Time To Play “B” Sides

June 26, 2006 at 2:32 PM | Posted in Personal | 7 Comments
  It seems like there is never enough time to get everything done that needs to be done, but there is always time to cut the grass.  I now know why my dad always wanted me to cut the grass, but never pressed me to do it.  Often, he did it.  It gives you time to think.  I imagine my dad did alot of thinking.  We had almost an acre, growing up.
  My yard has been fixed.  Thanks to the builders, who waited a year and half.  No, really.  Thanks.  Now that my yard has been leveled, seeded, and strawed, and the grass has grown, I have over half an acre of grass to cut.
  Now, many of you rural folks are saying, "half an acre–that’s nothing!"  while many of you city-types are saying to yourselves, "What the hell is an acre?"  Well, I’ll tell you how much an acre is.  Or at least, how much a half acre is.
  A half-acre is the exact amount of grass that is too much to cut with a 20 inch pushmower.  That’s how much it is.  I got up early Sunday, because I decided recently to be a freak like my dad.  He gets up early to have some alone time.  That’s the only alone time I can get, it seems like.  There is always someone home.  Christ, don’t these fucking people ever go anywhere?
  Actually, what it is, is I am gone so much, that sometimes they are gone too.  But on the rare occasion when I am home, they are always there.  Always.  ALWAYS.
  The back yard needs to be cut pretty badly.  This will be the first time, in fact, that I have cut the whole thing.  Mostly I left it alone, and occassionally spot cut some of the taller weeds they gave us in lieu of actual grass.  The back is a big, flat, level, grassy plain, like Oklahoma.  I start on one side, and just make a continuous loop, travelling inward.
  I thought about my dad.  He’s happy now, in his later years, finally.  He’s approaching 70.  No, he is 70.  Still gets around.  Has to have some oxygen now and again, but that’s because he was a smoker.  This made him quit recently.  Other than that, he’s in pretty good health, still gets around, might still be getting laid.  He has a girlfriend.
  I thought about my situation, and what am I going to do.  Not what, I guess, but "how."  I know I have to leave her.  In fact, I know I must.  I could–I–you know. . . I could have worked this out.  Even three or four years ago, we might have. . .no.  It might have been to late even then.  I would have to go back over ten years, and start to change things then.  It has been slipping away, very slowly, for a long time.
  Whether or not it can actually be worked out is moot.  I don’t want to "work it out."  I am tired.  Tired of it, tired of her.  Tired of what my life has become.  Eighteen years of being treated this way and putting up with it.  There is no changing her now.  Compromise to her is when I give in.
  I still love her, just because we’ve been together so long.  We’ve shared alot, good and bad, and she is the mother of my children.  I still love her. . .But I don’t like her, I can’t stand her, and I hate her for what she’s done to me.
  What has she done to me?
  Aaaaaah–hmmm.  I actually sighed here, as I write.  Little by little, day by day, she’s broken me down.  Tiny pieces, imperceptibly, removed from me.  I’m not going to enumerate, in detail, what they are because I think it might be boring to the reader, and I think I’ve done it already, and I don’t want to sound like a bitch.
  I’m not a bitch, I’m a problem solver.  I have a problem, I develop a solution; it’s what I do.
  So what is the problem, or what *are* the problems?  Then, what are the solutions?  Let’s list them, shall we?
Problem one: 
 I’m very unhappy in my marriage.  Things will not work out, I know.
 I’m going to leave my wife.  I could kill her, but that hardly ever works.  It just creates more problems.  Plus, they just graded the back yard, and I don’t want to have to dig a hole.  Not to mention her poor health, I can’t get much life insurance on her to make it worthwhile.  Not only that, but the kids would miss her, and I don’t want to do that to them.  Too many questions, I end up killing, like 20 or thirty people.  Christ, is that ever alot of holes to dig.
 Leaving her does create several problems, which I will list all as one, because I may have a solution that solves most of them.
1)  We can barely afford the house as a couple.  As individuals, we would lose the house, this house that I worked my ass off to provide for her.  She would lose it much sooner than I; I make more money.  Even with child support and alimony, she wouldn’t get as much as I put in now, which is every goddamn cent I make, minus gas money and lunch money.  She would lose it, and she cares more about the house than she does me.
  And, well, at this point, I do too.  I want the kids to stay with the house, stay where they are for school.  I am willing to let her keep the house, if she can, and (nominal) custody of the kids, as long as I am not restricted from seeing them. . .which brings me to the other problem:
2)  The emotional well being of the children.  Miranda is only 9, almost 10.  This is going to hurt her alot.  Mitchell is practically 18, or he will be by the time this goes down.  He may be okay, or not.  I refuse to predict how people will react.
3)  The other problem is, how do I remain close to my kids?  It is tied to 2, but has to do with my physical location.
  My older son, Linda’s son Michael, is looking for a house.  He is a single dad with four kids, ages 9-14.  He had originally said he likes living where he is, not too close to the family, but 45 minutes away.  Recently he said he would like to live closer to the family, closer to his mom.  He as much said he knows he will have to be closer to take care of her as she gets older, problems with the arthritis and such.
  I can sign over my interest in my house to Mike, and he can move in to the house.  Here are the advantages for everyone:
Linda:  she gets to keep the house, and gets to keep living the way she is living.  Plus, she will have the grandkids to boss around instead of me, more help around the house, things like that.
Miranda:  She gets along really well with Mike’s littlest girls, who are Miranda’s age.  It’ll be like having sisters.
Mitchell:  Can’t really see an advantage for him, except that he will definitely want to move out when he’s done with high school.  He may want to live with me.
Mike:  He will have a house, and not have to use any money, so he can use his cash for the business he wants to open up.  He will have his mother to help take care of the kids–an extra eye, and they do what she says.  He has three girls, and having a woman to help them with various "things" is a good idea.
His kids:  They all benefit from being in a good school, closer to family, Gramma to watch them.
ME:  My benefit is all of these benefits.  If it works out for everyone, then I am supremely happy.  I want to get out this without having to chew off my leg.  If my wife can get past the anger and see everything I’m trying to do for her–hell.  I just changed my health insurance and added her to it.  I can keep it that way as long as I can get away with it.  It’s a better plan, and cheaper, than the one she had at the small company she worked for.
  I am even willing to come over and help Mike build a bedroom or two in the basement.  What this will also allow me to do is rent a small place here in this tiny town–it would be cheap–and then I would still be near the kids.  Mitchell could stay with me, if he wanted.  Or Miranda, but I think Mitchell would be more interested.  If we are just a few blocks away, it would work out pretty good.  I know that much of this is a pipe dream.  Don’t know, really, how any of them will react.  Except Miranda, I know she will cry.  I don’t want to hurt her, but I can’t stay.  I can’t.  That’s the reason I want to live as close as possible, for her.  Did I say that already?  I mean it.
  How will Linda react?  Don’t know.  I just have no idea.  Maybe she’s as tired of me as I am of her.  Name calling, yelling, screaming, crying–all part of the daily adventure now.  I think I can handle it.  Throwing things, breaking things, hitting me–all the more reason to leave.
  I want to do things, live my life.  I’m not escaping from the kids, I’m not.  I want them along.  I would love to go on a trip.  Or many trips.  I wish I could find a woman. . .who shares my interests.  Who would like what I like, and have the same easy-going, pleasant demeanor that I have.  Someone who would actually like to be with me.
  Someone who would like to travel, too.  Maybe a woman who can handle going over the road–a trucker?–who knows?  Someone I can communicate with.  I feel, as much as anything, that is what I have lost.  We have gone down two different roads.  I need someone on the same road as me.  The same page.  I’m sure she’s out there.  I can wait.  I have a little time.  I can find her.
  Meanwhile, I get done cutting the grass, and realize I didn’t use the self-propelled action.  I just pushed it, the whole way.  Christ, what a putz.


