Belly up

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When things go belly up, especially a car, it makes for a really unpleasant rush to make a decision.

We, meaning my X and I and my teen daughter, purchased a used car back in June. We knew it wasn’t a top notch used car, but we figured it would get us a year (hopefully two) before it would need to be replaced. Since I just talked about making decisions with the X a few days ago, you can imagine that the process of finding and deciding on a car the first time was a chore, to say the least.

Well, now the car has gone belly up and the repairs (at least by the first estimate) appear to be more than the car is worth. I, nor her step-dad, are mechanically inclined when it comes to engines so doing a repair ourselves isn’t really an option. I have friends that could possibly do the work, but since the car is 30 miles from my home that isn’t exactly a “Hey, can you pop over and do some repairs?” kind of situation.

So, we…are back to trying to figure out options. Besides high school, my daughter has a part-time job and is also doing running start (college while still in high school), so the need for her transportation is kinda high as public transit isn’t the greatest or most efficient (or safe?) in the area where she lives. Thus, the options are few.

Ugh! Why are children so expensive….?

X factor

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When you are divorced and have had a child (or children), there is always the “X factor” to consider.

It’s sad to say, but as fathers we very typically get the shaft when it comes to co-parenting the children after a divorce. There is honestly no logical reasoning behind this precedent other than the mother is nearly always seen as “the fittest parent” in these situations, regardless of the circumstances. Even when you can demonstrate, with evidence, that as a father you would be a better choice for the child’s custodial parent it is a costly uphill battle that has no guaranteed outcome.

As I was preparing the visitation calendar for 2020 for my teen daughter, it just brought back all the times where I have had to consider the X factor over the last 14 years. We divorced when she was under two so I have had a lot of considering to do, and still have a little while longer to deal with it. It has been a challenge over the years.

How will the X respond to this? What will the X do now? Is there a way to get the X to be reasonable? How crazy is my X, really? I can’t believe the X responded the way she did. Why does the X have to make everything about herself? Why does the X always make this more challenging than it needs to be? How is the X gonna take this? How can I do this so it doesn’t piss the X off? Now what does the X want? 

If you are a divorced father with children, you likely know all too well what I mean. Or, maybe you are even a mother with a crazy X, you know too. Really this post isn’t so much about fathers (though that is my experience) but about the fact that while raising children as divorced parents you are always having to consider the X factor. Everything you do seems to revolve around the other person even though you aren’t with that person every day.

I am thankful that it has gotten a little better since my daughter is now older and can transport herself, but as I was still working on a visitation calendar (which really hasn’t been followed since my daughter is old enough to have a job now) that I still have to consider the X factor when it comes to my daughter. Just a couple more years that I am REQUIRED to consider the X…then it will only have to be during major life events for my daughter. That will be a whole new chapter of X factor to deal with.

Can anyone else relate to this?

Babies

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Babies are ugly.

There I said it.

Nearly all, and I do mean all, babies are ugly. There really is nothing cute about them.

No, I don’t want to see pictures of your baby. No, I don’t want to see pictures of your new grand-baby. No, I don’t wanna see pictures of any baby.

People, listen, no one really wants to see anything about a baby unless they ask you directly to see pictures of the baby. Otherwise, you are just annoying people needlessly with your gushing about a baby no one cares about but you.

Seriously.

I don’t want to read a blog about your babies. I don’t want to see video clips about your babies. I don’t want so hear stories about your babies.

Just knock it off already.

 

Same

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Well, it seems Cyber Monday is more of the same when it comes to sales.

So far, I haven’t seen anything that would lead me to believe that the sales today (Cyber Monday) are any better than they were for Black Friday, just three days ago.

To me, it looks like companies have just recycled and re-branded their websites with “Cyber Monday” sales banners. As such, many of the items that I was browsing around on Friday are the same exact price today.

I guess Cyber Monday got me underwhelmed just like Friday.

Ho-hum.

Bah-humbug.

Underwhelmed

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I don’t know if this is possible, but I think it probably is.

Is anyone else so overwhelmed by the Black Friday sales and ads and commercials and flyers and emails….that they are actually underwhelmed?

There is so much! So much. I found myself going through emails yesterday morning and then actual printed ads yesterday afternoon (you know the ones that come in the paper?) and I just found that I was so overwhelmed that I was underwhelmed.

There just wasn’t anything in the ads that made me go, “Whoa! I gotta get that!” Nothing in the ads that made me want to get out of bed, to either go to a store or to shop online.

Anyone else feeling it too?

Dear Readers

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My Dear Readers,

As I pause a moment to give thanks for all that I have been given (I have not visited my computer this morning), I have to remember you.

It is because of you that we have created a little community where I have a voice to complain about things in my life, life in general, things in your lives, society, people, culture, smart and stupid people, and the list goes on…etc., etc., etc.

Essentially, you have allowed me to be your voice and in turn it has given me a voice too. I can’t always express the way I feel or think to the people who occupy my everyday life, so this has been an outlet for my frustration (and dare I say, anger?)

Some of what we talk about around here is for real and some of it is just for fun. Either way, it gives me something new to do each day in the hopes of entertaining you…or giving you something to ponder…or maybe giving you a silent fist bump knowing someone out there feels a little like you do.

So, I humbly say thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

With gratitude,

The Chief Grump

Like sheep

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I was reading a little this morning and I couldn’t help but agree entirely with a paragraph in a book that was published in 2004. The commentary is just as relevant today as it was back then. Maybe even more so today.

…people [are like] sheep because we humans have a tendency to follow. “The crowd” has a very powerful effect on us, and popular opinion is far too effective in shaping our thoughts and behavior. We prefer consensus to conviction, tolerance to truth. We can even be persuaded to be critical of some of the most impressive things on earth.

How true it is that people tend to go along with the crowd rather than stand out and stand up for something they feel/believe strongly about/in. And even more true, people and society don’t want “truth” any longer. Instead, they avoid conflict at all cost and call it tolerance. We often hear people say, “It is MY truth.” Sorry, peeps, there is no such thing.

The paragraph caused me to ponder for a bit. Where do I fall? Am I a follower, just another sheep in the flock, or am I standing up for what I believe in? That can be a hard question to evaluate myself against. Sometimes, I don’t think I like the truth. But, the truth is what is most important.

In the context of the quote above, where are you? How do you see yourself?