Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Unpleasant Surprises

Well I will keep calling you to see
If you're sleepin' are you dreamin' and
If you're dreamin' are you dreamin' of me
I cant believe
You actually picked...me

From the song "Calling You" by Blue October

It's been said that Napoleon Bonaparte only read his mail once a month. By doing so, he found that the problems contained in the letters had usually resolved themselves by the time he read about them. Although it's a luxury I cannot afford, I sometimes wonder if I would do well to follow his example.

I had a huge pile of mail waiting for me when I got home from work last night. I went through my usual process of dividing it into 3 piles: garbage I can throw directly away, garbage I need to shred first, and things I actually need to read. Smug that I had once again defeated the evil bulk mailers, I set myself about reviewing the items that merited my attention.

The first thing I opened was a speeding ticket. It included beautiful glossy photos of the vehicle in my (estranged) wife's possession, merrily zipping along at 36 in a 25 mph zone. Now logically, what do I care if she's out there speeding? Why would this upset me? There are several reasons.

First, I read my mail after a long day at work and I was already mentally and emotionally fatigued. In that state of mind, all problems are exaggerated. Nevertheless, it's representative of larger more annoying facts, not the least of which is that she still has not done her part to take responsibility. As they say, "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me."

I calmly put the ticket aside to give my attention to the next envelope. This one was a rare treat tantamount to winning the lottery in reverse. It was a bill from an orthodontist in Utah in the amount of $565 for services performed while my son was in my ex-wife's custody - a year ago.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, the same ex-wife who now owes me more than $3,200 in back child support, the very same who in 13 years of divorce has never paid for a single airplane ticket, the same person who said such vile things to her own daughter I put her in therapy to cope, the very same lady who would not even work with me to settle on dates for the kids to visit this summer, even though I paid the entire amount of both tickets. This is the person who brought us such memorable events as filing for bankruptcy twice, and even divorcing her current husband in an elaborate scheme to commit bankruptcy fraud, but then hastily remarrying him once it became clear it wouldn't work. I won't expect her to step up and accept responsibility anytime soon. That means one thing, and one thing only. Somebody is about to get boned on that bill, and that somebody is yours truly.

I can't help but wonder what's next, but I'm afraid to ask. I'll keep you posted.

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