediator's settlement if he needed an excuse. It's messed up that Massachusetts considers an inheritance to be joint property; in NY it's off the table and not subject to division.

I still believe, naively perhaps, that what goes around comes around. I think Mitch and the midget will ultimately make each other miserable, I really do. And Linda, I think that your ex will wind up old and miserable, because in a decade or so, his ridiculously young wife will not want to change his Depends or help him with his walker, and also, praised be, he will be paying at least one and possibly two college tuitions when he's in his 80s, which means he can never retire, or if he does, that he will be poor. YAY!! And I cannot believe that my ex will ultimately be happy with his new wife, who he once described as "very needy, very depressive, very fragile." Not to mention a serial adulterer. Fun!

I never gave the upshot of my bf's views on shaved pubic hair vs. full bush, and thong vs. bikini panties. Pubic hair: he's indifferent, either way is fine; panties: likes thongs a little better but bikinis are nice for variety.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Sociopath and the Lawn Chair

Mitchell,that sociopathic creep,has now pulled out all the stops in his War of the Roses divorce performance. Read on:
A couple of weeks ago, Mitchell, his wife and their respective attorneys were required by the judge overseeing their case to meet with a third lawyer, a female court-appointed mediator. The mediator came up with a settlement plan. The wife was ready to settle.

Not to be told what to do by any woman, Mitchell’s attorney produced his own different settlement plan. The wife remained eager to settle and accepted that plan as well. Then Mitchell’s attorney came up with a three page single-spaced laundry list of addendums including the china, the crystal, the wife’s mother’s piano, even the lawn furniture. Plus he wanted to put a lien on the house. The wife then consulted her accountant and learned that she could in no way financially afford to accept Mitchell’s lawyer’s plan. She would need to revert to the mediator’s plan. All fine with her--she just wants to escape from this onslaught and get on with her life.

Mitchell’s attorney verbally agreed with the wife’s attorney that they would go to court this week and accept the mediator’s plan. Mitchell would drop his laundry list of demands,except for the Adirondack lawn chair. Without that chair, it would be no deal for Mitchell. The wife’s attorney could not fathom what would be so valuable about a lawn chair but she presented the offer to her client. The wife readily agreed, also wondering what could be so meaningful about the lawn chair.

Lo and behold, the next morning the lawn chair was mysteriously missing from the place it had occupied in the yard for the past five years. Someone had stolen a hundred pound used wooden chair in a rural neighborhood where people leave pricey racing bikes lying out on their lawns and hardly anyone locks their doors. Mitchell’s wife reported the theft to the town police wondering who the heck would want to steal a lawn chair.

A day later, Mitchell, the wife, and their attorneys all returned to court. The wife and her attorney were certain that they had reached a settlement. After all, Mitchell’s attorney had verbally agreed to one. As they arrived in court, Mitchell’s attorney produced a 500 page document calling for every bit of information about the wife’s recently deceased mother’s estate. There would be no settlement. Not when Mitchell could try one last time to get his hands on some of his wife’s upcoming inheritance. Mitchell’s attorney has now asked the court for a four month delay in the trial date. The attorney claimed that he would be involved with devoutly observing the Jewish holidays for the next two months and unable to work. In reality, he is delaying in hopes that the wife’s mother’s estate will be forced to be settled before the new court date.

And who stole the lawn chair? Most people think it was Mitchell, but where would he put it? In his apartment? On his girlfriend X’s lawn? And why?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And now for the good news

That is beyond the pale, and the fact that it's a common, even recognizable ploy is sickening. I suppose that Barbara's reticence about her husband's motives is commendable, but geez, I'd be tempted to level with the child, especially in light of the recent car debacle. Maybe the girl will realize that two plus two equals scumbag, a sad realization but one that seems long overdue.

While that man and his midget continue to do evil and get away with it, I was comforted by a new study, described in today's New York Times, which found that older fathers are more likely to produce offspring who develop bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism. What's more, the risk is highest among fathers 55 and older. This should give pause to those start-over dads who are just getting their second wind with fertile second wives. They can't have IT ALL. I can certainly think of one elderly dad who should read it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How Low Can He Go?

