Scorched Earth

ash blaze burn burning

Something I read yesterday really struck a chord with me. It talked about Scorched Earth. Now this one was related to war, but in the end of a marriage, in the end of a relationship, aren’t they not wars too?

Too many men are afraid of pissing off their women. Too many men are afraid of “losing half.”

If your wants and needs are second to her’s because society brainwashed you into thinking that is the way it is supposed to be, and you don’t get your needs met, what’s the point of sticking it out? What’s the point of continuing? Doing it “for the kids?” You’ll teach them that is what a healthy relationship looks like. Then they will go out and seek that same type of relationship, or they will create it if they can’t find it.

Staying together because of the kids is a bad idea.

If the relationship is ending, kill it. Let it end. Be done with it. Even if it means “losing half.” You have the ability as a man to go out and make or create more wealth, more money. You’ll be able to go out and have your needs met by someone willing and able to meet your needs. Trust me, they are out there. There are women out there right now ready and willing to meet your needs. Go and find them.

Stop worrying about “losing half.” The courts are stacked against you? You knew that already and you married her anyway.

If your going to get divorced and she is the one who filed and she is the one who wants out, go scorched earth. Burn it all. Worried that she is going to be “entitled” to half your wealth? Half of nothing is nothing. Spend every last cent you have. Spend it fighting her if you want. Spend it on wine, women, and song. Go have adventures. Do something with your money before she gets it. You’ll always be able to make more down the road.

She’ll be a single mother looking for a chump to finance her lifestyle. Remember, half of nothing is nothing.

We as men could fare better in life if we took the scorched earth policy to many things. I’ve found there is nothing so powerful as saying, “Fuck it, let’s see what happens.” Or “fuck it, let’s see what you got. Bring it on.”

Most men and women today don’t have the stomach or the balls to go scorched earth. You’ll find out what you are capable of and it can free you if you do. It did for me.

When I was first getting divorced, I played nice with my ex-wife. I didn’t want to rock the boat. I wanted that waiting period to go smoothly, quickly, and as painlessly as possible.

It didn’t go that way for some of it. All the time I was answering the phone, listening to her blame me for everything. All the time it was her sob story about “poor her,” and how I left her in poverty even though she was the one who chose to move across the country to start over.

It was not enough that I gave her money and a car and let her take whatever she wanted out of the house to go with her. She would call and cry and commiserate about how hard it was, and then she would hit me up for more money.

She would probably being doing that to this day if I had allowed it to carry on. But I didn’t. You see, one day, she did me a huge favor. Probably the biggest favor of all, now that I look back on it.

She called up one day and she was nice and civil at first. That’s how all the phone calls started. But then she mentioned the magic word…

Alimony.

She started saying that she had talked to some legal outfit about how she could be entitled to alimony even though we had both agreed in the divorce filing that no alimony would be claimed by either party. She never said that she was going for alimony, but she insinuated it. She hinted at it.

That was it for me. I told her if that was what she wanted, bring it on. I would spend every last cent that I had fighting her. And when that money ran out, I would beg, borrow, or steal whatever money I needed to continue that fight. Why? Because fuck her, that’s why.

That’s scorched earth.

I said I would do it and I meant it. It was the most liberating feeling I have ever experienced. Then I ended the call with her and contacted an attorney to find out what rights I had and what rights she had. I needed to know what to prepare for in case she actually wanted to follow through on her not so veiled threat.

Turns out that if she wanted to fight, she would ultimately have to come back to where I live to do it. Since the divorce was filed here and she was a resident here at the time, she would have to come back and have her day in court. All on her own dime.

That didn’t happen.

You really can’t lose when you have nothing to lose.

It’s not about, do better, or be better. Sometimes it’s about Fuck It. Let the shit fall where it may and let’s see what happens.

If she is the one holding the match, you can be the one holding the gasoline.

 

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Father’s and Son’s

sunset person love people

It’s Monday October 15th. It’s been a month since my Mother died. It’s really strange how time goes by. On one end, it feels like it was just yesterday that she died. On the other hand, it’s amazing how fast time has gone by. It’s been a whole month.

Most of this last month has been for the better. Most days are better than I thought they would be.

Part of that is that I’m getting to know my Dad. Not just on a Father and Son level, but from the perspective of one Man to another. I’m learning who he is as a Man, not just a Father.

It has been really good getting to know my Father the Man. It helps me understand myself better and maybe why I do some of the things that I do and have done. The apple truly doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I can see now where I get some of my behaviors and ways of being. I get it from him. A lot of the ways that I view and interact with the world have come from him. Now maybe you may be sitting wherever you are, reading this, and think, “Well duh Rob.” But understand this for a moment:

My parent’s got divorced when I was eight years old. I only saw my Father on the weekends in the beginning. That was maybe for a year. After that, I didn’t see much of my Father, and by the time I became a teenager, I only saw him occasionally when he came over to the house to work on one of his cars. Even then I didn’t see much of him as I was busy with school and friends. So we would see each other for a few moments at best.

