I just finished a HUGE deadline yesterday, which means that today I am struggling to focus. On anything. Seriously, one minute I’m thinking about my To-Do list, and the next minute…SQUIRREL! (I know that’s a reference to a kid’s movie, but I can’t focus enough to come up with the movie title. I just know that whenever I get like this, my boys love to yell “SQUIRREL!” to get my attention. It’s rather annoying. Effective, but annoying.)
Let’s see what else is going on. The Ex should be getting married some time this week or next or he’s already married. I have no idea. I absolutely refuse to ask questions or log onto Facebook long enough to discover the answer. I’ve had several recent conversations with him while holding my breath for fear that he would tell me. I’m sure he knows that I know, but we just keep pretending that I don’t. It’s like when my dad “quit smoking” years ago. He would sneak out and smoke in the garage. My mom knew that he smoked in the garage because he practically lived in the garage and she walked out and caught him several times. She just chose to act like she didn’t see the smoke coming up from the hand he had hidden behind his back.
One time, my ex said to her, “If you want to bust him about smoking, now’s the perfect time to go to the garage to catch him.” She laughed and explained that she most certainly did not want to “catch him” because then he would start smoking in the house. Their little game worked for them. He even built her a new laundry room so that she wouldn’t have to do laundry in the garage. It was the perfect arrangement – he got to smoke and she got a smoke-free house.
(Her lung disease is laughing at that right about now.)
Anyway, The Ex told the boys of his impending nuptials on Father’s Day. When he came to pick them up, he came to the door to retrieve them. It sounds normal enough, but in our world, that translates to “I’m up to something.” If he wasn’t, he would have just called them or texted them to announce his arrival. When I answered the door, he asked, “How much do I still owe you?” Sigh…the same amount on the spreadsheet that I sent you last week. He told me that he really wanted to get that behind him, so he asked if we could call it even if he paid me $1,000 by the end of the month. (Mind you, this is not the child support arrears. The OAG is handling that. This is just what I “loaned” him to pay his phone bill or whatever sob story that he had at the time THREE YEARS AGO.) Of course, I said it would be fine. It’s called a game, people, and I am very used to playing it. You can agree to anything when you know that there is a snowball’s chance in hell that it will happen.
At the time, my Spidey Senses told me that something was up. He wouldn’t just offer to pay a debt that he has owed for years, even if he thought he could get a discount. When the kids came home and told me about the upcoming marriage in Belize, it all made sense. I lived with this guy for what seemed like a million years. I know him, and he knows me. He knew that a trip to a tropical paradise while he owed me money would send me over the edge. He also knows that I have NEVER filed to increase child support. AND he knows that I know that he makes more money now and has the kids NONE of the time. This generous offer was merely a smoke screen. Pay her this debt so she won’t get angry and want to file for the money that she is really due for child support.
But it’s a game…so I played. Since it’s the 2nd of July, and the only thing in my possession is that melted snowball, I decided to make my chess move. I sent him an email politely asking if he was going to be able to pay of the $1,000. I mean, I know that he isn’t, just like he didn’t pay the $300 per month that he promised the last time. And just like all of the promises before that.
He replied to the email that he’s meant to call me and somehow he just knew that I would beat him to it. Is that a dig? Are you freaking kidding me? You’ve owed the debt for years, made more than a million promises to pay in installments or in full, which I have always agreed to, and you want to take a stab at me for one little email?
Then he called me. I was perturbed, which he scoffed at because I always get upset by “stupid little things.” This from the man who gets upset with his kids if they call him “dude” in a funny text.
I had to listen to his explanation that “something unexpected” came up this month, so it didn’t quite work out the way that he thought. Well, duh. (It reminded me of the Kevin Hart skit where he talks about not having money and he says, “The way that my banking was set up…the thing is, I got a checking and a savings, but all my money is in my savings, so I gotta switch it to my checking, but it’s gonna take three business days. I don’t think it’s gonna go.” Look up the skit and you will really be able to accurately picture every money conversation that I’ve had with my ex over the years.) Then he told me again how much he wanted to pay it off, and how honest he is with his girlfriend (wife?) about the money that he owes me. Oh yes, she’s known ever since that soccer game TWO YEARS AGO when I asked you for it in front of her.
He then launched into the troubles that Wifey is having with her ex and how he tells her to call me so that I can see just how good I have it. (I’m so glad that he can’t see my face during these discussions. Eyes rolling.) He gets a dig or two or twenty in during the conversation. Things like, “I told Wifey to call you to see how to handle the OAG because I know that YOU know how to make a man miserable.”
Finally, he asks if we can come up with a payment plan that we can both agree on. Sure, let’s try that again. I mean, ANY payment plan is better than the current one, which is $0 per month. He proposed $200 per month, and of course, I agreed because what’s the harm in that?
I’ll tell you the harm. I’m tired of the game. I wish that he would just pay the money that he owes, so that we could move on with life without speaking. I know that I could just write it off in my head, but as long as he is vacationing on a tropical island while I’m feeding two teenage boys, I just can’t do that. My pride or anger or something just won’t let me.
Am I sad that he’s getting married? No, God no. She can have him. I just want the money back that I loaned him. That’s the least he could do, since he can’t give back the years that he took. I guess that I am angry.