And now, the other one

The week before school started, The Ex took the boys and new family on a vacation. When LoverBoy returned, he reported that his dad is better. He drank, but only to excess one night and he kept his anger in check, even when MonoBoy pushed boundaries.

He said, “You must have said something to dad about something to dad about accepting the way MonoBoy dresses because he made a 30 minute speech about wearing whatever he wants.” In a roundabout way, yes I did. I had run into the new Stepmom during the week of school registration. She said, “The Ex is concerned because MonoBoy doesn’t bring any clothes to the house. I promise to wash them, so you’ll get them back.”

Give me a fresking break. Of course he’s making it sound like I’m some evil person that put a lock on the closet to guard the clothes. I explained that it wasn’t it at all, but that The Ex doesn’t approve of the clothes.

Yay me. Helping out dear-old-dad.

Because I like the Stepmom, we talked about the kids in general and having a senior and the college app process and college visits. It wants even 24 hours later that LoverBoy got a text from his dad asking when his college visit was and saying that he wanted to go. He didn’t wanted to pressure him, so they’d just talk about it during the vacation. (In person, with pressure.)

It’s no secret that I was lucky enough to attend Texas A&M University, and it shouldn’t be a shock that I have talked about to my kids adnauseum over the years and drug them to games there.  LoverBoy has always supported my Aggies, whereas for many of MonoBoy’s elementary school years, he sported those God-awful orange shirts for that other school in Texas. His daddy loved the Longhorns, although he has never stepped foot on that campus. He just liked their winning football team and made fun of my Aggies.

So here we are after the Aggies football program has shown promise and that other team can’t buy a touchdown, and LoverBoy tells me that his dad is encouraging him to go to A&M because “he heard it’s a good school.” You think? And who shared this knowledge with him? ESPN?

Last night, LoverBoy said that he thinks his dad should go on the college visit, since he’s going to be paying for half of it. He is? “Well that’s what he keeps saying.” (Yeah right, the man that doesn’t even pay half of the medical expenses as required by law.) 

I just said okay and that I would call to increase the number of people on the tour. He freaked out and started yelling that I was selfish for my reaction. What reaction? I said okay and that I’ll call.

“It’s not what you said, it’s how you looked. You looked down instead of looking at me, so I know how you feel. You should have done a better job of hiding it because it’s so selfish to do this to me!”

I was floored. He went on to say that it’s not fair that he has to worry about everyone’s feelings. He worries more about people like my mom and sister and his parents, than normal 18-year-olds should. He should be allowed to have his father be part of such a big event in his life without worrying about me.

Floored, I tell you. All I said was “okay, I’ll call to increase the number on the tour.” Did I jump up and down and clap? No. Did my face betray my words? Quite possibly. But I’m willing to DO the right thing.

I told him that he didn’t need to worry about my feelings. I’m a big girl and I can do that on my own. I suggested that it might be too much pressure, so perhaps I should bow out of the trip so that he can experience it with his dad. After all, I’ve been all over campus. I’ve lived in the dorms. 

Here’s the thing that sucks. We planned the trip with my best friend and her family. We planned to spend the night and eat at our favorite places from our school days and attend Yell Practice. We have been looking forward to this day since our boys became Freshman.

And now I am the odd man out. Worse yet, I’m more like a burden.

Okay guys, where did I screw up? How is this even my reality? I get that Daddio is doing better and it’s exciting, but why does it have to be to my detriment? Why do I have to be the bad guy just because he is doing good?

I’ve spent the past two weeks proofing essays and gathering information for his college apps, making sure all of his ducks are in a row. Hell, I’ve spent the last 12 years helping with homework assignments, devising course selection plans, and scheduling tutors to prepare him for THIS.

But somehow I’m selfish.  Oh my god, I’m now losing the other one.


  1. He is right he shouldn’t have to worry about stuff like that. But is it your fault that he is? No. He is 18. About time he started learning how to set some boundaries for himself.
    People are allowed to be angry, upset, sad, annoyed, etc. Its not fair for him to expect YOU to change YOUR feelings because it upsets him. Too damn bad. The world does not revolve around him.
    Remember, your ex is putting on a show, for his new wifey, the kids, the community. You’re not buying it cause you’ve seen it too many times. The kids are just their innocent, hopeful selves, hoping THIS TIME will be different. They are angry on the inside because they know it won’t be. Unfortunately, you’re getting the brunt of that anger.
    Just hang on. These years are shitty, but this too shall pass.

    • He can guilt him with “paying for half” and wanting to be part of a big event and missing out on so many years, but I say nothing and get screamed at. I can’t say a word or it will solidify this sudden new role as the Bad Guy.

      • Paying for half is bullshit. We all know it. If he had the money to pay for half, he’d be blowing it on hookers and booze. He’s just saying that to your kiddo so he’ll feel obligated to include him. It’s the same old shit…
        You’re right, saying anything will just make you look combative and angry. I’m sorry. I really am. I’m sorry that you were looking forward to a fun time with old friends and having your son be excited like you were, and now its all ruined because your ex is a jackass.
        The whole thing is just shitty.

  2. If it’s any comfort, at least your boys are CHOOSING to go w/their father…
    Let me dump this here (I started to fire off another impassioned email to attorneys but am holding back; somehow this might be twisted into my “irresponsibility”) – but for at least the past 2 yrs, Z has known my PayPal password; I’ve let him purchase “points” for his XBox & other assorted gaming things using it…
    HE HAS NEVER ABUSED IT (so much for being labeled an “addict” in recent custody wars), but on Mon my ex emailed me, asking for reimbursement for Z’s health care co-pays (the physical therapy for his injured shoulder I’m all in-for, the “psychiatric nurse practitioner who Rx’s Z Seroquel & Vyvanse, not so much!)
    Last night a charge pops up on PayPal – $120 to Satan (as my good friend has termed Ex; she refuses to call him by name anymore)!
    I cancelled it, texted Z this AM, & he apologized, saying he was paying his father back for a visit to the therapist he had been seeing this spring, as all hell started breaking loose in custody battle.
    While I’m happy for Z to see his therapist again, I DON’T want M giving him shit about PAYING for such things… I’ll try to explain to Z tonight that he needs to let Mom & Dad worry about the financial obligations – his turn will come soon enough!

  3. When I read Lover Boys words to you, they reminded me of how your ex talks to you.
    I wonder, when they are with him, if he says things like, “Oh, you know how your mother is.”–condescending things like that about you to them.

    Anyway–isn’t there someway you can still go–and do things with your friend?

    • I will go and be with the group. I will suck it up and act normal. I’m just worried that there will be undue pressure on LoverBoy. I don’t want him to be any more uncomfortable than he already seems to be.

  4. You need a poker face for your kids, something that’s non-readable and you need to pull back on all the info you give to the nice new wife who’s really the SPY!

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