Life sure is funny… Child Support intricacies.

Yup, life is definitely funny… Today I had to work on a case about a man who ran off to El Salvador instead of paying child support. It’s a bit ironic since I was just talking to my brother about my donor who kinda did the same thing. Of course, he was told that no, the donor paid child support and never skipped out.  I’m sure my brother got the lines fed to him and as a child, how would he know any better?  Who wants to think of their dad as a deadbeat?  I get it because it’s not a good word but how else do you describe someone who ran off and never looked back?  As a grown up, how can you see facts and still deny them?

My brother said, of course dad (his dad, not mine) paid, otherwise he’d be in jail!  Clearly that never happened  so he must have paid, right?!  Well no.  The man ran off to another country.  We have no jurisdiction there for one and for two while some deadbeats DO go to jail, the majority get away with murder, in a sense.  Why?  Because we rather give them the chance than throw them in jail where they have no chance.  But don’t run our patience to the ground.  There ARE those that go to jail.  The donor was lucky he didn’t get arrested on the spot when he came back into the country.  He’s very lucky that a lot of things that should have happened, didn’t.  But if he were a man he’d step up and say yeah, I screwed up but I’m here to own up to my responsibilities.  Here’s copies of the payments I made.

I have deadbeats who turned human in my office.  People who stopped running and owned up to their mistakes.  Some just want to start over and I love helping those people.  See, to me, you’re not a deadbeat if you’re trying.  But if you don’t even try, what am I supposed to do with you?  If you’re constantly running, what am I supposed to do with that?

Now see, back to the money issue.  The donor claims he has paid child support for all those years.  I don’t know how many but it probably wasn’t for 10+ years.  I know of two month’s worth, nothing more.  The sad thing is, it was only $50 a month for TWO children.  See, he was hiding back then too.  He had income but he told the judge he had none so he got set at a very low amount.  That much is also on record, that he told the judge he had no income but considering he was the only one working and couldn’t get on social services, he HAD income because they weren’t homeless.  He had an Audi which isn’t a cheap car, gas for said car, an apartment and presumably food on the table for him, his wife, and my brother.  How can a man afford such things without an income?  I guess it’s magic.

 
Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money so I doubt that $50 ever came in but who knows, maybe it did but somehow it magically came from El Salvador too I guess because he ran off and remained for many years.  No contact, no hey are you OK? Nothing.   But of course, he says that was my other donor’s doing. She didn’t let him see us.  Right… except when we turned 18 what was your excuse then?  See, the man has a lot of excuses and very poor action so forgive me if I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt too often.  I tried.  For MANY years I tried and all I got were a bunch of excuses with nothing to back things up.
 
Now the donor’s back in the country and well, I’m sure his debt is quite high but of course he can’t “pay” now he’s old and decrepit and blah blah blah. I hear the stories every day. It’s fine. Karma or God or whoever will take care of that guy, same as the other guy who ran off to El Salvador.  I seriously doubt he will step up to the plate now.  I seriously doubt he even cares to make things right.  He’s too caught up in people feeling sorry for him that he can just skirt by and people forgive him because he’s sick or feeble or whatever.  My life was harsh, very harsh, growing up so I have no sympathy for him.  I don’t swallow his lies nor do I care that he’s supposedly sick.  He’s not sick enough to travel all over, is he?  He wasn’t sick enough to work in El Salvador was he?  But to pay child support?  No, no, much too sick for that.  Yeah OK, sure.
 
