The Babysitter Blues

, , , , , , | Related | September 22, 2018

(My father wasn’t a great parent when I was growing up. He and my mother divorced when I was ten, when she found about his ongoing affair. Shortly after their divorce was finalized, he married his mistress, and they moved to a place on the opposite side of the city and expressed no interest in spending time with me, despite my asking to see him. Fast forward a few years: I’m now thirteen. My father, his wife, and their twin boys move back into our area of the city, and for the first time since the divorce, he has agreed to spend time with me. I’m hesitant at first, but at my mother’s insistence, I agree to meet. I go over to their home to have a quiet evening with their family, see their new home, and meet my half-brothers for the first time. I’m a bit uneasy at first, but I start to relax once the kids take a liking to me. I’m in their playroom in the back of the house when I hear the front door slam shut. Concerned I don’t hear my father’s or his wife’s voice afterwards, I decide to check it out. To my surprise, my father and his wife are no longer in the house, and have left a note on the table saying they’re going out and will be back in a few hours. In a panic, I call my mom.)

Me: *panicked* “So… Dad and [His Wife] are gone, and I’m alone with the twins. I don’t know what I should do.”

(My mom flips out, cursing my father and his actions, but quickly calms herself down when she realizes I’m panicking.)

Mom: “Did they say where they were going or how long they’d be? Did they even mention they were leaving at some point?”

Me: “They didn’t tell me anything. I was playing with the twins in their playroom in the back of the house when I heard the door slam. When I went out to check it out, I saw their note on the table, which says they’ll be back in a few hours. They didn’t leave a phone number for me to call in case of an emergency.”

Mom: “I’m going to try giving him a call and see what’s going on. If I don’t call you back in ten minutes, you call me, okay?”

(About two minutes later, my mom calls back, saying she’s called my father, left a voice message, and sent him a couple of texts demanding he call either one of us as soon as possible. Because she doesn’t know when or if we’ll hear back from him, she offers to come look after the boys with me if I’m uncomfortable doing so by myself. I regularly babysit the kids in my neighborhood and the children of my mom’s friends, so I tell her I feel comfortable enough staying and watching the twins. I was more caught off-guard how I was thrown into the situation. Around 11:00 pm, my father and his wife walk through the door, asking me how it went.)

Me: “It went fine. They fussed a little bit, but calmed down after a while. I got them to finally go to sleep around eight and they’ve been quiet since.”

Dad: “That’s great. I knew they’d like you.” *to his wife* “See? I told you she’d be a great babysitter.”

Me: “That’ll be $55.00, please. I prefer cash, but I guess you can write the check out to Mom and she can cash it for me.”

Dad: *taken aback* “What?”

Me: “Um… My fee for babysitting? I charge eight dollars per hour for one kid, and then an extra two dollars an hour per additional kid — an extra three dollars if one of them is a baby. So, two kids, that’s ten dollars an hour, and the two of you have been gone since 5:30, which is five and a half hours. That brings your total to $55.00.”

(The two of them look at each other, then back to me, in both horror and disgust, as if I had asked them to help me hide a dead body.)

Me: “What? You literally ditched me and your kids, expecting that I’d watch over them. You’re lucky I called Mom first and not 911. So, if you’re going to treat me like a babysitter, I want to get paid like one.”

(After he dropped me off at my mom’s, my parents had a long argument over my father’s antics. In the end, I was paid the money — no tip, though — but it was a while before I agreed to meet my father and his family anywhere other than a public place again.)

They’re Ignoring The Biggest Extra-Life That The World Can Give Them

, , , , , , | Related | June 12, 2018

Back when I worked at a gaming company as in-game support, one parent in a divorce filed a complaint with us about the other parent harassing them.

This is pretty common: lots of people meet in-game, fall in love, marry, and then fall out of love after finding out what living with this person’s like, or that moving across the country and getting a new job was a bigger problem than anticipated.

I quickly discovered this wasn’t the case here; these were two parents whose relationship predated the game. I knew this, because chat logs between the two parents were primarily angry discussions about their eight-year-old son and who’d get custody rights.

