Photo: A Bluebell somewhere in Wyoming.
Photo: A Bluebell somewhere in Wyoming.
Four years after my first divorce, in a courtroom on the other side of the state, the parties were gathering to complete their divorce case. Apparently, things were going really bad for the husband. He knew he was going to lose it all, so it lost it all in a different way.
There was limited security in the courthouse. No metal detectors. The court relied mainly on its bailiffs to keep order.
The husband, seemingly an ordinary guy of even temperament, an aerospace technician, had stashed two pistols in his briefcase. It wasn’t long before the gunfire began.
He shot and killed his wife. Shot both his attorney and her attorney. Shot a bailiff and a sheriff’s deputy. Shot at, but missed the judge. All before the police responded and took him down.
He sustained nine gunshot wounds – two to his head.
Before the paramedics arrived, and while he was still conscious, the story is that he exclaimed:
“Did I kill the bitch?!! Did I kill the bitch?!!!”
Now that is some powerful hatred. From a man who presumably, at least at one time, loved the woman he just killed.
They say time heals all wounds. But that’s just a cliché. Sometimes our minds gift us with the ability to forget, maybe selective dementia, erase the slate, ease the pain. But other times, not-so-much. And while writing about this stuff is therapeutic, it also raises those dead memories from the past. Tears the scab off the old wounds and brings the pain right back to the surface again . . .
Oh, and I still have the paperwork. . . I’m afraid to throw it away.
I was the charge nurse for a general surgical floor and you might say that things were a bit hazardous. That’s actually putting it mildly. You might have less risk of harm bungee jumping off the Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand with rubber bands wrapped around your ankles than receiving patient care under these circumstances.
Between sundown to sunup, just what would the body count be?
Working on the night shift meant that in addition to myself and a LPN, my staff was composed of a rotating group of five or six graduate nurses still waiting to see if they passed State Boards. They weren’t licensed, but the hospital let them practice as though they were. This small band of ragtag, inexperienced, semi-educated, youngsters and I had to take care of forty-nine very, very sick, post-op surgical patients.
We had twenty-four patients on cardiac monitors, and I was the only RN on duty and the only nurse certified in the reading and interpretation of EKGs. I was the only nurse on that shift for that ward with any length of experience. In addition to supervising my grads and ensuring their patients’ safety, I had to take a full load of my own patients. And based on the hospital’s patient acuity system, each nurse would routinely be assigned 14 to 16 hours of patient care to deliver in an 8-hour shift.
I worked those shifts at a full gallop. And once the graduate nurses got their licenses, they would move on to other units and other shifts and be replaced by another group of graduates. Thus, the five to six-month cycle of rotating bodies. This always left me with a staff of inexperienced nurses who needed constant supervision and on-the-job training.
Crazy and dangerous as this was, we also had conflicting and distracting interpersonal situations to deal with during work hours because of the many doctor-nurse relationships. It was quite a simmering stew of young women mixed with older, rich, prestigious men.
Soap opera and reality combined to form some pretty insane chemistry experiments. Anything you can imagine, from nurses having “quickies” in the treatment room, to giving doctors blow-jobs in the bath room. It was safe to say that there were more than just the patients’ body secretions floating about on the ward.
How long would a patient have to wait to get their call-light answered . . .
* Ok folks, my apologies. This chapter is a bit long at over 2500 words. I had no idea where I’d go when I started writing this morning, but I thought it was important to provide some more personal history before getting to the technicalities of marital asset division. To provide a better understanding. Yeah, I was stupid. Love is blind. So at the risk of my own personal embarrassment here goes:
It’s said that every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Of course, it’s a little more interesting to jump around a bit, so if you’re looking for chronological order in the tales of my marriages and divorces, well, you might have to string some of my posts together in a completely different way.
For instance, today, I’ll jump towards the end. And then towards the beginning of my first marriage. The Alpha and the Omega – in reverse order, of course. Time to set the stage for the grand dissolution. The first one. Then wash, rinse, and repeat, maybe. 😊
When my daughter was a teenager, I told her to avoid two things during her teenage years that could leave her struggling for financial gain and independence for the rest of her life. Two Albatrosses, that could strangle and weigh her down and prevent her from ever getting ahead.
Smoking cigarettes and having babies.
These two things are incredible financial weights that can decimate monthly earnings, prevent you from going to college or learning a trade, and have the potential to actually impoverish you if take these on early in life. Especially in your teens, before you’ve even start building a career.