Add this one to the “And you call yourself a decent parent” listings.
Barbara received a phone call the other day from the HR office of her daughter Megan’s summer employer, a large national discount chain. Megan, a college student, began working as a weekend and summer cashier in high school and over time has graduated to a summer office job. The HR director wanted to check something out with Barbara. HR had received a letter requesting a complete accounting “for Megan’s parents” of all the hours she worked this past summer plus an estimate on the hours and pay she will be offered over the next three years. Before fulfilling this request, the HR director decided to check with Barbara because the letter requested that the information be sent to an address which did not match the home address on Megan’s employment forms.
Barbara was surprised and knew nothing about this. She suggested that HR call Megan directly to see if this was something she needed for school. The HR director said that she preferred if Barbara would call Megan and then for either Megan or Barbara to get back to her to let her know whether or not to release this information. Barbara asked for the address to which this information was to be sent, and learned that the request came from the Law Office of Mendel R_____. Her heart stopped. Barbara and her soon-to-be-ex are locked in very bitter, contested divorce proceedings--especially with regard to child support-- and this request had come from the ex’s attorney.
The HR director said that she had called because she was hesitant to fulfill the request. For many years, she has been in charge of tens of thousands of employees, many of them teenagers, and she felt, in her words, that “this smelled familiar and fishy”. She elaborated: this sort of information is used all the time in divorce cases and is designed to hurt the child by cutting down on parental support. The more the child earns, the harder he or she works, the more he/she stands to lose when these parents bring this evidence to court.
Barbara called Megan and, as always, held back on saying anything bad about Megan’s dad. She asked if Megan was aware that this request was being made, and Megan said her dad had told her he needed her work information so he could save her some money on her taxes. Barbara gently told Megan that the HR people felt it wasn’t a good idea to share this information with anyone. Barbara asked Megan to call and tell HR that no information should be released unless Megan specifically wanted it. Megan agreed that this was a good idea but felt she couldn’t call and ask for this herself. She wanted her mom to do it. When Barbara called HR back, the director said it’s common for kids not to be able to assert this right directly because it feels as if they are being disloyal to their parent even though they are fully aware that the parent is not being honest with them.
I vote for Megan’s dad for scummiest parent since Joel Steinberg.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Punishing the bad spouse

If there's a tiny silver lining to that horrendous story, it's that the daughter's eyes have opened about her father, and she might support her mother in the divorce litigation and be more understanding of her point of view.

One thing -- judges don't award settlements based on egregious or immoral spousal behavior. A recent etiquette column in the NY Times featured a woman from Manhattan who wrote: "My husband of 27 years and I are divorcing; he left me for a woman young enough to be our daughter. He is bringing her to our beach club, where he gropes and fondles her like an adolescent. It's disgusting and humiliating for our children and me. I asked him to take his tramp elsewhere, but he refused. What should I do?"

Nauseating. The columnist advised that she steer clear of the club until the divorce comes through, reassuring her that because of her husband's creepy behavior, "the club membership, as well as the house and most of the larger bank accounts, will soon be yours anyway."

Unfortunately, that's not true. Judges divide property and award alimony based on financial "fairness" and state law -- equitable distribution in NY, 50/50 split in California, etc. They don't use the settlement as a way to "punish" bad spousal behavior. I learned this from my own divorce lawyer, to my disappointment. I and many other women (and some men, like X's exes) would have done a lot better if judges were more judgmental.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rude Awakening

The key difference between X and Mitchell is that she makes sure her kids are taken care of. By all of her husbands. And boyfriends. Their dad paid for college, camp and all the extras--S.A.T. tutoring, French Horn lessons etc. The shoe guy bought them each a new BMW and took them to France. X made sure that each of her kids had a private suite in the dream house she built with shoe guy. And she designed her kids’ suites to be so large that she just never had the spare room for shoe guy’s kids by his first marriage to stay overnight.
Shoe guy, like Mitch, abandoned his kids for the siren charms of X. Though we know she’s technically a midget, her impact on families is no small matter. And X is so ingratiating with her husbands’ and boyfriends’ kids that they actually like her. She buys them Miu-Miu handbags and the latest Prada perfume using her Nieman Marcus discount--she works 8 hours a week as a personal shopper.
Mitchell also ingratiates himself with the kids. He supplies X’s daughters with Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics play-off tickets for all their friends. But, he makes no basic provisions for his only child. Where X insisted on palatial rooms for her kids, Mitch only has space for his daughter in his apartment if there’s a night when X can’t be there because she needs to be at home with her children or she has her Kabbalah meeting.
I think the kid is starting to catch on, though. After her beat up jalopy exploded and her dad left her shaken and alone in his apartment to go re-join X's party, his daughter insisted to her mother, “There has got to be some way you can use this in divorce court, Mom, and you’d better find it. It’s just so wrong.”