Super long story short? A man who skips out on responsibility is NOT a man and never a father. Doesn’t matter if he was a “good” father to the other children. When your first born children become third class citizens, you’re not a father. You’re a SAD excuse for a man.  I cannot and will not respect that. I have enough BS at work to even start with that.
But it’s ironic, like I said, that I work where I work and in the department that I work. I didn’t pick it. Life just sent me that way for a reason. Perhaps to dig up the truth or to find out that not all guys are bad. To see both sides of a very convoluted and often sad sides of the coin where children are the ones who suffer because people just can’t get along.  I can understand hating your ex or at least strongly disliking them but don’t let the children pay the price because you chose the wrong person!  And that’s often what happens.  Children are the ones who pay the price for the stupid decisions so called grown ups make.
But all isn’t lost.  I do see the good ones and the ones who are trying. They collect cans and do whatever jobs to pay their support, however little they can for THEIR children. They get up when they’re tired, keep going even though they can’t or shouldn’t, they do whatever they can. THOSE are the real men.  THOSE are the fathers. But the fools who can’t even pay a dollar a month for their kids?  Those are not even human.  How can  they eat something and not pay ONE DOLLAR to their kids?  Ridiculous!!  Oh yes, I have a bunch out there who’s support order is that little.  Some are low enough that you can’t even buy a fast food meal with what they’re supposed to pay a month.  But do they?  Nope.
There are some support orders which are crazy, in my opinion, but I don’t make the rules, judges and courts do.  I just have to follow what they say.  So if there’s a support order out there and it needs to change, I know it’s a hassle to do the court stuff, but help yourselves and get help if you need it.  If your job is taking half your check and you’re still not paying the full support order, something is not right, you need help.  If your employer is taking more than half, something’s really wrong!  Call your agency to get that sorted.
Now I know I’ve been talking about men but I want to note that it isn’t just men who are deadbeats.  I have women deadbeats too.  Women who dump their kids on aging grandmothers and grandfathers.  Women who get knocked up and add to the burden.  Women who went to get something from somewhere and never came back.  As a mother I can’t even comprehend the level of, whatever it is, that’s going on.  You had LIFE inside you.  You felt the kicks and wiggles. But you just walked away?  I know parenting is hard.  I was a single parent myself but to just walk away?  Makes no sense!
What makes even WORSE sense is the women who’s men are TRYING desperately to connect with their children and the women say no you can’t because you don’t pay (enough) support, because you didn’t buy the right shoes, because you didn’t let the child eat (insert item.)  So many children out there are struggling and these women have the golden tickets but they say no.  It’s crazy!  Again, I say, it’s the children who pay the price.

Now I’m sure my donor will say that my other donor did this to him.  But since the dude ran off to El Salvador and never looked back, well, that story just doesn’t fly, does it?  Plus he had time to call me when my child was born, why didn’t he connect then?  Instead he got himself back on the pity bus and ran off again.   I tried to give him sooo many opportunities and well, my patience ran thin and now it’s gone.   I don’t need anyone like that in my life.  You go be the happy sack of whatever it is you are and leave me alone.  I know enough now to kind of figure out who’s a deadbeat and who isn’t.
And that was a hard lesson to learn too.  You hear the word deadbeat and these poor guys, they get called that, even the ones that are trying and there’s such stigma!  My job is to help those that are trying to figure something out.  And I do help.  I help those that reach out to me and ask for it.  I sometimes call and they sound so ashamed but are hopeless.  Some are so high in arrears that it makes my head spin and some feel they can never get out. But there is always hope and there are ways to help.
Although some probably think they can’t because they keep making bad decisions with a lot of women.  Same with the women who keep getting pregnant then dumping their kids or keep struggling with their kids, keep getting pregnant, and have several different fathers, sometimes as much as one kid, one father, 6 kids, 6 fathers, well you get the idea.  I would think these people would learn and stop but well, that’s another blog post.  Who knows what’s going on there.  Men and women both make bad decisions in my world.
I think it’s always a good idea to ask and get the facts.  Don’t run away, that just make things worse.  Don’t throw out your court papers or summons, that usually ends in disaster.  And for goodness sakes, think of the children you helped come to this crazy world.  Don’t make it worse for them because you and/or your ex are being idiots.  If you messed up before that’s OK, it happens, but don’t keep running away from your responsibilities.   One day, one of your kids might write a blog piece like this.  What would like them to say about you?  Wouldn’t it be better if they wrote, hey, at least they tried vs. nope, they were deadbeats through and through.  My donor doesn’t seem to care.  Don’t be one of those people.  Be human and be a grown up.  The truth is, I rather have had the time with the donor than the money.  But I got a raw deal and so do other children out there.  We are the voices that no one’s heard before.  I hope I have given them a voice now.
I’ll leave you with one last piece, one last story, if you will.  I had a guy call me and saying he’s not a deadbeat but he thought our office thought of him that way because he couldn’t pay his full support.  He took his child half of the week, every week, sometimes all week.  I said to him, sir, you’re not a deadbeat.  The fact that you take your child and that on top of that you try what you can to pay the support means you’re not a deadbeat.  Let’s see what we can do to help with the support amount.  I sent his case to be reviewed.  His original court order said he did no visitation and clearly that wasn’t the case now.  So you see?  People do change.  A man can go from deadbeat to human.  It happens in our office and it happens everywhere.  Men and women stand up for their kids.  Be that guy or that girl.  Make this nation of ours great by contributing to the upbringing of your kids.  Those are the stories that keep me going.  Those are the stories that make me think that the deadbeats can go human.  Even my donor, if he tried.  I think that ship is sailed but well, a girl can always have hope, right?  One day after 40 years a deadbeat can go human.   Hey, stranger things have happened, right?  You just never know.  And maybe someone out there will read this and turn human too.  I can always hope, for the sake of the children, that it happens. I always keep that in mind.  It’s about the children.  Let me be their voice and help these grown ups come to an agreement so the children can be better off.  I can’t do custody fights, that’s for the free family law facilitators, which I can send/give you information for but I can help when someone’s trying and struggling.  Those are the ones that make my job easier and most prideful.  I give my hats and my cheers to those people.  They surely deserve it!
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Lisa’s Nails on Alamo in Vacaville

