Dear Douche Bag:
Wait. That’s not fair. I don’t really think of you as a “douche bag” anymore. You’re more like an unused, empty Ziploc bag with a slight hole in the bottom: full of potential, but will probably remain at the bottom of the drawer until there is the need to marinate a flank steak, after which you will be summarily discarded. Because, the hole.
Anyway, this letter is not about your numerous shortcomings and failures…
I’m lying. It is.
I must confess I was surprised to receive your text last night around 8pm, telling me that you needed to speak with me the following morning.
“It’s important,” you said.
Well, what could possibly be so important that you’d want to speak about it the next day as opposed to in the moment? I figured you were about to tell me about some “big move” you were about to make, which is usually the same song and dance you jig about whenever you want to gauge how much I care about your wellbeing –if at all.
I was right, but what came next was a complete shock.
“I want to go back overseas and work,” you said.
“Oh? Okay…” I replied.
“But I need you to take me off child support,” you said in a rush, as if saying them hurriedly would make them sound less ridiculous and more likely to come to pass.
“I don’t see how taking you off child support is going to prevent or help your going overseas,” I stated flatly. “And I really think you should challenge whoever it is that’s telling you you can’t get a government contractor job because you pay child support.” (You remember when you tried to sell that crap to me late last year, don’t ya? News flash, ninja. I gots friends who work in DC and they ALL pay child support and they are ALL government contractors. Try again.)
You went on to remind me of how the last time you went abroad and how badly it went for you. You were nearly $10,000 and 2+ years behind on your support payments. Through it all, I never called you, harangued you, or stopped you from seeing your second born. I didn’t do what your first baby momma did to you, which was to disappear entirely on you. I just let you keep living life, carefree as a koi fish, until the law of karma caught up with you.
“Malaka, you remember that they almost didn’t let me work. I had to take out an advance on my pay just so I could get my driver’s license reinstated.”
“Yes. I remember. But you are not 2 years behind on your payments. You aren’t paid in full, but you aren’t even a month behind on your payments. I don’t think the situation is the same.”
“Yeah…I know, but I can’t be on child support when I go over there.”
“That’s not true, Ziploc.”
“Okay. What I’m saying is, I have bed credit and I owe, and it would just…*sigh*…it would just really help me if you could take me off. Imma always be there for my daughter. You have my word on that.”
I stifle a snort of contempt as you speak, and remind you of the following.
“Sorry to be the one to drudge up old news, but for the first FIVE years of her life, you gave me a total of $1400 for her upkeep. I had to get on welfare just for us to survive.”
There was silence from your end. I carried on, telling you that unfortunately, I could not stand by your word. I promised to “think about it”. Every time you ask me about something foolish, to which my reflex is to respond with a resounding “NO”, you ask me to think about. I beat you to the punch, knowing what my reply would be in two hours. Two hours is a respectable amount of time to “think about” things.
My pet peeve where you are concerned, Ziploc, is that you do not think 5 steps ahead before you talk to me. Hell, I don’t think you consider what consequences will come to bear in the next 45 seconds. I suppose it is my place to remind you that I did not put you on child support, and therefore it is not my place to take you off. The first 5 years of our daughter’s life were difficult for you financially. You bought a house that you were not prepared to pay for because you were tired of living in an apartment. You went out on numerous dates and spent money you didn’t have. You purchased a car you could not afford. You eventually lost 4 jobs in 1 year because you continuously stepped over the bounds of your responsibility. Meanwhile, I went on WIC, married my husband and lived frugally. You think I like raising a family of 6 in 2 bedroom townhouse? Think again! I want a yard too, niggro, but that’s not in the cards for me yet.
And yet, knowing the sacrifices I and my family have had to make, you have the audacity to ask me to take you off child support? A position in which YOU placed YOURSELF? Have demons possessed your mind? Forget demons: it was a vagina that led you to this action. Oh yes. I remember it clearly.
I remember when the sheriff showed up at my house when a court summons. You had initiated visitation and child support proceedings because you felt I was treating you unfairly in terms of visitation. You black mofo!^#*^! Your house didn’t have any heat and you didn’t have any food. I was not sending my toddler over there to freeze, just so you could show her off to your new girlfriend. Oh, and don’t try to deny it. I still have the receipt from the heating bill I paid the previous month, just so she could come over. Your paramour, of course not knowing the full picture because you LIE so much, urged you to get some justice and take me to court! And that’s what you did. Spent $100 in court costs and filing fees to put yourself on child support so you would look like a man in her eyes.
Tell me, where is this woman now? Why don’t you ask her what to do, now that you are in this quagmire? Or has she fled your grasp, just as you fiancée wriggled her way out? At least she bought you a car before she showed you the door. You ought to be grateful for that. In fact, I don’t know how you were living up in her house rent free for a YEAR and was still unable to repair your credit or earn something. You mean Burger King wasn’t hiring? You didn’t have some leaves you could rake? I tell you one thing: Kroger is always on the look out for some new talent. You could have spent that year stocking shelves, but I guess you were too busy fronting.
And now, again, you want me to solve this problem for you. You wanted me to pay your bills, bring you food, care for your child, dress her in the best clothes, fix your resume, find you a job, put gas in your car, give you pocket money…and like a fool, I did all those things and more! Now you want me to “take you off child support”?
“I promise I will send you money if you do!” you said. “Imma always take care of my daughter. I’ll make sure you get every cent you’re owed.”
Ah ah. Why, you dey craze? Or you figga say I dey craze some?
Please. You are living with your uncle. Go and ask your uncle for a child support loan and tell him you will pay HIM back. He is a widower. He has money. Don’t move into this apartment you are trying to go to. Get some local work, no matter how menial and tell him you will offer him gas money if he will just bear with you. But you won’t do that, will you? You would rather look like you have it all together in his eyes, rather than give me the respect I’m due. What you are requesting is the epitome of impertinence!
Look, we both know the law won’t come for you because you are behind on your payments unless I send them for you, and I have no incentive to do that. That’s just one more thing to manage. I won’t do it; but for the love of sweet, hot kenkey, please don’t ever ask me about releasing you from the obligation you put yourself under. That is not my role.
This is your life and your mess. Fix it.
Sincerely and please believe me to me,