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  1. ok a few comments. About the person you are waiting for or looking for, or want to be with, (whichever senerio applys) please make sure this person is ok with your kids and loves them. My dad got remarried when I was 5 and didn\’t tell me till I went to visit him for my birthday, I can still remember the hurt I felt for not being included in anything. And that didn\’t stop there. I was not included in his funeral either. Instead this woman who claimed to love me like her daughter made all the decisions without asking me, and I am my fathers oldest. She put her kids to use in it and forgot about me. Oh well almost over that pain, you would think 6 years is enough time to get over it?
    Secondly, please talk to your daughter now. You need to have her understand where you are coming from. You kids can not be stupid and not know what is going on. (ok that sounds harsher than I meant) but they should see what is going on and have some sort of an idea. You need to let them both know it has nothing to do with them and you love them and if they want to live with you that is fine, and mean it. I can remember a lot of things on how I felt when my parents did things without talking to me, that involved me.
    Maybe if you knew if they wanted to live with you, than you can figure things out accordingly that way. As for your situation with your older son, hey if that works than make it work. Other than that I think you got everything going in the right way. And I wouldn\’t know how to mow a lawn if someone offered to pay me. So don\’t feel bad. But I can change a tire and the oil if I wanted to.

  2. um, Bryan…?? you don\’t have guns in the house do you? oh, and you might want to put all sharp knives under lock and key, too. and…and.. let\’s see…  blunt objects as well. yeah…  anything that might be used as a weapon needs to be removed. THEN confront her. if you happen to own a suit of armor, you might want to first put that on, too.
    hey, I\’m just looking out for your welfare… we\’d miss you around here.
    seriously, it might all work out better than you think. and..  y\’know what? I think I"m  pretty serious about the other stuff, too.
    good luck with it all..
    hugs and love

  3. question: do insane people know they\’re insane, or do you think you\’re normal? I mean.. they, not you.
    damn.. glad I\’m halfway across the friggin country or I\’d be worried.