I’ve never had a pedicure so this was my first experience. I went with a friend and we were told “there’s two chairs over there” so we went and sat. My chair, a massage chair of some sort, was not working right and I tried asking for help but they acted like I was speaking Spanish to a Vietnamese. They didn’t even bother looking up, but whatever… Maybe they couldn’t hear me.

ts_not-impressed-meh-cat-and-dog

We sat in those chairs for probably an hour? With no one saying ANYTHING to us at all. I’m not experienced so I don’t know if this is normal but my friend was getting anxious…she’s way too nice so she thought about leaving but didn’t. I asked her if she wanted to go but she’s the type that doesn’t really make waves so we kept waiting. It’s true, they speak Vietnamese and to each other but so what? That’s true of every nail shop I’ve been to! I don’t know why people are saying they can’t relax, just tune it out!

Anyway, the pedicure itself was meh. I won’t be doing those. The girl was nice enough not to laugh when I said the water and towel were too hot (I’m a wimp so it’s not her fault.) The peach scrub thing smells nice the “massage” was basically oiled leg rub down of some sort but not what I think of when I think massage. So I don’t know if that’s normal but I won’t be coming back so it’s irrelevant.

On thing I found disturbing is I didn’t see them bring out fresh auto claved tools… I can only HOPE they do, but I don’t know… I didn’t even think about it til I got home and my toes hurt because she did a LOT of skin trimming! Is that normal? I cut my nails, not my skin!! Anyway, I didn’t bleed or anything… I know people cut skin around nails on the hands too so it must be the same thing but I don’t like doing that either (which is another reason I do my own nails.) Again, probably not her fault, I’m just not used to it and after today I WON’T be used to it, thank god.

My friend said she likes the massage part of the pedicure, that it’s relaxing… me, I liked the chair…hers stopped working but again, the staff (even the one helping her) didn’t say a word or try to correct the situation, she acted like she didn’t speak English. And her nails were LONG!!! They were like an inch away from the finger tips! I was shocked but my friend didn’t say anything. I would have been scared…

Anyway all in all it was a meh experience. I’ve had better nail salon service experience but I’ve only done it for hands. So I still don’t know what the hooplah about pedicures is but ey, could be I’m just not girl enough for them. Towards the end I WAS sleepy but not because I was relaxed into mush, it’s because my mind had shut down after sitting for two hours!

