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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

It never fails. Why do I bother? Sometimes I want to write that whole mess off and forget it.

For the last two weeks, I've been arranging to take Jackie and Shannon with me on May 13th to go to a free annual concert and fireworks display called Ka-boom over in San Francisco. So, tonight I called the ex to see if there'd been any change of plans regarding what Jackie and Shannon are doing this weekend. I knew that the two of them already had plans for this weekend, but if they had changed for some reason sometime during the week, I figured maybe I could go get them for a weekend with me. As expected, plans hadn't changed. Okay, so much for that idea. No problem.

At this point though, the ex casually mentions, as if it were a mere matter-of-course, that she and her current spouse have been invited to Oregon by relations of his on the weekend of the 13th and she wants them to meet Jackie and Shannon, so naturally, my plans, meager as they are, have been unilaterally preempted. I am forced to wonder if it's just me, and my admittedly biased parents, or is there anyone else on Planet Earth who thinks there is something wrong with this picture:

My two-week-old prior plans for doing something nifty with my daughters, on a weekend supposedly scheduled as my time with them anyway, are being preempted because she wants to take my daughters to visit her current "hubby's" (gah, and am I glad not to be any longer the object of that revolting term myself) cross-eyed grandma, his bow-legged uncles and knock-kneed aunts to whom they have no more relationship than total strangers. This after their invitation comes down two weeks after I'd already made my plans. It would never occur to her to give him and his inbred relatives a simple, "No, I'm sorry but the girls already have other plans at this time." She had no problem telling my family that, and my grandmother would have liked to see her great-granddaughters again before she died. Hell, she doesn't even seem to have any trouble telling me no, and I'm their father. Sheesh. The funny thing is that it's not even out of any consideration for him or his family; it's only because that's not what she wants to do right now.
From your red balloon,
You were a super high-tech jet fighter,
Floating over Planet Earth,
Come back down here,
I'll show you where it hurts,
Take this bitter pill,
Is it easy to swallow?

Sometimes, I get to feeling charitably disposed to that woman and she never fails to remind me what absolutely drove me crazy in dealing with her while we were married. She's so ridiculously self-absorbed. For all of the time I have known that impossible woman, I have swallowed the fact that I am absolutely last in any consideration in her book. It's just so damned corrosive. No, it's not malice, per se. That would imply some thought, or at least negative consideration being involved. There isn't. There just isn't anything in the universe worth her notice other than what she happens to want at the time, no matter how trivial. It's frustrating. You know, if I believed in curses, I'd curse her to experience what it is like to be put last for every time she has done that to someone else. Who knows, she's a good example for our daughters, and what comes around goes around. There may be some poetic justice waiting for her yet, not that it really makes a damned bit of difference to me, really.

I don't know why I bother. She's rubbed off on my daughters as well. Of course, they're teen-agers, so maybe it's just age, and they'll grow out of it, but I really don't know. A bad marriage is just the gift that doesn't stop giving. Despite this transitory disgust though, I don't even know why I bother to complain. In the first case, I made the decision to get involved with her in the first place, so I might as well deal with it. At least I don't have to be so intimately wrapped up in it anymore. In the second, well, I am used to it. In the third, it's really not worth the exasperation. It won't change anything. It's wasted energy, like being annoyed because you can't teach a pig to sing and juggle. I really just need to shut my eyes and recite, "She's not my problem anymore," a few times, until the irritation subsides.

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Two thoughts:

1)It doesn't change because you don't insist that it changes. You have a voice in this, you know.

(I always remember my father's passive-agressive attitude towards my mother. His most-often cited phrase of "Whatever, dear. I don't want to fight about it.")

2) At least now she's making someone else miserable. Or will be, once the wind changes.

1) Some things are entwined so thoroughly in our fundamental natures that it isn't a simple matter to change them. I've been heard. It was ignored. I'm very combative when I want to be -- hell, I'm often too combative. I like to think that I pick my battles where I can win them, and where the game is worth the candle.

2) I don't think she's making him miserable (yet). That kind of corrosive takes some time to work depending upon the mettle of the individual to whom it's applied. It took years with me. I hope, at least for my daughters' sakes, that she manages to end up with someone who can work with her. Truth be told, poetic justice is notably harsh, and I know she couldn't take what she dishes out.

I find myself almost hoping that it's "just" a matter of her being inexcusably inconsiderate, rather than the less pleasant alternative of using the children as a way to hurt you.

I'm not fond of mantras, generally, but your "She's not my problem any more" sounds like a good idea.

Never attribute to malice what can safely be explained by ignorance.

No, I've lived with her enough to know. There's not much actual mean in the girl. It's one of her undeniable virtues. She would never do that and I wouldn't suspect it of her. She's just one of those people who believes that whenever there is an accomodation to be made it will never be her that has to make it.

I fear sounding preachy, but I hate that you don't fight her more to change this pattern of behavior, at least for your own benefit. You don't have to deal with her on a regular basis, but it would be nice to see you grind YOUR heels into the dirt once in a while and tell her what's what. Or, at the very least, let the girls decide what they want to do. They always seem to love spending time with you, so why should they have to go visit a bunch of inbreds when they could be hanging out with dad.

Blah. I don't like her.

You're not preachy and I appreciate the sentiment.

Ah Shelley, don't say that. You don't really know her, and I was/am just too damned pissed off at her right now to be a reasonable lens through which to know her.

As for putting up a fight, well, I've done that before. I can be a right stubborn bastard when I need to be, or worse, when I want to be. It isn't pretty and in this case, it won't get me anywhere. I've asked Shannon what she wants to do and right now the road trip or plane right, I'm not sure which it is, is more appealing to her right now. Heh. I haven't been able to catch Jackie since last night, so I'm still not sure what she wants to do.

She isn't your problem anymore. I'm glad this comforts you as it sounds that it should.

Her actions are startlingly self-centered and I feel awful for your girls who I am sure would rather go to a concert with Dad than be dragged to meet these complete strangers. Shannon and Jackie deserve a voice in this.

Heh heh, of that I am not so sure...

They see me all the time. I don't know. Perhaps they are really interested in the novelty of a trip to Oregon. I'll have to talk to them and find out how much of this is their idea.

A bad marriage is just the gift that doesn't stop giving.
i understand this completely...
and you mentioned "this" rubbing off on your girls and them being teenagers...are they not able to see what's going on when situations like this arise? kids have minds, too...could they not have said something like "we have plans w/dad"...
or would that be something that does not come into play for them at this time in their lives/at this age?

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