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You win! But not really.

September 21, 2018
This definitely can’t go in the book. 
You know when you break up with someone….like maybe you were married to them for 20 years and the divorce was rough with back and forth accusations filled with bitterness and disdain……and you have those moments when you just want to feel some kind of justice……you just want someone to say, you’re right….the other person is wrong. It’s the kind of feeling your therapist tells you is unhealthy. Its a feeling you hope you get over one day, but there’s always that little petty monster inside you that wants that validation. 
 
Well, I got that validation recently and I have to admit it feels pretty damned good. 
 
My daughter, Lori went to visit her Dad, Mr. K in Atlanta last week. My son, Shawn lives there too. Mr. K had insisted that Lori come for a visit. He wanted to see the boys, he told her. He paid for the whole thing. When she texted me to say she was there, I felt jealous. I always feel jealous when I know the three of them will be together. It’s unreasonable, I know. But I can’t help but think about how he has money he can spend on them. He can take them out for expensive dinners and lavish on them. I have to ask Lori to pay for my train ticket to see her in November. Sometimes I feel like a big loser compared to Mr. K. I’m sure he would agree. 
 
So, when Lori called after being there a few days and she was filled with frustration and disappointed with how things were going, I admit it, I was relieved. I know it’s not right, but I’m not perfect. 
 
Don’t get me wrong, I want my children to enjoy themselves and I know it’s better for everyone if they have a positive relationship with their father. I have been happy to receive reports from the my kids that Mr. K had changed. He is chill, he is cool. His girlfriend is super cool and successful. (Honestly I’ve heard so many good things about her, let’s call her Susie, that I’d really like to meet her one day. Lori calls her the Mr. K whisperer.) And honestly, if you gave me the power to push a button that would make Mr. K have a great life full of peace and happiness and prosperity or a button that would make him a bitter, sad man, longing for validation and justice……I would push the happiness button. I did love the man for over 25 years. And he was so unhappy and angry when I last knew him. I don’t wish that on anyone. 
 
Even so, there was a wicked sense of satisfaction that overcame me when Lori finally got back from her trip and called me to tell me what a complete train wreck it had been.
Mr. K insisted on a busy schedule, talking about how great Atlanta is and all the cools things there are to do. Lori said she felt rushed from place to place with no concern for The Baby’s toddler schedule. He didn’t take much interest in The Baby, which is weird because he usually loves kids and they like him. And that was the reason for the trip. She joked with him about changing a diaper and made a comment about how much I had helped her when he declined. Thankfully, Susie was on the ball and helped out a lot. One night, Mr. K insisted that the three of them go out without kids. They ended up driving and walking around all night, as Mr. K searched for the coolest places to show them. They didn’t drink at all (no loss for Lori but Shawn enjoys a nice night out drinking) and ended up eating a quick dinner and going home. Lori said it was as if he wanted to show off 24/7, like he wanted her to know that he was living a great life. He didn’t ask her about her life, even about her recent leg injury and had no interest in his grandchildren. 
He insisted that he show The Kid (Lori’s oldest) his garage. (Not an attached garage on a home, but a separate building he owns or rents where he can work on his multiple cars.) The Kid was uninterested but it was really important to Mr. K that they see it. 
 
“Wow. This is great,” Lori said to him. “This is what you’ve always wanted. Congratulations.” 
 
To which Mr. K replied, “Yeah. I always wanted a garage but you know your mom wouldn’t have it. Of all the houses we looked at, she hadto choose the one without a garage.” 
 
“Stop, right there,” Lori told him. “I’m not going to do that with you.”
And she walked away. 
“Maybe he forgot who he was talking to,” Lori said to me as she retold the story. He also forgot that I was a teenager when you guys were house hunting. I remember all the conversations. I know he’s lying. He still blames you for everything even when he has everything he wants now.”
This exchange pissed Mr. K off. He didn’t speak to her the rest of the day and took off driving when they were back at Susie’s condo. Lori, Shawn, the two kids and Susie were swimming when Lori and Shawn couldn’t help but mention their father’s weird behavior. Susie chimed in, not able to ignore the discussion. 
“I don’t know why he’s being this way,” she told them. “He loves you guys so much. He just has all these triggers. And something about you (Lori) triggers him.” Triggers him. That’s what she said. Mr. K is triggered by his daughter. 
Lori said Susie teared up as she exchanged text messages with Mr. K. 
Later, Lori heard her side of a conversation. 
“You’re where? Why are you that far away? You want us to have dinner without you?”
Lori was afraid to tell me what Mr. K had said about me. She thought it would upset me, that I would get defensive and try to explain what had really happened. Maybe at one time, I would have reacted that way. 
“It’s ok.” I told her. “It doesn’t surprise me that he still blames me for everything. But here’s the good part, I don’t have to care about what he thinks about me anymore.” 
“He still cares,” she said. 
“That’ his problem.” I said. “I don’t even have to care that he still cares.” 
I think he just needed to show Lori that he won. That he has the big garage and the fancy cars and he can go places and live in a cool city with an awesome girlfriend and he needed to have that acknowledged. But in trying so hard to prove that, he did the opposite and set back relations with his daughter. I told Lori next time, she should have a trophy made that says, “The Best Person in the World,” and give it to him at their meeting and then maybe he can relax. 
Of course, the worst part of it all and the reason why if I do ever manage to publish a book, this can never be in there……is he probably knows that Lori has told me everything, which further sabotages his goal of being the winner of the best parent contest. 
Just as a cherry on the cake, Lori said she realized that Mr. K isn’t as smart as she thought he was and that I’m the smarter one. Ha Ha. I can’t help but find that especially funny. 
Mr. K is really smart. He always scored higher on standardized tests. He was better at math and a wizard with computers. I always thought he was a genius. When Lori recounted her conversation with her husband…”yeah, Lori. I could’ve told you that.” he said, “Your mom’s way smarter than your dad,”………aaahhh that is some funny shit right there. Probably not true, but funny nonetheless.  
So, for that little petty monster inside of me……score one for the loser mom, with no money, no career, no material goods to offer who managed to be a better parent to my grown up kids than the righteous, successful, wealthy, super cool dude with all the cars and the big garage. 
Not the most gracious sentiment, but like I said, I’m not perfect. 
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From → Rantings

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