Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
- Thomas Haynes Bayly
Absence does not make the heart grow fonder, asshole. Absence makes me fucking hate you.
- Schuyler The Cat’s ex-wife.
Somewhere between those two quotes lies a great truth, perhaps, and for the life of me I can’t tell. The ex-Mrs. Schuyler The Cat was an occasionally harsh woman, but the context of her quote is a little more pedestrian then it sounds: she was a goddamn asshole, but I was clearly a bigger goddamn asshole. Hey, I was 26, and an idiot. In the end I knew then what I knew, and I did what I did: now, I like to think I know better, so I like to think I do better. Maybe.
How long has it been? Let’s see: in the intervening months since I have graced the august pages of The Fly I have gone from a couch potato to a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do, I have gone from nearly homeless and broke to a man with IRA’s and a 401K and a plan to resolve all my family’s debt by June 2012 (we can do it by March, but I want leeway), and a foreclosed-upon and consequently pissed-off former homeowner to a renter with little to no memory of the two years I spent dancing with the mortgage industry’s collection agencies and other cheery imbeciles.
To say I am a new man would be fair; to say I am sore from head to toe (especially toe: my feet are bruised and swollen) and tired as shit would be equally fair.
And kinda happy, too. The current Mrs. Schuyler The Cat is working full time for the first time in 27 years and making serious dough, she’s exhausted and happy as a pig in a mud puddle. The Mini-Schuyler the cats are hale and hearty. Happy, we.
And this morning was cause for smiles all around as well – I stepped out of the (rented, and quite lovely) house with my youngest, ready to head for the bus stop, and realized it was chilly, if not downright cold for a person who has been living in Mecklenburg County summer weather for eternity. There was a fresh layer of fallen oak leaves after yesterday’s little rainy weather temper tantrum, and it struck me I needed a light jacket.
Fall fell, yes it did. I love Autumn. More happy.
The other shoe drops on people like me and you and anyone who gets too cozy with their lot, so I will cease and move on to my therapy sessions. Note that these are two-way sessions: I have decided to charge these stupid goddamn brainless buffoons for my efforts. They owe me BIG time, I think.
My youngest sister is pregnant. She is friendly with the baby's father but is not in a relationship with him, nor does she wish to have one. My sister and the baby's father decided to give their child up for adoption. I am having trouble accepting my sister's decision. How can I impress upon her that she can, and should, take more responsibility for her actions?
—Willing To Help
Dear Blowhard Who Is Unwilling To Mind Her Own Fucking Business,
Your little sister has possession of something which you do not: the knowledge – perhaps transitory, but nevertheless – that she does not want a child. It is not her who fails to understand her present situation: it is you. Mind your own fucking business, go take care of your own children, and keep your own entitlement and messes to yourself. If you were my sister I would punch you really hard.
As a father of five, I have learned to appreciate the difference between willing parents and those who fucked up, saddled themselves with kids, and proceed to systematically devastate the lives of said children through neglect and disinterest. Prospective parents who are 1.) Smart enough to determine and understand their level of interest in raising children and 2.) Bold enough to enforce their decision despite objections from the family fringe not to have or keep them have as much of my respect as those who opt to have and care for their own children.
I remind you that I have decided to begin charging for my services. You owe me three hundred dollars, you dickhead.
My 10-year-old daughter had a difficult time adjusting after our move to a new city last year. She was happy and well-liked at her previous school, but she suddenly became the victim of frequent taunting, even bullying, on the bus and playground. I had hoped that Girl Scouts would be a reprieve, but it was not. Most of the troop members attend her school, and on a field trip I saw them ostracize my daughter with eye-rolling, turning their backs, and making snide comments to her. My husband feels the atmosphere has been poisoned, and we have no choice but to pull my daughter out of the troop. I'm not sure what to do.
—Confused and Still Angry
Dear Confused And Apparently Kinda Stoopid As Well,
Take her out of the fucking troop, genius. I am SO glad I started to charge for this stuff.
Look, I’ll give you your money’s worth: get in s pissing contest with the other asshole mothers (like yourself) and soon enough everyone hates her and you both with equal vigor. Let it ride and it will likely fester, since you’ve already had a snot-sharing session with the leader, another asshole mother (like yourself). It may possibly get better, and maybe that’s a risk worth taking…if SHE wants to take it. Meanwhile, Hubby’s got the plan. Follow it.
Two hundred dollars, please. Idiot.
My boss is a really good dentist, does excellent work, can be charming, and is ethical. Unfortunately, sometimes he goes through bouts of really insane behavior. He will threaten to blow his brains out while sweating profusely. He has panic attacks in which his face becomes red and he breathes hard. All of this is in front of patients. What should I do?
Dear Miss Diagnosis,
Your boss is NOT really good, is NOT excellent, is NOT charming, and is NOT ethical. He’s fucked up, far as I can tell. Get out before he kills you and everyone else in the office.
That’ll be five hundred dollars. I get a bonus because you’re such a moron. I do not take credit cards. Fucking people.
My family is going to Disneyland. The problem is that in order to get the free admission for kids under 3 years old, my husband and his brother insist on lying about the kids' ages. (“Why, yes, our 2-year-old is exceptionally tall!”) I am not willing to sell my immortal soul for $74 and want to pay for our child. I want to do what's right without causing a trip-ruining fight or being portrayed as a stick in the mud. Do I die on this hill or pray for absolution from Mickey Mouse?
Dear Bloody Lunatic,
I recommend prayer!
I say this because in my view it does absolutely nothing for anyone, ever, except the person doing it, which is what prayer was invented for. The reason I recommend it is because you are a goddamn blithering moron of great measure, and need some constructive way to occupy yourself while your cheap-ass cheese dick of a husband teaches your children how to become little cheap-ass cheese dicks just like daddy.
That’ll be three hundred and fifty dollars, please. Tell that idiot husband of yours I do NOT offer family discounts.
It's been lovely visiting, but home is calling to me at this hour, and tonight I test for my next belt in TKD. Be well, Flysters, until next time!