Monday, October 16, 2006

What a shame

Yesterday I went to Middletown, Ohio for a celebration of my grandma's 80th birthday, where I saw my cousin Jeff for the first time since Easter. Accompanying him on Easter were his wife of about ten years and his 15(ish)-year-old stepson. Yesterday, however, he came alone because his wife abruptly left him for some other guy earlier this year.

When I heard this summer that Jeff's wife left him, I was shocked because they always seemed to have a great relationship and because Jeff is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth guys you could ever meet. (I can forgive him for voting for Satan. I mean Bush.) But there is also a kind of tragedy in this break-up, which I hadn't thought about before yesterday.

After the celebration, someone mentioned that they had asked Jeff if he has kept in touch with his stepson (or something like that). From what I remember of the conversation around me, Jeff was caught off guard by the question; it was something he really didn't want to think about because I guess he and his stepson were pretty close. Later on, my mom or dad said something about Jeff's wife having a restraining order on him, which keeps him from interacting at all with his stepson. (I don't understand why or how she could get a restraining order because Jeff most certainly is not a threat to anyone.)

Has this entry been difficult to follow so far? If so, it's because my head was not screwed on straight yesterday. Consequently, my recollection of yesterday is quite muddy.

After having some time to digest what I'd heard about Jeff's situation yesterday, my head started putting everything together. That's when I remembered something Jeff's stepson said last time I saw him: He kept making references to "my dad." At first I thought he was referring to his biological father, but I eventually realized "my dad" meant "Jeff." He considered Jeff his dad, which I imagine is very uncommon with stepchildren.

Another thing my mom said is that Jeff wanted to adopt his stepson when he and his wife got married, but his wife didn't want him to because it would end the child support from her previous husband. My mom also said that Jeff's stepson wanted to stay with Jeff rather than his mom after the breakup. If Jeff had gone ahead and adopted his stepson ten years ago, I guess that may have been a viable option. But because he never did adopt him, he no longer has the legal right to be involved in his stepson's life. (I guess this must be the motivation for the restraining order.)

Because you probably were not able to decipher this literary mess, here's what it all means: Jeff's stepson would rather live with Jeff than either his real mom or his real dad. However, because Jeff's wife is apparently a completely selfish twat, she's doing everything she can to keep Jeff away from the kid, who sees him as his true father--his one true parent. She's doing it even though the kid could really use Jeff in his life right now. She's doing it because she cares less about her own son than Jeff does.

What a fucking cunt, and what a horrible thing to do to someone you brought into this world and someone else who loved you and your kid more than you ever did. (Something I didn't mention is that her daughter, who's probably about 20 now, has had nothing to do with her for several years.) The weird thing is that I never added any of it up before now, but it all seems so clear all of a sudden.

Who are you trying to punish, Lori? And why?

What a shame. And parents wonder why their kids don't turn out how they always hoped. It's because they need your love, you bunch of fucking idiots. And if they can't have your love, they need someone else's love. And when you deprive them of love, you fuck their heads up permanently.

Jeff, you'll probably never see this, but if you do, I hope you can work everything out for the best.

"Son," if you ever see this, try not to let your mother's selfishness scar you for life. Realize that Jeff loves you as if you were his real son and that you'll be an adult before you know it. Just try to do the right things, even though you don't really have a good example to follow, and things will turn out all right.

I wish you the best of luck, Jeff and "Son."


Good question

While looking over one of Aimless's stat pages a little bit ago, I noticed a new search phrase that brought someone to the site: "Why is my life aimless?" This search phrase immediately stuck out to me as deeper, more important than all the other phrases that attract people to Aimless. I mean, what kind of internal hell must someone be living to ask a search engine why their life is aimless?

I know how it feels to be that low. (Where do you think the title "Aimless" came from?) But I really cannot imagine myself asking a search engine such a personal question. I wouldn't even think about asking a search engine why my life is aimless because I already know the search engine doesn't have the answer. And I really don't think someone conducted this search out of curiosity; I suspect the searcher is someone who really does feel like their life is aimless.

Whoever you are: If you end up here again and need someone to talk to, don't be afraid to contact me. I'd love to help you if I can. If you end up here again and choose not to contact me, hang in there and try to let things get better. Life is not easy, but there is probably an answer to your most desperate question. Just try to get through the shit without doing anything irrational.

Good luck, aimless one.


What would Jesus do?

The following is a comment I posted on someone else's blog:

It's interesting how Americans love to point out only the inequalities and injustices perpetrated against themselves or the group(s) to which they belong.

If you're over 50 and can't get a job that pays more than $7 an hour, it must be age discrimination. End of story. Forget the fact that most 20-year-olds, 30-year-olds, and 40-year-olds have the exact same problem, for every wise Baby Boomer knows younger generations are uneducated and incompetent.

Good ol' cognitive dissonance hard at work.

I am a 32-year-old white male from a "middle class" background. Although I am a hard worker with a great mind and five years' worth of college credit (which means nothing to me), I have never had a remotely decent job and I have never been paid even half of what I'm worth. I probably never will.

Is it because I am a 32-year-old white male from a "middle class" background? Absolutely not!

It's because the job market is no longer based on reason. (Was it ever? I don't know.) The people running the show, from the CEOs to the HR folks, are clueless and face no adverse consequences when they do their jobs poorly. Instead of hiring and promoting people based on merit and real life credentials, they base everything on who you know, who your parents were, the color of your skin, the length of your hair, how much money your parents were able to blow on your college "education," to what extent you'll allow them to rip you off, how well you bullshit people who don't have the ability to detect bullshit, and how many lies you tell on your pre-employment personality survey. (More lies = You'll probably get the job.)

Yes, there is age discrimination in the workplace, making things very difficult for some folks over the age of 50. But there is also race discrimination, sex discrimination, [young] age discrimination, cultural discrimination, subcultural discrimination, aesthetic discrimination (discrimination against ugly/short/fat people), and hundreds of other kinds of discrimination that are just as wrong (and counterproductive) as every form of discrimination I've listed here.

If you are a recently unemployed white, male Baby Boomer, you have led an easier life than almost everyone in the history of the world. So shut the fuck up about age discrimination unless you also care enough about your fellow human to speak up about all the other forms of discrimination in the job market.

But if you are one of the many privileged, financially stable, white Baby Boomers and you want to turn your money into more money, I have an idea for you: Throw some seed money my way to help me make Aimless. Or throw some seed money my way to help me open a profitable pizzeria. Or just hire me to replace one of the incompetent bullshitters you currently employ (but only if you intend to pay me what I'm worth). I am 100% serious.

Stop being so god-damn selfish. It might actually pay off for you.