Well, that’s it. Take this review as a noob with her first pedicure. But from the rest of the reviews, looks like I’m not the only one who’s like meh about this place. As for pricing? I have no experience so I can’t say if it’s good or not. For acrylics it’s 25, gels is 30 which is normal, refills are 20 but I overheard say that only applies if you’ve done it there. Which is weird but I guess that’s how they keep things “in house” but that did put me off. God forbid I get gels elsewhere and try to come here… Anyway I won’t be doing that, like I said, I do my own nails now. Oh, one more thing, they have an ATM in the salon so I guess it’s mostly cash only although I was able to use my atm with their machine so they do have it but my guess is they hide that because cash is well… better…if you get my drift. OK I’m really getting off this review now. Til the next review, thanks for reading!

How I could steal your guy and not just because I’m a cougar now.

I realise cougars are a hot trend right now and I am with a guy who’s 10 years younger than me so they tell me I’m a cougar now, just for that.  Honestly, that was never a goal I set out for myself.  He was cute and he was nice and that’s what did the whole one thing led to another thing.  Do I enjoy being a cougar?  Not particularly…other than yeah, my dude’s cuter than the dudes my age or older.  I tend to go for personality.

BUT if I really wanted to get a hot young guy, I could.  And this is the reason for this post.   See, we “older” gals have a couple of thigns going for us.  We are usually drama free.  We know what we want and we get it.  We don’t make mountains out of molehills out of most situations.  We tend to be laid back.  And well, they say we have more skills than the younger girls in the bedroom.  I wouldn’t know.  I’ve never been with a young girl and I don’t really want to do that so I’ll take the guys’ word for it on that one.  I do know I don’t have the hang ups on looks that I did when I was younger, so I can be more relaxed and “into it” vs. worrying.  For some reason, guys think that’s hot.  Go figure.  And one last thing?  We know how to take care of young guys…well, guys in general…  This could mean in the bedroom and out of it.


So what’s a young chickie supposed to do?  Well, for one thing take care of your guy.  Don’t let your drama get ridiculous.  I realise that in your 20’s everything is such a huge deal but trust me, it’s not.  There is NOTHING in the world worth the aggravation.  You know what else we’re good at?  Listening to your guy.  So when you guys are all hung up in your next shoe or fashion drama or figuring out what his next dick mood is, there I am, listening to him and asking him about HIS day and what is going on in HIS life.

When you’re bitching about how he never spends time with you because he likes to go out with his friends, I’m the one having fun with him and his friends.  I don’t care if he goes or not.  I only care that he comes back in one piece.  If he likes to play video games, chances are I’m playing games with him.   And if he wants to be alone, I don’t get up in his face about it.  I give him alone time.   When you complain that he doesn’t care because he forgot to get you flowers, I’m the one who says that’s OK, you can get me flowers tomorrow.  Or if he can’t make that “special” date because he’s working and you go crazy?  I’m the one who says who cares, we’ll do it another day.

When you’re griping and trying to guilt trip him into marrying you, I’mt he one saying I don’t want to get married.  I just want to have fun.  Chances are, my biological clock has gone off and it’s on permanent snooze.  I don’t want to make babies anymore so I have no pressures or melt downs over not making things happen to some imaginary plan that girls are (I guess?) born with and I’m already over it.

Basically it boils down to this:

That isn’t to say we’re perfect.  Of course, if the dude wants to have a family, chances are he’ll go back to you chickies, but my guess is he’ll wait til you’re a little older and over your drama some more.  No guy likes drama as much as girls in the 20’s love drama.  We ALL say we don’t want it, don’t like it, hate it, etc. etc. but god knows at that age, we sure as heck know how to find it all the time!

And what about the older guys?  Why do we “lose”t hem?  Well… chances are they’re boring and into watching tv and couch surfing.  This is where the younger guys win over the older ones.   The thing is, chances are we know how to drive this relationship machine…so did we really “lose” the guy or did we just decide to make them the jerks who “leave us” so we look better?   Bet you didn’t know that one, did you?

