Hello Dear Readers,
I have neglected you, which isn’t something I used to do. I wrote religiously for more than two years and then I began to take hiatuses (often unannounced). This one stretched for more than a month. I have to admit I like it when there isn’t much to write about with regard to Ex. I like it when my life is too busy with the good stuff, the rich stuff, to find time to whine here.
The summer was busy with a double helping of the good stuff. I felt it important to shore up relationships with the kids before the start of the school year. It’s what I spent much of the summer doing because, generally, if we start on a firm foundation it buoys us through the overscheduled and challenging months ahead.
Little Man had his last start of elementary school after a great summer. Many things are new and controversial, but he seems to be adjusting happily. Blessing counted.
Zeep had his first start of high school which seems to be going okay. There are always bumps and the adjustment isn’t easy. He says it’s awesome. His main teacher says he is testing boundaries. Hopefully we’ll find some equilibrium soon. Last night his homework was to reflect on an in-class activity in which he and his peers were given mock resources to bid on things they wanted. These were abstract things like “athletic prowess,” “fame,” “wealth,” “sainthood,” “a healthy family,” and “the ideal spouse.” He put all his resources toward bidding on “the ideal spouse” and won it.
“Why did you choose that?” I inquired.
“Because of you and Pop,” he answered. “I thought about bidding on ‘healthy family,’ but then I realized that a perfect spouse would help make a healthy family.”
“Oh,” I said, “I thought maybe you realized that you weren’t likely to be an easy partner and would need a good fit.”
He considered this briefly. “That too,” he said. (I think he has someone in mind already. I thought about telling him she wasn’t up for bidding, but let it go. He’s only fourteen. That’s right. He had a birthday.)
Sissy had her last first day of high school after a great summer which for her included traveling abroad for the first time. She took some amazing pics and I’d love to link them here, but she isn’t eighteen yet so you’ll have to wait until February. She’s already into the thick of her senior year and extremely busy. Also, her Klout score is higher than mine, considerably higher. (Bitch.)
Which brings me to what I wanted to write about today. (450 words too late, huh?)
Sissy is planning to apply early decision to a certain very good school which she has her heart set on attending. Ex’s financial information is required for her to complete the common application. I sent him this email:
[Sissy] needs a copy of your most recent tax returns immediately. She is unable to complete her college applications without it.
That seems rather straightforward, right? I mean, he has known that she is a serious student intending to go to college. Of course she would need his financial information. Hello?
How soon does she need them? The most recent I have is for 2009. I’ve not been able to pay a tax preparer since then.
I have it on good information that that sort of thing will get a fellow disbarred. I also have it on good information that he IS working, divorces mostly. Oh! The irony! (…or something.) I wrote:
Are you kidding? You haven’t filed taxes for two years? She needs them IMMEDIATELY. The common app requires your 2011 tax return. The deadline for submission of the complete common app for [dream school] is November 1. That DOES NOT mean your docs can arrive on or after that date.
What do you intend to do?
The short answer: nothing. He wrote:
Well a little advance notice would help. Do you know where I can come up with $1500 to get my records out of hock with my former cpa?
Can’t she use your tax returns?
Sweet Baby Jesus. Really?
His failure to provide these documents could sabotage her future. NBD.
I point out here that Ex is still mad at me. Extremely Mad. Madly Mad. He has known for a good many years that I don’t really care what he says to or about me. I don’t care what he does. The only way he can really hurt me anymore is by hurting the children.
[Insert choice profane and derogatory names. May his pubic hair be infested with the fleas of a thousand camels or however that damned curse goes.]
All this is surely my fault because I failed to provide adequate “notice” that tax documents are required. Never mind that these docs are required by law to have been filed long prior to today. (Also, I believe this sort of thing could well—and probably should—jeopardize his law license.)
When I was a freshman in college, I remember vividly sitting in a plastic chair across the desk from a pretty financial aid officer. She shifted uncomfortably as I began to cry.
In a tired voice she said, “Look, honey, we have money for students whose parents are poor, not for those whose parents are assholes.”
As for the $1,500, it took every bit of restraint I could muster not to make the following suggestions:
(1) Get a job. If he were a custodial parent, which thankfully he is not, and he couldn’t support the children, he would watch them starve. No, actually he wouldn’t. BECAUSE I WOULD NEVER ALLOW THAT. I’d feed them a slice of my own buttock before I would see them hungry. If that wasn’t enough, we’d move to organ meats. Perhaps beginning with my heart.
(2) Cut out the beer budget. You don’t sustain his body weight on bacon alone. (Alternatively, cut out the bacon. Beans and rice can feed a body well in a pinch. Trust me. I know. Because $25 every two months doesn’t go far. In case you are wondering, I didn’t pay for that trip to Europe.)
(3) Beg, borrow, or steal. It’s what he has always done, isn’t it?
I said none of those things, but damn, it felt good to say them here. Thanks for that.
Instead I wrote, “Both parents’ information is required.”
Sweet Baby Jesus. Oh. I said that already. (I missed you, too, Readers.)
Also, as a special gift, here’s a pic of a poodle in a dress: