I’ve you ever noticed that after you break up with your mate, they seem to become dumb overnight? Or maybe you find it to be a process… that they have their head on somewhat straight early on, but as time goes by, their intelligence dims to the wattage of a Christmas tree bulb.
I realized this recently with my ex-husband. I have to interact with him on a human level about twice a month when my teenage children go to his house for their “weekend father” visit. If it was possible, I wouldn’t even stop the car and look at him when I go to drop off the kids. And if they were more athletic, I would teach them how to leap from a slow moving vehicle so I wouldn’t even have to down-shift the car from second gear. But somewhere in my custody papers I think it reads I actually have to put the car in park. No where does it say, however, that I have to turn off the ignition. Thank God.
I know I am going to have to converse with my ex as an adult, or as close as he can get, when I get to the drop off location and he gets out of his car and motions for me to roll down my window. When he does this I can feel my stomach roll and I immediately start reaching for the elixir of Pepto and Tylenol. He’s wants to speak. To me. Out loud. Oh lord, give me strength. Ever since my ex and I divorced, he loves to “chat” with me about his latest ideas, inventions, outings, and dreams. The first few years he did this, a good portion of them seemed decent. Buying a house, savings bonds, things like that. They weren’t always pursued in a way that I would I do them, but still it showed he was putting thought into something. Then somewhere along the way, the “EX”treme Stupidity factor set in. Now every couple of months or so he feels the need to share with me the details about his latest undertakings. Stupid stupid stupid undertakings. These could be anything such as a picture-taking endeavor in a woods full of ticks and mosquitoes to click some slides of deer and butterflies (even though he has thousands of these, and takes new ones every weekend), the patent his father and him want to get for a magnet-operated car, the newest get-rich-quick scheme that he’s been “personally selected” to participate in, or his development of medical knowledge when his last date informed him of the clinical definition of a hermaphrodite. I’ll leave that last statement alone for now, as it really deserves a post all by itself.
In my ex-husband’s defense, I will say that he is not very informed. But that’s by choice. He does not have cable TV. Actually he gets no TV whatsoever as he lives in the woods in the middle of nowhere (hence the bug and animal photos). He has a computer with dial-up internet access but never logs on to read the latest headlines because that costs money. FYI, my ex likes to conserve money whenever possible and is always looking for a way to get more of it. He says he’s thrifty. I say he’s flat out cheap. So where does he get the majority of his worldly information? Are you ready for this?… the mail. The junk mail. And that’s enough of a foundation for a disaster in itself.
Because it is delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, my ex feels that everything that enters the black box with a red flag is legit and good. Everything. This included the stuffing envelopes for thousands of dollars invitation, the newest vitamin for weight-loss newsletter, the “How To Rid Yourself Of Cancer-Causing Chemicals” magazine offer, how he’s been chosen to get his latest bird picture published in a feature book for a “small” processing fee, and the selling of legal services to needy individuals (but only if he buys the service for himself first) job offer. The list is long, pathetic, and very detailed. But you get my drift.
You would think that the longer your ex is out on his own, the more street savvy he would become. I mean, why wouldn’t he? You did! Honestly, after the break-up, someone actually handed you a bag of clues, and you reached in an got one! But the longer you two are apart, the more obscure the statements that leave their mouth become. Now for me personally, I can take extreme enjoyment in being able to tell my ex that his latest venture is about as promising as a loaf of bread rising without yeast. Or water. Or in my ex’s case, even flour. But that might be because I can be a sassy sadistic shit at times. Can it be true that the father of my children has an I.Q. that is declining more quickly than the water level in my humidifier? Or is it because I only notice his wrongs instead of his rights now that we are apart? Maybe I just want to believe – and gloat – that our divorce made me a smarter, stronger, more cautious, more alert individual than him. Could that be true? Hmmmmm. I’m not sure. I’ll have to see about that one.
I’ll let you know what I think right after he sends his large Money Gram to a public relations firm in Guam in order to make a few extra hundred dollars after being selected to the prestigious position of “Mystery Shopper of the Month.”