It turns out, neither parent wanted custody, since raising the child would detract from their game time. Interspersed with these awful parents trying to disown their son was the occasional message from said son, who would ask one parent or the other for help with homework or if he could help with dinner. Both parents would dismiss the child regularly.

I got this petition at three am. It took me half an hour to find the specific comment that my petitioner found worthy of complaint. I filed the petition as quickly as I could, then called my girlfriend to tell her how much I loved her.

They’ll Be Indebted To You

, , , | Related | June 8, 2018

(My mother has recently divorced my step-father.)

Man: “Hello, this is [Debt Collector Office]. I’m looking for Mr. [Ex-Stepdad].”

Me: *tired of explaining to every single caller* “Sorry, there is no one here by that name.”

Man: “Oh, isn’t this [my phone number]?”

Me: *sighs* “Yes, it is, but the man you are looking for doesn’t live here… anymore.”

Man: “Do you happen to have his contact details? I really need to get a hold of him. You know, he really is in huge debt, and it can cause a lot of problems if I can’t find him.”

Me: *now intrigued, as we never knew in how much financial s*** he actually was in* “Huge debt, you say?”

Man: “Yes, it really needs to be handled! Do you have any idea how to get a hold of him?”

Me: “Well, I don’t know his exact address, but he lives in [City] now. There are two under that name over there, as his father lives there, too, and he has the same first and last name, so you need to have [Ex-Stepdad] Junior. And do me one favour: make sure you find him. I’ll be laughing my a** off if he goes bankrupt.”

Man: “Don’t worry about that. Trust me, this debt is huuuuuge. Thanks a lot for the help! We might be able to find him now!”

Me: “My pleasure!”

Trash-Talking Your Ex

, , , , , | | Related | May 23, 2018

My parents recently divorced and my mom moved out as a consequence. Both of my parents were pretty down about it and relatively hostile towards each other, which put a lot of strain on me and my siblings.

One day my mom was visiting us children, eating a small snack with us at the table, while my dad was sitting on the sofa a few metres away. I went to the calendar hung on the wall to check for an appointment and realised that my dad had reassigned the row showing my mom’s appointments to instead show when each kind of trash was emptied by the city; however, the top row with her name was written in non-erasable pen.

That seemed like such a typical thing that a divorced couple would do out of spite that I broke down laughing hard, because my dad absolutely didn’t intend it to be malicious; he put it there simply because my mom used to take care of the trash and there was space. Of course my mom came to look at what was so funny and broke down laughing, too.

When my dad walked over, too, she joked about how insulted she was about being used as a trash reminder and he joked back that she deserved it. Consequently, my whole family spent a quarter hour laughing and wheezing on the floor. I think that moment saved our relationship as a family; that day was the first time they had talked with each other in person, not over text or asking us to relay messages. In the following days and weeks they started handling each other with a lot less tension and apologized for putting us between them. I’m very glad for that silly little coincidence.

Divorce On Course

, , , | Romantic | May 12, 2018

(My best friend has finally made the decision to leave her husband. She has been wanting to for about a year, but kept trying to make it work, which has failed. She records the actual break-up conversation and shows it to me. And I just have to share.)

Husband: *enters kitchen*

Wife: “Hey, [Husband], would you please come sit at the table with me for a moment? We need to talk.”

Husband: “Okaaaay.”

(He sits down slowly, obviously confused by her tone.)

Wife: “We’ve been married nearly three years now.”

Husband: “Yes, best three years of my life, Honey Bunny.”

Wife: “Uh-huh… See, that’s where we differ.”

Husband: “What are you talking about?”

Wife: “On our wedding day, I promised to love and respect you. And you also made that promise to me.”

Husband: “Yeah, that’s how wedding vows work.”

Wife: “Uh-huh. But I’m the only one that kept that promise.”

