Thursday, April 23, 2009

You are what you drive

Had dinner last night with some new friends. They're 'churchy' friends, and our experience with them has been from a few some small-group interactions, so we didn't really KNOW them that well outside of them seeming like nice folks. Oh, the womanly half is from the same area as Biff, so that's kinda cool, and yeah, they met in much the same way we did, they're about our age, and they've both had similar recent life experiences, so there was plenty enough to keep a conversation going, if indeed they wanted to 'go there' (because heaven knows, I'm always up for a bit of snooping around someone else's personal life).

It started off a little odd. OK, so neither of them seem like the types to GUSH and go on and on about stuff, but I was expecting them to be a touch more outgoing. There were some silences. There were some awkward pauses. There was the feeling-out of topic matter, talk of surface-level issues, a general tiptoeing around conversational gambits.


Until OMG the shovel of curiosity broke through a crusty layer of 'don't touch' and we wound up on how royally screwed the guy has been on his divorce. He allowed a thing or two, then some more, then the wife started to get a little animated, and pretty soon both Biff and I had to pick up our jaws from the tabletop if we were going to even TRY to avoid looking like a couple of tazered yokels.

I will not divulge details here; that wouldn't be right. Suffice it to say that it's possible to have a judgement go so horribly wrong against you that you are not ever going to be in control of your finances again, NOT EVEN TO CONTRIBUTE TO CHARITY, if your ex has a good enough lawyer.

BTW - even if your ex snuck around on YOU, as happens to be the case for this poor guy.

It is the suck for him, and for his new wife, who had an admirable glint of murder in her eyes when the subject warmed up a little.

These are good people. They are nice people. They seem happy together. Yet, they have to sell their home and live tethered to this harridan who had enough clout to garnish all his money for LIFE. They will never be free of her. I find this shockingly difficult to digest. Yes, we all have our skeletons, and we all have had to pay in one way or another, but this seems so terrifically over the top.

Now, I have no idea how much money this guy makes. It wouldn't really matter, would it? He makes what he makes, and it would seem that at least some of what he makes should be left over for him to use to support himself. I did kind of figure him for a low 6-figures kind of guy; someone who does pretty well but not lavishly. He's got a good job in a specialized field; I was willing to go up to about 140K in my mind for his earning power.

That is, until I saw the car they got into after dinner. Some kind of hot little red sportsmobile with a long slick hood and a short bobtail, perfect for 2 with the appearance of a sprinter.

So NOT low 6 figures.

So NOT reflective of the person, the nice church guy with the soft voice, who was driving it. That guy needed, in my mind, to drive a Toyota sedan-ish thing, not Speed Racer's street rig.

And then I thought - I wonder if Tinkerbell reflects ME? Already the answer is 'probably not,' for I once had a woman express surprise when she saw Tink and me together, allowing as to how she thought I would drive an F150 or something. Um, no. They are gas guzzlers and way too big to park comfortably (I suck at parking). I did drive a pickup at one time, but it was a ruby-red Toyota 4-by, not a monstrous roaring yeehaw of a truck.

But I love my Tinkerbell, even if she isn't the perfect 'me' car. She's big enough (for now) to fit all of us, she gets good gas mileage, she has a kicker bass end on the stereo system, and if you squint your eyes just right the front end is kinda classy looking.

You know what? That last one IS rather like me.


What kind of car do you drive, and is it a true reflection of who you think you are?

Also - you ever hear stories of folks getting completely reamed in a divorce settlement? I'm still having trouble with what I heard last night, and do SO want to believe he's not the worst case out there.

Thanks, and have a grand day.

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