Don’t worry girls…  by the time you’re in your mid 30’s all of this will make sense.  And you wish you had the wisdom back in your 20’s so you didn’t drive guys crazy and get friend zoned or dumped.  There is, however, a ray of hope.  If you pay attention to your guy, he won’t be looking for someone else’s attention.

And this is true for every age group.  When that guy no longer feels appreciated and no longer heard, he’ll be looking for someone else to fill that “void” and make him feel special again.  Because, as much as we love being special and feeling special, we often forget that guys need that too.  In all my observations of male and female interaction it always boils down to this one thing:  Guys just want to be heard.   In case you haven’t noticed, he doesn’t say too much but when he does, it’s because whatever it is, is important to him.  In guy speak, if he’s saying something, it’s because it needs to be said.


Now here’s my confession.  I don’t actually go out and steal guys.  I am not a home wrecker.  If he’s your boyfriend and I know it, I’ll leave him alone.  I don’t need someone else’s man when I can get my own.  But there are a lot of girls/women who aren’t as respectful.  And maybe you’re one of those girls who think a guy can’t be stolen because if he was a “real” man, he wouldn’t be stolen.   And some guys are loyal and faithful to their core.  They won’t cheat on you, but he just might be miserable… and who wants to do that to someone else?  Everyone deserves happiness, don’t they?

So if you learn anything from this, learn to pay attention to your guy.  If he knows he’s your world, he won’t need to find someone else to make him feel like a super hero.  He’ll be happy to be with you.  And you know what else?  The happier you make him, the happier you’ll be.  Why?  Because that dude will turn over graves for you.   So what if he leaves the socks all over the floor.  Start being super nice to him and I am sure those socks won’t be there for long.

And for goodness sake.. if the man brings you flowers (or a gift) for no reason, don’t suddenly start expecting them.  Instead, be super grateful and happy.   Guys don’t tend to say things with words.  They say it with actions.   That’s where you need to focus your attention on.  If he starts off giving yout he moon and stars and then “suddenly” stops, chances are it’s because someone or something else is giving him the attention you aren’t.   Maybe you’re lucky and he’s just looking at online movies and pictures… you know what I mean…  but maybe he’s going online for other things or he’s meeting someone else…  The point is, his focus is no longer on you the way it used to be when you used to pay attention to him.

Yeah OK, there are dogs out there, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not talking about THOSE guys.  Those can stay in the gutter where they belong.  I’m talking about that super nice guy you fell in love with and who would swim through pirahnas to get you a glass of water before and now he’s saying get your own water.

You see girls, we’re the ones with the power.  We can make or break guys.  How we treat them affects us.  We start treating them like jerks, they’ll treat us like we’re nobody.  I don’t know if that’s conscious or not, but I do know the more upset the guy is, the less likely he is to do stuff for you.  THe thing is, they won’t tell you.  Sometimes, they don’t know how.  They still, after you drag them through a dog pile, want to be nice to you.  And a lot of them go passive aggressive because they can’t verbalise what’s going on.  Again, they speak with actions.

My advice is to start paying attention from the start.  Learn what his “normal” is so when it goes to something else, you’ll notice.  And when you notice, start asking yourself, have I changed?  Would I want to come home to myself if I treated myself the way I’ve been treating him?  Did I stop being the fun girlfriend and turn into his mother, his nagging wife, his unpleasant partner?  If the answer is yes, refocus and repair.  If the answer is no, then find out what’s going on with him.  Maybe it has nothing to do with you.  Maybe he needs a little TLC.

Again, this isn’t advice on how to keep dogs.  Those guys will run around anyway, don’t waste your efforts unless all you want to do is have fun.  Believe me, us cougars love players.  We use them as they use us and we leave them.  Who cares.  We know better than to get attached to those things.  As far as I know, a player will always be a player.  Sure, some can be tamed down, but only when HE wants to be tamed.  Until then, he’ll just enjoy you and then spit you out.  Forget about it… those aren’t the boys you want to take home permanently.   You’ll only get a heartache and yes I know he’s a hot guy and probably has money or the appearance of having money, but trust me, save yourself the trouble.