Back to Basics

Returning to your query, Sue,the bf's response was that Brazilian waxing is great because change is exciting.
And re thongs v.bikinis, he replied,"Well, if you're willing to remove all your hair, why not forego underwear entirely?"

Somehow,I'm not sure this will be helpful in your quandry.

Scumbag of the Century

That is a sad story. You're right -- he is worse than X because this is HIS child, and she should be HIS priority, not X's. Unfortunately, I have heard similar stories before -- not as dramatic as this one, but yes, of fathers who put their children second to the squeeze du jour. And if anyone is du jour, it is X, who is constantly on the lookout for the next moneyed conquest. Mitch's daughter, on the other hand, will always be there, and will always love him despite his indifference, if not more so because of it.

I'm sure such examples come quickly to mind, L! I recall a guy who left his wife and their adorable four-year-old daughter for a high-school flame whom he ran into and eventually married. This guy made a lot of money writing scripts for major national television shows. The wife he left was a humble school teacher in New York City. Years after their divorce, when the daughter was 16 years old, he informed them that he would not pay for her college education, indignantly claiming that "going to college is not a God-given right." By the way, this man never had to lay out a dime for his daughter's private-school tuition through lower and upper school because the child got a free education at the school where her mother taught. As for college, the girl had to take out loans, with her mother paying for the rest.

But what is the story with Mitch's wife's lawyer? It seems to me that Mitch's 2008 Lexus vs. his dwindling clientele should be explored in a deposition, accompanied by threats of litigation and a forensic accountant. And have the scales come off his daughter's eyes yet, or is she still blindly devoted to dear old Dad? On some level -- whether in the settlement or through his relationship with his only child -- this man must pay. Either that, or I hope X gives him the clap -- an antibiotic-resistant strain!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Scum Bag Scofflaw Dad

Sue, I’d like you to vote after reading this blog entry. Does this guy get the A Hole of the week, the month or the year award?
Madame X’s bf, Mitchell, has one child, a college-age daughter. Though a certified financial planner by trade, he supposedly has no money, having somehow conveniently reduced his client roster from over 120 to 3, just in time for his divorce. Of course, he can’t be expected to pay any alimony or child support with this successful implementation of RAIDS (Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome). He drives around in a 2008 Lexus SUV. X drives a top of the line Mercedes and each of her kids has a new BMW, purchased for them by her most recent former husband-- who is coincidentally not their father. Mitchell’s soon-to-be-ex drives a Honda. And Mitchell’s only daughter was, until yesterday, driving a rusted-out 1989 jeep with no airbags. When his ex said she didn’t think the jeep was safe, Mitchell’s attorney accused her of trying to dupe poor Mitchell into paying for an unnecessary new vehicle for the daughter.
Well, the daughter packed up her jeep with all of her belongings for college, kissed her mom goodbye and made her way to Mitchell’s apartment as it was his turn to drive with her to school. Halfway there, the jeep began to emit heavy smoke and burst into flames. Luckily she wasn’t in a middle lane on some highway. She immediately pulled over and evacuated. Realizing that everything she needed for her life was in that car, she started to re-enter the jeep to at least salvage her purse,which contained her entire summer's earnings from the two jobs she held down. Bystanders began screaming at her to back off. She did, and the car momentarily exploded. She lost everything. She called Mitchell.He picked her up and brought her back to his apartment. He left her there alone in hysterics with singed eyebrows and a soot-stained face while he returned to X’s house to continue partying there with X and Mitchell’s sister, brother in law and nephew.
Being such a a stand up kind of guy, Mitchell drove his daughter to school the next day, sprang for a new ipod,one pair of jeans, flip flops and a couple of t shirts. He told her that her mother should“fill in” with the rest.
So never mind our thinking X should rot in hell, what’s the verdict on this scum bag?