But there are other weights we can acquire later in life just as devastating, and some might put marriage in that category. Why, because they dissolve and turn into everlasting debt. Or at least very long-standing debt. The debt from a divorce can bankrupt you.
I remember in my first semester of law school being in property class. One of my fellow students was answering the professor’s question. They grilled us pretty hard. The Socratic Method. My classmate made an error. They had said,
“Well, that’s not fair!”
My instructor paused for a moment. Chuckled. And then replied. “I was wondering how long it would be before someone used the ‘F’ word. If you’re going to argue that something is not ‘fair,’ then you have to tell me why it is not ‘legally fair’.”
So, what’s all this talk about a contract?
And forgive me, but this post is going to get a little technical. But not too technical. 😊
If you haven’t, you might want to read part one first to understand this post’s jumping off point. Also, nothing I’m going to talk about will cover all of the intricacies of the law, or the evolution of marriage law, nor will it constitute legal advice. If you want true legal advice, please go hire an attorney.
Here we go . . .
I listed a couple of my disclaimers in yesterday’s intro into this series, but I better cover them here as well:
My writings on this topic will be based upon a mix of personal experience and my experience as an attorney.
All opinions are my own, and it is not my intent to upset anyone in any way or feed into any stereotypes or traditional prejudices that people may have.
None of us can have a full understanding of what other folks are doing, or what’s in their minds, their perspectives, what they were taught, what their intentions are, or why events in their lives may have unfolded the way they did.
Obviously, since I’m a male, you will be hearing a male perspective, but I’ve tried to balance that and be as objective as possible. For those following my blog, you may remember I did a series on being “Woke” where I discussed gender roles and patriarchy, and I tried to provide a balanced discussion in that series as well.
Also, readers may span different generations and have been taught completely different things and may approach love, sex, and marriage in completely different ways than prior generations. Or they may come from a different cultural base that treats relationships completely different than from the way they are treated in this country. One of my blogging friends just this morning introduced a different term for this discussion – the “bonded pair,” and I like that because it encompasses much more than a single concept.
I have edited parts of my articles to remove personal observations that some might find objectionable. It is not always easy for people to look in the mirror, or into the mirror I’m holding. I’m trying to respect that. But those observations may come out once comments begin.
Everyone will have their views, and I hope you will share yours with me frankly – trust me, I won’t be offended.
All that being said, let’s dive into some myths. Even at the risk of my own embarrassment. :-0
Blogging is an interesting pastime.
For many of us, it’s a way to hone our skills as writers and explore a whole range of topics. It can even be a testing ground for materials we wish to write about, like a future book, or for just good old-fashioned storytelling.
For some, it’s even a way to make a living.
Well, yesterday, one of my blogging friends asked me to address a particular topic. Marriage. And to do so from the perspective of a father giving advice to a son that is of marriage age or is considering marriage. He wants to hear the “truth.”
And I can certainly do this, but I fear it may be a bit controversial.
Now that I’m retired, I’ve been sharing time, and stories, with my fellow retirees. I can tell you one thing in common between us. We are all much happier than we were during the days of our productive employment, even if we were working on one of those lofty, feel-good, society-serving, professional pathways. Things are much better now.
Simply put, we have a lot less crap to deal with.
And the people we used to work with often stymied our ability to live up to our maximum potential, or to serve our target population to that full potential.
We fought the good-fight, but we didn’t often win.
And now that I’m retired, I keep seeing a billion articles about retirement and what resources you need to retire plastered all over the Internet. I’m seeing these as a result of targeted ads, I’m sure, but if you stop and read any of these posts the common wisdom you can derive is that neither I, nor any of my retired friends, could possibly afford being out of the workforce.
We all must be starving to death.
My social media friend Carol Hopkins posted a quote from Rumi on FB today that reads:
“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
Now Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, and apparently a pretty smart guy. I imagine if they had televisions back then he would have cautioned us to turn them off.
I had several ideas for writing this morning, but then I came across this word. “Ul·tra·crep·i·dar·i·an.”
Of course, I love words, love finding new words, and I had to drop everything and look this one up. If that was the goal of the person using this word in a comment on a web posting, well Mission Accomplished.
Before I checked, just looking at the word makes me think of something big or extreme (ultra), and something creeping (crep – the Urban Dictionary says creps are shoes). “Dar,” by itself, is used as an acronym, but has little meaning of its own that I could find. “Darian” is the Greek name meaning “gift,” but I doubt there is any hidden gift here. And the suffix “ian,” by itself, means to have the same qualities of something.