We were distant and estranged as far as I was concerned. I have to admit, during my teens and into my twenties, I didn’t think much of my Father. I didn’t like how he handled things and I didn’t want to be like him. Saying something like, “You’re just like your Dad,” was fighting words to me back then. I wanted to be nothing like him.

I thought that my Mother got the raw deal in the divorce even though she was the one that wanted it.

I know better now. I heard my Mom’s side of the story many times growing up, and over the last few years, I’ve been getting my Dad’s side of it in bits and pieces. Now that my Mom is gone, I’ve been getting even more of my Dad’s side of things, and I have to admit, they make sense. They are the missing puzzle pieces that I didn’t know were there.

I’m glad for the time that I have with my Dad. It’s important to me. I’m glad that I’m getting to know him not only as a Father, but as a Man. He’s been honest with me when I ask him questions, he holds nothing back. He’s also answered every question that I’ve had so far.

I understand myself better now than at any other point in my life. I understand that many things I do and have done are “nurture.” They are the things I’ve learned from my friends, my society, and my culture. I’ve also noticed things that I would call “nature.” Maybe I’ve actually learned them without being aware of it, it’s totally possible. But I kind of doubt that. These are the things that have just sort of “come naturally.” Much of it I see and hear from my Father when I ask the questions that I’ve asked.

I highly recommend to all you Men in particular, and to everyone out there reading this, talk to your Dad if you are able to. Talk to him about being a Man. Don’t just ask him what it’s like being a Father, ask him about stuff that relates to being a Man.

Hopefully you have that option in your life still. If you do, if your Father is still alive and you are able to contact him, do it.

Talk to him and do stuff with him. I’m going over to his house later today and we are having steak. We’ll probably watch NHRA drag racing too.

Get to know your Father, not only as a Father, but as a Man. You may get answers to questions that you didn’t know you had. You may get some understanding into yourself that you didn’t know you wanted or that you needed.

 

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After

flight landscape nature sky

It’s Monday September 24th. I buried my Mother on Saturday the 22nd. I’m putting dates and if necessary, times to keep things straight for myself, and for you the readers of my blog. All of what I’m describing here has already happened.

Friday the 21st we had the viewing for my Mother. It was the longest two hours of my life. Every minute felt like an eternity. I just wanted it to be over. My legs were sore and stiff for standing in one place for so long.

My Father was overwhelmed by how many people that showed up to pay their respects. He really had no idea how many friends and family that he had. He had no idea the impact he and my Mother made on these people, this community of car lovers. He was hoarse by the time it was over, he talked to each and every one of them, told them stories about how they had met each other or some of the adventures that they had had with each other over the last two decades.

The girlfriend told me earlier that morning that her Mother was coming either Friday or Saturday, to stand in support with me and to pay her respect to my Mother, whom she had never met before.

I wasn’t holding my breath for my girlfriend’s Mom to make it, but I won’t lie. I hoped she would, and I found myself searching the faces of everyone in that receiving line, hoping I would see her. I found myself disappointed that she didn’t make it to the viewing on Friday.

Seeing my Mother in the casket… I lost it when I saw her there. It brought the reality of the situation home for me. It made it all too real. The mortuary did a fantastic job with her though. Many times in the past, at most of the funerals I have attended over the years, the body doesn’t really look like the person who they once were. They don’t usually look like themselves. My grandparent’s sure didn’t. But my Mom… She looked like herself. She looked like my Mom. I could swear that she was taking a nap. I could swear that she was breathing.

Many of my extended family showed up. My Mother’s sister, her brother, their children, my cousin’s. Same with my Dad’s side. It was interesting. We are not close to any of them. Haven’t been in years. There’s some bad blood there that goes back a long time. Guilt and culpability on all sides. My parent’s and I are much closer to some of the “car show people” than we are to our own blood. And that’s okay by me. I’m good with it. I have nothing against my actual blood relatives, they’ve done nothing to me in particular, but I’ve seen the shit that went on over the years. I’m just not close to them and that is what it is. You reap what you sow.

Saturday we had our final viewing for my Mom at 10 am until 11 am. My girlfriend’s Mom was the second person in line that morning. She showed up. It meant the world to me and still does. I introduced her to my Mom. I told her that I wished that they had met each other before that day. I wish that they had met while my Mom was still alive. She talked to my Mom for a bit and then I introduced her to my Father. They hugged and said that they were both glad to have finally met. My Father told her that he saw where my girlfriend got her looks. My girlfriend and her mother look almost identical. My girlfriend is definitely her Mother’s Daughter.

