Jun 3, 2002

The ex called to see what we thought of "The Meeting". It's rare to see this interest - after all, he's done everything he could do to avoid any obligations whatsoever for so many years.

So, a little background. The latest trip to DR, him hoping to get a windfall in repayment of back support now that there was a lump sum payment from SS, me hoping to get thru this as quickly as possible so I could get back to reality. (Every time he's gone for some kind of reduction, he's ended up paying more. You think he'd learn.) Turns out, he's now in much of the same position he subjected me to all these years - raising a child with no help from the other parent, and not getting the child support the other parent should be paying and you know they could pay but you can't prove it. In fact, I gently brought this up during the meeting when I asked him how it felt. The look in his eyes was priceless.

Things, of course, didn't turn out like he expected. Yes, he had to pay more. Not much, but when you were expecting a windfall and end up paying...I was amazed he kept his composure. We actually had a civil conversation outside of the courthouse. I suppose his new marriage and having the responsibility of raising a child on his shoulders for a change have given him a new perspective. I also reminded him that of his 3 daughters, ours is the only one he has never done anything for.

We talked about changing that. I had originally suggested meeting the week prior to the date we actually did. That didn't work out because the New Wife "had to do something with her family". No problem. She didn't have to be there, but I thought it would be nice. I wanted to meet her outside of the courtroom, since, if this all worked out, she may be a big part of my daughter's life, and it was important that she didn't feel there were any hidden motives on my part. (Don't worry dear, I do not want him back.)

We decided to meet at a pizza place. Surprisingly, he called prior to the meeting to let me know that New Wife would be late. He didn't want us to walk in and see him sitting there alone and think he was "pulling anything". (Looking back, I don't know how much of this is coming from him or may be coming from her.) I thanked him, and we confirmed the plans.

The time comes. My daughter is composed, but I could tell she was looking forward to it. We walk in, he's already there with his daughter from a relationship after we broke up (there's a 3 year age difference.) He stands up to hug her, but thankfully doesn't push it. She's not at the age where she wants to be hugged in public my me, let alone a virtual stranger. We decide the seating arrangements and sit down to chat until New Wife gets there. Our daughter, of course, doesn't speak. Most of the talking was done thru the kids.

All things considered, it was a nice time. I did notice, however, that some things haven't changed. Specifically:

1. The "event" the New Wife had to do with her family? Turns out to be a trip to Cape Cod with her new family - namely, my ex and kids. Not, as one would originally assume, with her parents or siblings. So, as usual, he didn't really lie, just an enormous twist in perception.

2. There was little affection at that table. You wouldn't have expected it between him and me, or even between him and our daughter. But between him and the New Wife? Or the New Wife and the daughter (who's a little cutie, BTW)? No hugs, kisses, how was your day. Nada. And they apparently haven't known each other very long. It seems like they'd been together less than a year. Which in my opinion would lead to more affection - the honeymoon is still on.

So what happens now? I have my suspicions, but that's a story for another day.

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