Husband: *jumping from his chair* “What the hell are y—”

Wife: “I’m still speaking.” *she gives him a scary “shut up” look and he sits back in his chair* “After we were married, you begged me to quit my job. It was an amazing job, that I loved, that I was good at, and that was about to give me an amazing promotion. I quit it, for you. Then, we had to sell my vehicle, because without my job, we couldn’t afford repairs. Then I got pregnant. And when I was six months pregnant, we just had to move. Because the state we had to move to is the only state that had the specific health facilities you needed. So, I gave birth with a doctor I barely knew, surrounded by strangers. Except for you, obviously. But then you went home, and I was alone and exhausted taking care of a newborn at the hospital for three days. Visits from you were quick and brief. I didn’t even have a cell phone of my own, so I had no one to talk to. And then you decided that we just had to move again, twelve hours away, four days after I had just given birth. Our daughter is now a year and a half old, and you have changed a total of two diapers, and made maybe five bottles, and never without complaint. For the last two years, I don’t think I’ve had a single orgasm. I’ve even told you, begged you, to put more effort into our love life. Instead, you tell me to ‘take care of it myself’ while you use me as a personal human masturbator. You always achieve release and receive many oral favors, never giving anything in return. I feel like a blow-up doll. Since our daughter was born, you constantly talk down on me like I’m stupid, despite the fact that you’re usually wrong. I’ve pointed this out many times. You act as if you own me. I’m not allowed to wear certain clothes, get an actual job, or even see my family that moved across the country to live in the same town as us. I could probably go on, but I’ve made my point. I don’t like you, and I want a divorce. You can still be a father; I’d prefer it if you would. I’m not going to punish a child because our marriage didn’t work. Any questions?”

Husband: *has been silently crying and staring down at the table* “We could try couples counseling.”

Wife: “I thought of that, too. But, you know what? I’ve pointed out most of these issues a million times. A couple of them put me into a rage-filled depression. That’s a weird emotion to have. Even if counseling did help, why would I stay with someone that has to be told, by someone other than me, the exact same things I already told him? You’re not a child I’m going to go tattle on every time you do something I already told you not to do. This is an emotionally controlling marriage, and I’m tired of it. I will not have my daughter see this marriage as her example of what to expect. I’d have her live to be an old spinster, alone, if it meant she could avoid wasting years on misery like this.”

Husband: “You’re going to regret leaving me.”

Wife: “Hmm. No, I’m not. There’s another thing I forgot to mention. My sister has a lot of friends; she’s very popular, you know. Well, one of her many friends sent her this.”

(She pulls up a picture on her phone. It’s a screenshot of a message conversation with his cell number, with pictures of him. ALL of him. He just stares blankly at the phone.)

Wife: “So… I’ve been planning on leaving for a while. This just kind of makes it all the more easier. This is how it’s going to work: I had to quit my job and stay home with our child, so I have no money. You make pretty good money and made it your mission to not let me have a penny. You’re going to pay alimony only long enough for me to get a job and a place. Once that’s done, no more alimony. But then, you’ll pay child support. Nothing extravagant, just enough to help a little. And if you want to be a father, just let me know. We can set up a schedule to share. But I have to know of every person you bring around our child. If you bring in a ‘Buddy’ or girlfriend before introducing them to me, you won’t see your daughter. Don’t worry; you won’t have to pay support if you don’t see her. That seems a bit cruel to me.”

Husband: “I don’t have the money to support you.”

Wife: “There it is again: you thinking I’m stupid. You get a specific set amount of money every month, and all the bills combined don’t even use up a quarter of it. That’s why you spend insane amounts of money on things you’ll never use again. I do the taxes, budgeting, and bills, dumba**. Everything is well-documented. You try to hide away anything, I’ll know, and I’ll report it. I’m not demanding the house, and I’m not demanding extreme amounts of money. I’m demanding the bare minimum of what I’m due after wasting three years on you.”

(I was already headed over to pick up her and her daughter. They didn’t have that many belongings, since he didn’t like to spend money on them, so it was quick to load up and go. Don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep, people. Respect your life partner.)

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