My Father started settling a lot of accounts at the funeral. He was diplomatic and polite, but if he had a bone to pick with you, you got to hear about it that day. My Aunt, my Mother’s sister, got an ear full. So did her brother, my Uncle. My Father didn’t spare his siblings either. They all got some. Right, wrong, good, or bad, he said what he needed to say, and what’s done is done. Personally, I don’t blame him. Most of the things that he said, needed to be said, and those that he said those things to, needed to hear them. Shit had been going on for far too long.

The closing of the casket was the hardest all of for me. I can still see my Mother’s face clearly. It was the hardest because I know I will never look on her face again. I don’t believe in a heaven, hell, god, or devil. I don’t believe in reincarnation or an afterlife. What people describe as a “soul,” to me, is what is our consciousness. When you die, that “soul” or consciousness gets turned off like a light switch. One minute you are there, and the next, you are not. Lights on. Lights off.

Watching the mortuary staff close that casket, I couldn’t catch my breath. I started to hyperventilate. I got it under control some how, but it came back again once we got the cemetery and got ready to move the casket from the hearse to the grave site. I got over it though. I had to. No other choice. I was a pallbearer for her and I needed to get her there. I couldn’t do that one last thing for her if I couldn’t breathe. So I kept on keeping on. Just like right now. I’m keeping on keeping on.

After the funeral was over, we all went to a close friend’s house and had drinks and food. Lots and lots of drinks. Lots of stories about all the adventures that my Mom and Dad have had over the years. Lots of laughter. Lots of tears.

I have to back up for a bit though. I’m getting a head of myself a little bit.

At the end of the service, I made eye contact with my girlfriend’s Mom. I went to her and we embraced and talked briefly. I told her how grateful I was that she made it out for the funeral to pay her respect and to show support for me since her daughter was out of the country. I told her how much all of that meant to me. I told her how much her daughter means to me. I think the world of my girlfriend. I love her dearly. I told her Mom that I wanted to get to know their family better. I wanted them to get to know me better. Her Mom wanted the same. She told me how much her daughter loves me and thinks of me.

I know it seems pretty “blue pill” and fantastical. My eyes are open. I know where this could all lead. It could lead to nowhere. It could also lead to somewhere. All relationships are transitory by nature. You could spend most of your life with someone and you’ll never truly know them because you aren’t them. All relationships end eventually, whether by a decision or a choice, or by death itself. All relationships last but a short time for the most part. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them. By choosing to not have them because of loss, you are missing out on life. You are missing the point of all of it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all of those slogans and what not.

So back to the get together….

Dad wasn’t done with the what for’s there either. There was one guy in particular that got both barrels. I actually thought it was going to turn violent for a minute there. Luckily it didn’t.

I also smoked my first cigar that night. I’ve always been interested in what the big deal was, but never got around to it. Mostly because since I have no idea what constitutes a good cigar, I didn’t want my first experience to be shit because of a shit cigar.

I see what the big deal is now though. Scotch and a good cigar are awesome. When I was around 16 I got really drunk, like throw up, be sick, and pass out drunk on scotch. From that day until now, I can’t stomach scotch. Or whiskey for that matter. The smell of it alone makes me retch. Drinking scotch while smoking a cigar though, that I can do. Both mellow and enhance the other.

Sunday I pretty much stayed home by myself. This last week I definitely took a tail spin with everything that has been going on. Going to the gym became sporadic. Drinking became the norm for the week. Even junk food showed back up on the menu. Just for that last week though.

I talked to my Brother from another Mother who lives in Illinois Sunday night, I mentioned him in my last post I believe. He was checking in to make sure that I was doing all right. Just shooting the shit with him raised my spirits immensely.

This morning, Monday September 24th, I woke up around 8:30 am or so and talked with my girlfriend for about an hour and a half. We talked about her Mom showing up for the funeral, I told her what that meant to me. The girlfriend and I are in a good place. Life is good.

I called my job and told them that I would be back on Tuesday September 25th. Tomorrow. Life goes on. You got to keep on keeping on.

Thank you for reading these installments for those of you who have journeyed with me this far. I don’t know if I’ll be talking about this again or not. Right now, I don’t think so. I think I’ve said what I wanted and needed to say.

I get to close this chapter and start a new one. I don’t know what I’m going to do just yet. It’ll be good whatever it is.

I Love You Mom. Rest easy. Thank you for being my Mother and bringing me into this world. I’m grateful to you for what you have done for me all through out my entire life up until now. Hopefully I’ll remember your lessons and carry them forward. I can’t live your standards and I’m not going to try. Your standards are your own. I can only live mine.

 

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