  4. Hey Bry….
    hmm… I\’m happy for you.  Is that a weird non-sympathetic response??  I\’m happy for you cuz I\’ve been thru this myself, and I know the anguish, God do I know how awful it is to be broken down, lil by lil, day by day.. to feel a sense of \’losing\’ yourself.  I\’m happy that you have found the courage to understand the situation, totally, and make a decision to \’solve\’ it.  It sounds like you have a really good idea re: the house.  Seriously..that\’s a win/win for alot of ppl.  Yes, the initial discussion is gonna be horrible I\’m sure.  But she\’s got to have an idea or at least have thought of it herself.. she doesn\’t seem at all happy either.  and Yes, it will probably rock your daughter\’s world.. for a lil while.  But as long as you DO stay in her world, visit, spend time together, she WILL be ok eventually.  When I explained it to my son prior to my divorce, I simply told him that mom & dad were not happy together anymore, and that I had decided I\’d rather bring them up in a life with happy parents even if they have to be apart to BE happy.. that I didn\’t want them to be around us fighting and yelling anymore..that I wanted their memories of *home* to be happy ones.. not ones of hearing their parents scream at eachother all the damn time.  and etc etc etc… and I can tell you now, even tho I\’m still waiting to be whisked off my feet again.. it was the smartest decision I ever made.  I could finally be ME again.  I could grow, hope, dream and noone would tear them down…   I\’m really proud of you Bryan.  I can\’t tell you how many times I wanted to comment to you that maybe it was time to go..after reading a post where she\’d treated you crummy.  Best advice I can give you tho.. is take time to find yourself again, to rebuild your character, to love yourself and be proud, before jumping into another relationship.  It will make you an even better catch than you already are if you\’re mentally ready first.  I wish you all the luck in the world with this.  You\’ve got all of our support thru the crazy insane moments to come, you know that.  We believe in you 🙂  and I have no doubt in my mind, you\’re gonna find that woman that \’fits\’ you best, loves you like you deserve to be loved, and respects you too.
    Hugsssssssssssssssssssssssssss to my lil furry ball o\’ sunshine!!

  5. I can\’t believe you\’d think I was mad at ya or worse classify you as an ass hole!  I don\’t get around a lot but I try to stop in once a week.  If I get this job I have an interview for I may not be blog surfing much at all. All that said….
    I have to ask if you think Michael will go for this idea.  I know I wouldn\’t want to live with my mother just to have her house hahahaha.  Another thing, like my phyco cousin said, you should speak with the kids; however, that can create a problem because at this age she\’ll probably run and tell mom.
    I told John if there comes a time when I decide I\’ve had enough of him I\’m moving out.  I love my house yet I couldn\’t afford it and the yard is a lot of work even with a sprinkler system.
    Take Care!  I\’ll stop in again soon

  6. The house situation, heres one of the best scenereos I\’ve heard of. The man and the woman both retained half ownership of the house. The woman and the kids got to live in it until the last child was 18, or maybe it was when she was 21? Sorry don\’t remember the exact age, but I\’m thinking it\’s 18. During those years, he paid half of the mortgage and she paid half. It was up to her to pay the electric, water, sewer garbage, etc. He paid child support. When the youngest got to the age they agreed on, THEN the house went up for sale and they split the profits, half and half.
    I thought that was a very fair deal. Anyway, just another option.
    I think it\’s great that you even care that your kids get to stay in their home. About 6 years ago I asked for a divorce, and he promised that both the kids and I would be on the street, that he would quit his job and make sure we never saw a dime of child support…. he means it, so, now I wait. I can live with the waiting, but it is hard. She should never be abusive towards you, no one ever should, be it names or physical. What a terrible example she\’s being. I live with a name caller, but he knows better than to try hitting. I wish you lots of luck! BIG HUGS, Steph

  7. I don\’t really have any wise words of advice to share, but I can give you a great big {{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}} and hope you and your kids can get through this ordeal with the least amount of pain. 
    I will say that letting her have the house so that the kids don\’t have finding another home added to their stress is a very loving and considerate thing for you to do.  We all know that you\’re doing it for them, not her. 
    My Dh did the same thing when he divorced his ex.  Even though she was the one who betrayed him by having an affair, he "gave" her the kids, the better car, the house, and most of their financial assets just to keep the kids feeling secure and safe.  He sacrificed for them and had to move into a small cheap apartment in "the hood", cause at the time that\’s all he could afford.  But, that\’s in the past, he\’s in a better place now (with me ;)!) financially, and even more importantly emotionally. 
    As for meeting another woman who is "on the same road" as you…Sassy put it perfectly, "… take time to find yourself again, to rebuild your character, to love yourself and be proud, before jumping into another relationship.  It will make you an even better catch than you already are if you\’re mentally ready first."
    Be strong, and good luck!
    p.s.  I did find a tutor for my math "issues"!  I think now I\’ll at least pass the class, and even maybe get a B!  *fingers crossed*

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