Valentine’s Day Thoughts

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I suppose I should write about why I’m single (a renewed sense of self-worth in case you wanted to know – also, I’ve heard it’s helpful if you actually go outside and let people see you) or why I hate the holiday (which I don’t) or how it’s a holiday mostly created by greeting card companies and chocolatiers (it is, but hey, I love chocolate, so there). But instead of all of that, I will just admit to something…at heart, I’m a hopeless romantic. There, I said it. This Marvel comic, action/horror flick loving chick is not ashamed to admit it.

I have no doubt that my soulmate will appear at some point in time, and we will offer each other a safe haven (to hell with the white knight trope) – albeit a somewhat debauched, and wine whisky filled haven…but hey, a safe haven nonetheless. I’ve been disappointed in the past, in ways that at times defy comprehension, however I refuse to let that alter my viewpoints on “love” completely. I’m in no hurry though. Eventually “the one” will cross my path…who knows, maybe he already hangs out in my favorite Starbucks. Knowing my luck, he’ll be drinking decaf. Oh well. Perfection is overrated anyway.

 

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Affair of the Snowflakes

Although not animal related, this entry could kinda sorta be considered a rant. Do you ever read an article or news story that, while having nothing whatsoever to do with you, annoys you to no end anyway? That’s what happened to me the other day. I just mentally couldn’t let it go. So. Lucky you.

This should sort of go without saying, but my point of view is that someone who’s married really has no way to justify an affair. That may sound like common sense to many of you, but it’s not quite so cut and dry to a lot of others out there. I read this article yesterday about one woman’s dainty traipse through infidelity and couldn’t help but think to myself: “Well, isn’t that just lovely.” That’s a nice way of putting it anyhow. Remember, my New Year’s resolution was to try to be a better person (rein in the road rage and the like) so I’m trying my best to censor my evil thoughts.

In reality, I’ve essentially picked apart most everything this woman spouts off about and have pretty much an opposite view of how this whole marriage, commitment, and faithfulness thing should work.

The one sentence in particular that got to me was when she wrote, “I think that there are times, such as when your marriage is essentially over, and you are just in limbo mentally and emotionally, when a relationship that begins with an affair can end in a happy relationship.” Maybe it can. She might be right. I just personally believe that there should never be any overlap and thus never any way of really proving if that is true or not.

Your vows aren’t just something you say while you wait for the reception to start – they’re something you’re supposed to take seriously. And if your feelings change for whatever reason, no matter who is to “blame,” then you cut ties first before you move on to the next partner. It’s having a little thing called integrity and respect.

In my opinion someone in a troubled marriage should 1) try to fix the marriage somehow be it counseling, time apart, whatever, before 2) officially (a.k.a. legally) separating or divorcing prior to courting new romantic partners. Never should the twain meet.

Another thing that got to me about this piece was the very sly mention of her ex-husband’s substance abuse. “We failed at marriage in just about every way possible, all leading up to me saying “enough is enough” when it came to his substance abuse and… in the end… my falling in love with another man.” I’m sure a few steps were skipped in those literary leaps, but it sounds to me like his addiction was apparently enough rationale for an affair yet not quite bad enough to pack up the kids (who shouldn’t be around drugs) and move to a safer place. So she did what she needed to do to console herself – falling into the arms of another man, but her kids’ needs were secondary? Right. I see how that works.

She brings up many times in the article the age-old dilemma of if you can trust someone when you know they’ve cheated before. Can you trust a cheater? Well, according to her, she and her new man are “different.” They’re the exception to the rule. They’re unique. They’re the ultimate snowflakes. All other cheaters, yeah, you might have to worry about them, but not this woman and her side piece. They’re the real deal. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode “The Deal” where Jerry starts sleeping with Elaine and he’s explaining to George that he and Elaine figured out the whole “friends with benefits” thing.

Jerry: Well, we’ve tried to arrange a situation where we’ll be able to do this once in a while and still remain friends.
George: (maniacal laughing)
Jerry: What?
George: Where are you living? Are you here?  Are you on this planet? It’s impossible. It can’t be done. Thousands of years people have been trying to have their cake and eat it too. So all of a sudden the two of you are going to come along and do it. Where do you get the ego?

So where does this woman get the ego to think she and “40” are the cheaters that have broken the mold? I’d bet dollars to donuts that most couples that began their relationship through infidelity thought to themselves or even went so far as to tell each other the exact same things. “I’ll never cheat again.” “This is the person I was meant to be with.” “I just needed to get that out of my system.”

There’s absolutely nothing unique about how she found herself in the middle of an affair, so why should the aftermath be anything above average either? Maybe they’ll make it, but I’d sure love to see the statistics on how many of these relationships have the partner cheating with someone else in the future and if so, how quickly.  And if they do make it, all I have to say is, they deserve each other. Is that harsh? Well, maybe my New Year’s resolution isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but there you go.

