“once you go Black, you’ll never go back”
For years Phred and my Dad used to go shopping on Black Friday. Last year several stores including WalMart began opening up late on Thanksgiving night to get a jump on the Black Friday shopping sales. Apparently it was a smashing success because many, many other stores not only followed suit, but also open even earlier on Thanksgiving day than ever before.
I learned earlier this year that The Auteur, her mother and 1B have a participated in the Black Friday for years as well. For the last few weeks, The Auteur was on-again, off-again about the prospect of cutting Thanksgiving festivities short in order to score some killer deals on potential Christmas gifts. Between her Black Friday watch and our constant perusal of store sale flyers, we came to the conclusion that some of this years deals were a little too good to pass up.
Things worked out pretty nicely this year. We went to LeRoy’s house for turkey dinner on Thursday and then head out to WalMart where – yes, members of the blogosphere – I took part in my first EVER Black Friday on Thursday. The Auteur got what she was looking for. Likewise, with some effort Rob’s 2013 equivalent of the Official Red Ryder Carbine Action 200 Shot Range Model Air Rifle: the XBox 360.
Earlier this summer, one of The Auteur’s friends had this idea: that I should get an X Box for both The Kid and myself, get some head-phones and the XBox Live service so we can play games together via the Internet. Evidently, Jabba had the same idea and made the same suggestion. Mom & Dad have agreed to pick me up an X Box; I’ll be taking care of The Kid’s system.
I was shocked at how well planned everything was at the WalMart by LeRoy’s house. Doorbuster items were set up throughout the store, with mylar baloons indicating their locations. Greeters were located at the entrances, as usual; but this time they had maps and charts with the locations of said doorbuster items. Cash register lines were grouped by threes to keep aisles as clear as possible. It was a much, much different experience than you local news or YouTube would have you believe.
- Is Thanksgiving day the new Black Friday? (reviews.cnet.com)
- ‘Black Friday’ Brawl: Officer Injured at California Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving (breitbart.com)
- Wal-Mart: Most Successful Black Friday in History (hapblog.com)
I have a bit of a confession to make: I haven’t really enjoyed Thanksgiving for a long, long time. But I think that’s about to change. In fact, I’m sure of it. But I’ll get to that…
For the 8 years that I lived down South, Jabba and I never made it back home for Thanksgiving. We were both teaching and Thanksgiving Break in academia is basically a 5 day weekend. Getting a flight for the busiest travel holiday of the year is a very expensive venture – especially when adding in The Kid and said 5 day weekend. Traveling by car on aforementioned 5 day weekend with said Kid is almost too time consuming. At the end of it all, Thanksgiving is essentially about one dinner with the family.
To make a long story short, we had agreed that traveling for Thanksgiving was a waste of time and money. That, and I think we were both okay with the idea of having our own family Thanksgiving dinner. After all, you could eat turkey and watch the Detroit Lions lose in spectacular fashion on national TV anywhere. Besides, we could always see the families at Christmas. We would always come up for Christmas – my mother wouldn’t take no for an answer to that. At least, not until I had to work on Christmas, but I digress.
Last year was kind of an odd turkey day for me. Sure, I was with the family, but I missed The Kid – as he was with Jabba. I lived, of course. alcohol helped. Besides, it’s still just one dinner on one day. It really wasn’t the end of the world – or even a bad day for that matter. But this year is already different.
Thanksgiving is, at least in theory, a day to reflect upon all the things that we are thankful for. It is a day for family, friends and feasting. For the first time in a long time, I truly feel like I have a lot to be thankful for this year.
UPDATE: 11/29/13 3:19 P.M.
The auteur, 1B and I made the trip into Leroy’s house for
Thanksgiving dinner. It was, of course, my first Thanksgiving with The Auteur and the first time 1B got to meet my mom, LeRoy, his wife, kids and in-laws. Things went much better than I expected. Not that I expected anything bad to happen; I just assumed that there would be some first-time-you-meet-people awkwardness. I was a bit anxious because I wanted everyone to hit it off, which they all seemed to do just fine.
Late last night/this morning The Auteur told me what a good time she and 1B had at my brother’s. She even said that 1B told her it was “the best Thanksgiving ever”. Maybe that was 1B just being a kid and speaking in hyperbole but it was definitely one for the ages. It was very casual, very laid-back. Very real. Very sincere. There were no bombshell announcements or shocking revelations like you see in movies. There was no pressure nor any underlying subtext. It was family enjoying each others company and a great meal together.
I have so much to be thankful for; sometimes I think far more than I deserve. I have The Auteur – a truly remarkable woman who loves both me and my son – flaws and all – unconditionally. I have a family for whom I would lay in traffic – and I know would do the same for me. I have my health and my job – albeit a crappy paying one.
Now I have to stare down a proverbial 400 lb. gorilla called Christmas…
- Turkey Explodes During Prayer At Thanksgiving Dinner [VIDEO] (wild941.cbslocal.com)
This is the first of rather unusual two-part entry…
With some prodding from my mom, I called Jabba today to inform her that I won’t be picking up The Kid for Thanksgiving. I have been avoiding this conversation and I definitely didn’t want to do it this weekend, as I knew I’d be home alone with The Auteur shooting a movie this weekend. It went surprisingly well; as it was both the longest and most civilized conversation we have had since before I left South Carolina.
Now bear in mind that I’m taking all of the information that follows with a grain of salt, as I am absolutely convinced that Jabba is a sociopath.
- I told her about Thanksgiving, expecting her to go bat-shit crazy. Not only was she okay with it, but she even suggested that The Kid spends his entire Christmas break with me. She said that it was important in that Christmas is the only time The Kid gets to see my extended family. This was an interesting curve ball.
