Showing posts from 2012

Repercussions of Deception

We sit around a café table at the Mall.  Chairs are scattered at odd angles on the white tile floor.  It’s a table for two, but five of us are gathered here.  Grandpa sips his coffee and glances at the newspaper.  Little One proudly displays her boyshort underwear, which she proclaims are not underwear, but shorts.  My Handsome Man declares that she can prance around wearing them as shorts all she wants at home but, whatever she calls them, they will not be making a solo appearance on her in public. Dear One, with us on our traditional Thanksgiving trip during her break from college, is studying the plastic advertising display standing on the table next to the Orange Julius cup filled with water.  She notes the holiday season special – turn in your receipts totaling a certain expenditure at the Mall for a given day, and get a cash card reward so you can do more shopping. “We did this,” she asserts with a smile.  “At the Mall on Monday with Mom.”  She and the Divine M had gone shop

Expectant Mother

I want to talk about the ex-wife. Off the record and certainly not for attribution. I’m supposed to like her. Well, maybe no one really expects me to like her, but I’m not supposed to be threatened by her. Threatened? Is that even the right word? Not quite – I’m not supposed to hate her. Hate, that is the right word. I’m not supposed to, but I do. I never wanted an ex-wife. I never wanted an irresponsible, fun-loving, flighty, self-centered person who just adores her children, but simultaneously treats them as items of convenience - consumable goods put on this earth to feed her emotional needs. I hate her because she’s fun. I’m not fun. I’m way too serious, too intense, too uptight. I keep being told she’s harmless, she’s not malicious. She’s fun. As if her blindness to the effect of her actions, her unwillingness to take responsibility for her life and the effect she has on others is somehow an excuse. I feel a boiling rage that really is too strong for the circumstance (rememb

The Ex

She walks into the gymnasium – hair done up, nails freshly polished, make-up carefully, if a bit thickly, applied. There are only two weeks left in the four-month season and this is just the second of her son’s basketball games that she’s attended.  He is playing right now and she is the focus. Her blond is a bit too brassy, her perfume overwhelmingly sweet and strong, but the most striking thing is her complete lack of shame. No awkwardness, no guilt, no apology. Thirty days she’s been in court-mandated lockdown rehab for a DUI and this, her first day out, is her comeback appearance. It is accompanied by the surprising announcement that she got the kids a dog. A Miniature Schnauzer.  Almost, it turns out – a bearded mutt from the pound. While she was away the power was shut-off at her home for nonpayment. Upon her release, the first thing she does is go to the salon and get a dog. It’s midway into the second quarter when she makes her entrance. Effusively friendly and chatty, like s