Frankly, I find it a little sad that she’s straining so hard to get people on her team. Why do I say this do you ask?  Well…today I found yet another article she wrote about the same affair – although this time she took a different tack in her subsequent explanations.  In this one, she speaks to her marriage “being over,” how she was the only working on it for too many years and how it drove her into an emotional (and then physical) affair…blah blah blah. Really, for two people who are sooo different, the reasons for their affair have simply been done to death.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging her for having the affair. She’s an adult and can do whatever the heck she wants.  I’m judging her for trying to rationalize it. To justify something that has such ramifications to others around you seems amazingly selfish to me. How did her affair affect her kids? Not to mention what is she teaching them?  How about her ex (we don’t get much back story on him)? An affair doesn’t just touch two people. It has a massive ripple effect that she seems completely oblivious about.

So my advice, readers, is to cheat if you want to. I’m not your mom. Live your life. I simply ask that you own it. Have the balls to step up and say, yeah I cheated because I just felt like being selfish and putting my needs above those of my family. At least be honest and above-board about it.  Oh wait

In Case Anyone Cares (Or, Divorce Worth — Continued)

On Friday I wrote about Ms. Sue Arnall who rejected the lump sum payment of almost $975 million her ex, Harold Hamm,  attempted to pay as per their divorce settlement.  Ms. Arnall felt that by accepting the money, it would hurt her appeal — you see she had planned on going after more money.

Well, according to Mr. Hamm’s lawyers (article here), Ms. Arnall decided to cash the check after all.  If true, perhaps she decided that $975 million wasn’t worth gambling away — because you just never know what a judge may or may not decide in court. I guess she figured it was better to squirrel that money away while she had it in hand.

Ms. Arnall maintains her argument that the settlement has been “grossly undervalued,” and who knows, maybe she’s right. Mr. Hamm certainly does seem to be holding onto his money with a death grip, that’s for sure.

I don’t quite know why I’m obsessing over this stupid gossipy society story (you can’t really call this news) other than the fact that I’m just fascinated with the figures involved and the idea that someone would so blithely reject a court settlement of such magnitude (or at least consider doing so).

The antics of the rich and famous will never cease to amaze me.  And not in a good way like seeing the Grand Canyon or the taste of a really good peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Divorce Worth

This entry is going to contain numbers that most—if not all—of you won’t be able to wrap your head around. At least I sincerely hope I’m not alone.  Because I know I haven’t even come close to understanding how astronomically high these values are myself, so I certainly don’t blame you if at the end of this you need a few moments to let the facts of this true story sink in.

Sometimes I think that the deals professional athletes get are ludicrously high. Four years for $65 million. Ten years for $101 million. Give me a hundredth of that ($1 million) and I’d flip out from sheer happiness. A cool million would set me up to a life of glamour I’ve only fantasized about. I used to look at these athletes and ponder what they could possible need (or do) with tens of millions of dollars.

And then I ran across Ms. Sue Ann Arnall and she put all those pitifully low numbers to shame.

I guess if you’re rich it still doesn’t stop you from wanting to be more rich, right? Hell, I am very lucky I have what I have in the world. I’m sure there are scores of impoverished people in the world who would look at me, my wardrobe, my house, my car and think that it isn’t possible for me to want anything more from the world. To them, I am “rich,” but if someone were to ask me if I wanted a $100 bill you’re damn sure I would take it. I have no doubt I could find a way to use it.

Ms. Arnall is the same way, except the scale on which she views money is astounding. If how much money we each have puts us on a particular floor of a skyscraper I’d be in sub-basement C and she’d be in Penthouse 12.

Here’s an article for reference and yet another one here for those of you who really want to shake your heads at the trials and tribulations of the ungodly rich.

So this woman received a hard copy, fresh check of $975 million and turned it down because she wants more. This after already receiving $20 million during the divorce proceedings. Think about that last part because it’s treated as such a throwaway figure around the other big numbers. She already received $20 million! That right there is a king’s ransom! Imagine being given $20 million. I’d be set for life. My kids would be set for life. Their kids. And so on and so forth for who knows how many generations given the right personal wealth management team.

Yet in this saga $20 million is only around two percent of the total she turned her nose up at! I mean, c’mon! What the hell does she want to buy that $975 million won’t get? Does she want to purchase Australia? Does she want to build an actual, functioning Jurassic Park? Does she want to build an army of Batmen to invade North Korea? Where are you in life when you look at ONE BILLION DOLLARS and go, “Really? That’s it?”

I get the flip side. It’s not so much about her wanting more money (one can only hope anyway), it’s about getting what she thinks she deserves (which just so happens to be more money). That’s when the dollar signs fall away and we’re left with the realization that this is a matter of pride, of possessing everything that our blood, sweat, and tears created. If I were getting divorced and the settlement was for $0.95 and I knew I was supposed to get $1.16 you better believe I’d put up a fight for that twenty-one cents. Why? Because that’s MY twenty-one cents.

It’s just that in this story we’re dealing with words like “multi-million” and “billion” and it’s just hard to fathom a difference or rationalizing a demand for more. There’s a clear difference between $0.95 and $1.16. One gets you a regular size Snickers, the other gets you the king size (priorities, people). But what can’t $975 million get you? And that’s in addition to the California Ranch worth $17 million and an Oklahoma City home (who knows how much that’s worth) that she was already awarded. Oh, and let’s not forget the aforementioned $20 million! Honestly, how much more can this woman possibly need?