It’s funny that my ex-wife and me still have such parental conversations about our son.
Here he is, on cusp of adulthood, just a few months away. My legal child support obligations will come to an end and then be replaced with the pricier, less formal costs of supporting him through college and all the associated expenses that come with being a young adult nowadays (and always, I suppose).
Once in a while, his mother and I call each other and talk about him as if he was still 7. In fact, it is the way we talked when he was 7, right after our separation. We talked about raising him, about shared parental duties, but that was like 11 years ago. Now we talk about car insurance, about college, about his job; adult shit. Rarely do we speak in the way that divorced parents share information about their very young children any longer. But occasionally, rarely now, we have such conversations, and they seem horribly out of place.
She has a strong Korean accident, and I have shattered eardrums.
Years of close-quartered Metallica and Motorhead concerts have left me with subpar hearing. Truly a bad combination when we are speaking on the phone.
Sunday night, we were on the phone with each other. We touched on several matters pertinent to our son; how much should we give him for gas allowance? I was of the belief we should pay for the portion of the gas bill that got him to school, work, and back. All else should come out of his pocket. Fair enough. We spoke about school, grades, acceptance stuff.
Then that vague, divorced silence that told us it was perhaps time to hang up, but then she embarked on a new round of discussion.
“Can I ask you something?” she asked curtly.
“Do you have bugs in your house?”
It struck me as an odd question to pose under the pretense of such gravity. But yeah, I came clean.
“I have some, they come and go. I haven’t seen any for the last week, but yeah, I get them here sometimes,” I answered candidly. It’s not like she didn’t know.
“You have drugs in your house!? You’re doing drugs there??”
Damnit. Time to rescue this.
“No, no! I thought you asked if I had ‘bugs’ in the house. I didn’t hear you say ‘drugs.’ No, I don’t have drugs in this house. I don’t do drugs. I don’t use drugs, no, no, no,” I reiterated vehemently.
Can’t go about giving your divorced spouse any reason to go hard-ass on you when you share a minor child. I read the manosphere, I know what the fuck’s up!
“You don’t do drugs?” she asked humorlessly, even though I had begun to snicker.
“No, I don’t. I don’t do drugs or have drugs here. I thought you said ‘bugs!'”
“OK, it’s just that a lot of people [including my own family, presumably, as she is closer to many of them than I am] are wondering if you’re using drugs because you’ve lost so much weight,” she continued to allege.
Once again I reverted to the defense!
Yes, I’ve lost 35 pounds since August, but it was part of a conscious effort on my part. I’ve always been a thin person but for the past 2 years I went off the diet rails when a “bulking” period took on a life of its own. I have no problem controlling my food intake and I decided, after looking and feeling like shit, that it was time to be strong again.
“No, I’m fine. I wanted to lose 15 pounds but then I just kept losing. I’ve just cut back on my eating a lot, but I’ m still lifting weights and I feel great. It’s not drugs. I have been trying to lose weight, that’s all.”
The conversation thus ended. Another day in the courthouse.