Have you ever looked across the room at someone and said to yourself: “Man! I can’t believe I had intercourse and procreated with this retard”?
Well, at least 4 times a year I find myself in that very position; the latest being last Wednesday.
My final oder requires me to give Douche Bag a 30 days notice telling when/where I plan relocate with my eldest – so that’s what I did on August first. Before I could throw a t-shirt into a suitcase, a sheriff showed up at my door to deliver a summons. He had filed paperwork to get an emergency custody hearing. I thought he might try to amend the terms of his visitation… but custody?? He’d lost what little bit of mind God gave him if he thought that was ever going to happen.
I spent the first half of the week in a tizzy. This was a custody hearing…a huge deal! I frantically contacted lawyers in my area to get estimates on representation. They all wanted too much money in too short a time. $150 for a consultation and $1500 to appear in court that day. There was no way I could raise that money in 2 days. Truth be told, we HAD the money, but those funds were meant for our move to Africa, not for frivolity. I had to take a step in faith: I prepared a 4 page document and got ready to represent myself…again…and hope to God that everything would be okay. I mean, this was a custody hearing.
When I arrived at the court house, I saw him conferring with some dodgy looking people before our case was called. I was certain Douche Bag was going to show up with some damaging evidence, some proof that I was a negligent mother – a crack whore, perhaps – certainly HE would have a lawyer, right?
We entered the judicial officer’s conference room. She was a 40-something, no-nonsense, racially ambiguous woman.
“Are we missing any attorneys?” she asked
We shook our heads. She then confirmed why we were there and asked us to raise our right hands and swear to tell the truth. Douche Bag stuttered saying he “would”, “I do” and then giggled.
“So, Mr Douche Bag (she didn’t really call him that). Tell me what’s going on.”
“Ma’am, I got an email on Sunday saying she was moving out of the country. All she gave was an address and phone number, saying she was going to Africa and that was it. How am I supposed to protect my little girl if she’s in Africa…I mean not to say her mom wouldn’t protect her…but we’re just now starting to bond. She should stay with me.”
That was it?? This is a custody hearing dude! Where’s the bravado? Where are the fancy lawyers in pin-stripped suits? Where’s the irrefutable evidence to prove that I’m an unfit mother and that she is better off with you? Wow, this was going to be easier than I thought. Suddenly, I felt like an overdressed prom queen at a NASCAR rally.
“Ms. Grant, how would you like to respond?”
“I have a prepared statement that I’d like to read, if that’s okay. It should take 4.5 minutes to complete.”
“Go right ahead.”
6 minutes later, I completed my verbal onslaught. I decimated him with my words, my countenance cool and my tone matter of fact. I informed the court that as of that day, he was 60 days in arrears in support payments, he had lost yet another job (his 7th in 6 years), he had chosen to go to NC to visit his uncle instead of bonding with the child and laid out a whole host of character flaws that sadly comprise his nature. I concluded by saying that if I did not have any regard for him as a father, I would have run off with the child like the mother of his first born son did (he’s 4 years Na’s senior) or if I did not love her, I would have aborted her like the 6 other women he impregnated, one of whom 6 months after Na was born. I offered a compromise. He could keep her for 90 days in the summer and a week at Christmas. I’d pay half the ticket cost if he would do the same. I folded my hands and waited.
The room went deathly silent until he blurted out: “That’s a load of crap! There’s so much crap in there, I don’t even know where to begin!”
He went onto a tirade telling the judicial officer that he went to NC to visit his uncle who helped raise him because he was on life support (Lie: He met the man 3 years ago). He then asked if he was such a bad parent/person, why did I sleep with him (Chicken before the egg, you idiot). THEN, the kicker. “And that boy she’s talking about, I don’t even know if that’s my son or not. His mother was sleeping with 2 or 3 other men at the time, and she knows that!”
What?? Folks, I need you to understand what he was saying. This man spent countless nights lamenting the loss of his son to me. Wishing he could find him, and cursing this woman for taking the boy away from him. He has a picture of him as an infant in his album. Nicole (“that woman”) told him that if he did not marry her, he would never see his son again. Clearly, he chose not to. But it begs the question: Why does he have a picture of a boy he is not sure is his? I was actually rendered speechless.
The judicial officer, was not, however. She cut him off just as he was saying:
“And I have here a signed statement from my beautician talking about her hair. Every time I pick up my daughter her hair is all busted and I gotta spend $40-50 to get it done…”
“Look, let me redirect you,” she said sharply. “I really don’t care if you got her hair done. What are you going to do/give this child that is better than what her mom is offering? Is she going to be in school?”
“Yeah! I live in Tucker. We got great schools in Tucker!”
“I know she’ll be in school,” she countered. “But does she have any friends at that school?”
“No,” he replied. “But I got friends who have kids who are 3-4 years old. She can play went them. He paused and added “But she don’t have no friends in Ghana neither.”
“But she has her siblings,” I interjected.
“Mr. Douche Bag, what about Mrs. Grant’s offer to give you 90 days in the summer?”
He shook his head. “No way ma’am. It’s not enough.”
“You mean to tell me that you’re not interested in spending 90 consecutive days with your daughter plus a week at Christmas?” she asked incredulously.
“No. This move to Africa is just another way for her to keep me from my child. She said she would. I have an email where she said so.”
“Let me see the email,” commanded the judge.
He began to fumble through a short stack of papers. Nothing surfaced. He kept shuffling.
“While you look for that email, I’ll be back,” she said.
She left us alone with the bailiff, who eventually got bored and left the room. Douche kept shuffling through his emails to find this phantom note that I had left him. Finally, he pulled out a single sheet and placed it in her seat. Whatever it was, it was printed out of context and probably edited. Our email strings are always combative and at least 4 pages long. That dirt bag. Twenty minutes later, the judge re-emerged and (sort of) apologized for her absence.
“Here’s what we’re going to do,” she said brusquely. “You guys are going to meet with the social services coordinator. Give her any emails you need to when you meet. She has a lot going on right now. We’re going to reconvene here on the 26th…ON MY DAY OFF. I’m not even supposed to be here, but we’re going to meet.”
She then pointed at me.
“When are you supposed to leave?”
“Right. The 31st. Because you’re getting on that plane and leaving on the 31st, aren’t you? Aren’t you.”
“Uhh…yes. I am?” She seemed to be telling me, not asking me.
She dismissed us, and I thanked her for spending her day off with us.
“Yeah…it’s exactly how I wanted to spend my day,” she retorted with snark. I liked her.
So now we wait. In the interim, douchey is trying to convince my daughter that she’ll be living with him from now on, despite her repeated protests. Stay tuned for the next chapter of Douche Bag floats me into court again on his river of slimy vaginal water due out next week!