There’s the subtle:

“So what day should I come this week?”

“You only want to come one day?”

“Well, I don’t want to come two days in a row.”

And the not-so-subtle:

“So, do you want to spend one day a week for the foreseeable future? Or more than that?”

“One day. I guess so.”

The superfluous:

“Can you please tell me before you take things out of the house?”

“What are you talking about?”

“The glasses. The DVD player. Etc. I want you to show enough consideration to tell me BEFORE you take them out of the house.”

“What’s the problem?”

“It’s rude.”

“Whatever.”

The disappointing:

“So, we talked about how we believed that the children’s standard of living should be consistent with our own.”

“Yeah. Of course.”

“And we talked about agreeing to pay more than the state-mandated child support if we make dramatically more money.”

“Yes.”

“So I’d like to make an agreement now that if in the future we do make more money, our percentage of child support will not go down as far as the state calculator might suggest. As a commitment to the kids.”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because there might be money that could be better allocated elsewhere. The foundation of my life for the next ten years is entrepreneurship. I’m not going to commit to that.”

“But don’t you think the children have a right to our support beyond the paltry amount that the state mandates? Like for college funds? We could make an agreement, say, to not go below 35% of our incomes in child support and to put an extra beyond the state mandate into a college fund. And it’s not just you; if you had the kids half-time and I made a lot more, then I would be paying more child support.”

“I’m not going to make an agreement. I will always support them, but I’m not going to make an agreement.”

And the ill-advised:

“Is it that you were never the person you said you were? Or did you just stop?”

“What?”

“Did you just stop. Being him.”

“I don’t know. I don’t know who that was. Or if I’m not.”

Oh, you’re not. The lack of resemblance is striking. My husband, that guy I loved, who loved me, the one who fathered my children, the one I believed in enough to create those two children with and carry them in my body despite grave reservations about the process and its prospects?

He’s dead.

Or maybe never was. And I guess I don’t get to know which.

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