- She still claims that her lawyer has sent the divorce papers on to my lawyer, and that he is apparently holding up the entire process. This may or may not be true. I have expressed some frustrations with the speed at which Greenie has handled things thus far. My question remains: what would he possibly have to gain from dragging things out?
- Furthermore, Jabba claims that her lawyer has been in contact with the judge in regards to our divorce proceedings – and yet, there has been no movement.
- Jabba claims that the insurance company stopped coverage on me effective July 1, 2013 (which they did) but that she is still seeing the deductions on her paycheck – even though i’m not longer covered, mind you – because we are not yet divorced.
- She knows about The Auteur and 1B,
- She speculated, admittedly, that The Kid feels that I love The Auteur and 1B more than him and I have “replaced him” with them. He had definitely, in the past at least, felt this way in the past as he and I have had discussions about it.
- She seemed almost apologetic about “playing hardball” with me, i.e: using visitation with The Kid as a negotiating tactic. I warned her that should she continue to do that, I will go through the lawyers to stop it.
- I told her that if I find out she’s bullshitting me about any of this, I will be upset.
- I informed her that she needs her to inform me when she and The Kid leave South Carolina and that I would put that into our settlement should she fail to cooperate with me.
All in all it was an intense, yet civil, conversation. Could this be the start of the next step in my relationship with Jabba? I’m very skeptical about it ; but the conversation was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. I find myself emotionally drained in the aftermath of it. A LOT of things were said by both of us. Things that we’ve both needed to get off of our chests for a while.
I don’t want to be hostile with her. I really don’t. The two of us have to find a way get along well enough to co-parent The Kid. That’s all I want out of all of this. We may have finally taken a big step toward that finally happening.
As the calendar creeps ever-closer to Halloween, it has occurred to me that I need to start making travel plans for the holidays, either for my son, myself, or for both of us. About a month or so ago, I suggested to the SBTX that we alternate visitations for Thanksgiving and Christmas – as most divorced families do. She was okay with it, and that was the last we said about it.
Last night, my son called me crying. Sobbing actually, asking me to “come home” because he wants to see me. I explained to him that I needed to talk to his mom about that very thing. He was pretty worked up and tired so he got off the phone. Since I’ve been looking into making a trip to South Carolina sometime in November, I decided to call the STBX a little while later. She seemed okay with me making a trip down next month, but somehow we got on the subject of lawyers, and how neither one of us have been served papers yet. Like most conversations with her, this one left me frustrated.
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: I‘ve been saying to my family for the last several weeks that I didn’t think the STBX had filed any papers with her lawyer. In fact, I’ve begun to doubt if she even retained a lawyer as she claimed.
As these thoughts weighed heavily on my mind, I decided to e-mail my attorney. I asked him straight-out Where do I go from here. Thursday morning, they e-mailed me saying they hadn’t heard from the STBX’s attorney. The e-mail also included papers for me to sign so that I can file for the divorce.
ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: Before I moved out of the house in South Carolina, we had discussed how we were going to proceed with the separation and divorce. Initially, we had agreed to a no-fault divorce. She wanted to go through a lawyer she had chosen. I told her there was no way I was doing anything without my own representation. She resisted this idea, saying that two lawyers would make this a “contested” divorce and it could get expensive and “messy” in her words. When I suggested we could go my lawyer (the one I ultimately retained) she vehemently refused arguing that she was “the one who had been wronged” and insisted on filing the divorce herself.
Back to the present: Since nothing has been filed yet, I have the opportunity to “flip the script” (as the kids would say) on her. The only reasons I could think that she wouldn’t have filed are:
- she didn’t want to spend the money
- she never thought I would leave in the first place
I’ve stated on here before that I don’t see us ever getting back together. For me to even consider reconciling with the STBX, our relationship would have to undergo a seismic shift; not only in what our relationship currently is, but also what it once was. I would not and will not consider returning to the status quo. Frankly, I don’t forsee such an event occurring. Furthermore, i haven’t even given it the notion very much thought.
In any event, this is an unexpected development. One that I wasn’t prepared for. This could make for a bumpy holiday season.
- Wevorce – A startup that hopes to make divorce easier (i453ethics.wordpress.com)
My son and I made it back into Michigan late Saturday night. Sunday was a slow day around the home front, as we picked up my brother, his family and my sister from the airport. They were tired. We were tired. Everyone basically went home and crashed. Today I took my son to play minautre golf and ride go karts, as you may have seen in the previous post.
This past Thursday night the STBX hands me a copy of the separation agreement that her lawyer wrote up. It looks pretty straight-forward but I’m still going to have a professional review it for me. The stink of it is that there are a few things in there that she and I did not agree to. I don’t know what she was thinking giving it to me on a Thursday night. Surely she realizes that I wasn’t going to get anyone to look at it before Monday at the absolute earliest. Maybe she wasn’t thinking at all. Maybe it was all to well orchestrated: give it to me the night before I drive 800 miles across 5 states so I can just stew on it.
I did not shed a single tear when I left The House this time. It is no longer my home; nor did it feel as such. I know I’m in a better place today emotionally than I was 5 weeks ago, but I still feel that there’s a big void inside of me. I have no desire to get back together with her; but since a large part of my life was defined by our relationship, it;s going to take time for me to rediscover myself again.
That’s what this blog is all about.
It’s been so much fun having my son here with me. Thank God I still have two more days with him. I cannot imagine how difficult these next few months are going to be as we all get back to our regularly-scheduled lives. If I’m lucky, the next time I see him will probably be Thanksgiving, maybe even Christmas.
Divorce truly brings out the worst in the people you think you know best. I’m not sure what’s worse – events that are unfolding now or knowing in hindsight that these feelings were obviously festering for some time.