Posts Tagged ‘Advice’

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The Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth: Volume 3

August 28, 2010
[The final installment. Originally published Nov. 11, 2009.]

Welcome back to our third, and quite possibly, last installment in the Emmy-award winning instructional series, the Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth. If you would like to catch up with the rest of the class, please click the following links:
Part I
Part II

This edition will deal with the decisions following the delivery (or as we call it, “afterbirth”). Please bear in mind that most of these decisions will have multiple choices, meaning there is no wrong way to proceed.*

*Except for the “do not do’s” listed below. Do not do those.

Young Starshine Freelove Wilson began to regret ever being born.

Post-Delivery Plans
Now that all the screaming and bloodletting is over, it’s time to celebrate your ability to create life through the magical act of “getting some.”

As your partner heads back to her area for some much-needed drugs and reconstructive surgery, feel free to take a victory lap around your Contact list, letting all your friends and relatives in on the vital statistics:

  • Sex (“It’s a boy!“)
  • Weight (“Less than infinity.”)
  • Length (“Well, keep in mind that he’s less than 4 hours old and the room was a little cold, but I’d say a little under an inch.”)
  • Birth Time (“Shortly after my explanation about the “thing” I had with her sister. Well, half-sister, if you want to get technical.”)
  • Visiting Hours (“I’m sure she’d be happy to see you any time! You say you’re in the lobby? Come on up! She should be back from her crotch-stitching any minute now.”)

Or you can skip the procedure, in which case your child will be ambushed by the physician sometime in his mid-30's.

Circumcision
This used to be an easy decision (“Of course!”) but recently there has been somewhat of a backlash against it.

Simple rule of thumb: make your kid’s package look like yours. In addition to it being somewhat of a bizarre bonding thing, it will also help you avoid awkward conversations with your unsnipped son in the future.

Son: “Dad, why does your [insert stupid ‘penis’ replacement word here] look different than mine?
You: “Good question. You see, my parents were raised in a different era and they made a decision based on an outmoded set of morals…”
Son: “Oh. Are you talking about why they decided not to abort you?”
You: “I think you’re spending too much time with your mom.”

You say this book only contains the "best" baby names? I'll take two!

Choosing a Name
As the proud owner of a brand new child (with that awesome “new child smell”), you will be tempted to saddle your offspring with an imaginative name currently in use by no one else. The potent combination of anxiety and sleeplessness will play tricks on your fragile mind, raising the possibility of cursing your child with a lifetime of humiliation (“Chad Kroeger, Jr.”) or an early death (“River Phoenix,” “Jet Travolta”).

Stick with the classics like Justin or Michael. For the girls, try Jennifer or Jessica. These are great, nearly-Biblical names that have never been associated with skanky, marginal or vapid celebrities.

Some more examples:

  • Gallant – Yes; Goofus – No
  • Jermaine – Yes; Tito – No
  • Jessica – Yes; Ashlee – No
  • Billy Ray – No; Miley – No
  • George Michael – Yes; Andrew Ridgely – No
  • Rozz – Yes; Valor – No
  • Uma – Yes; Oprah – No
  • Sunny – No; Cher – No; Chastity – No
  • Philip – Yes; Yancy – No
  • Fresca – Yes; Tab – No
  • Jif – Yes; Nutella – No

Heavy-handed metaphors exceeding 24 tons exit here.

The Future
Once you have your new arrival home with you, it’s time to start mapping out his life, starting with learning to read in multiple languages by age 3 and culminating in his Master’s degree from Harvard 20 years down the road, at which point you’ll be able to live off his earnings as a groundbreaking inventor/#1 draft pick.

You both will pick out hereditary traits you wish to encourage:

You:
Keep – Famous wit; full head of hair
Toss – Lack of self-motivation; blogger’s insecurity

Her:
Keep – Your full head of hair
Toss – Everything else, starting with that “famous wit”

You can also speculate on some “fallback” options for your pressured child, in case you have set the bar too high.* Some other acceptable choices are fireman, cowboy, homosexual, philosophy professor, protestor-for-hire, SAG member, hitman, psychic friend.

* As if.

Then sit back and watch reality set in as you come to the realization that the TV is doing a better job raising your child than you ever did while trying to keep the saving account/bail fund full of emergency cash.

-CLT

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The Fancy Plans Guide to Binge Drinking

April 14, 2010

If you're doing it right, even the camera will be wasted!

As any panicked moralist will tell you, college binge drinking is a serious problem, one that must be dealt with in the most hysterical way possible. While they entertain the 60 Minutes camera crew with third and fourth-hand tales of Jello shots and the damage done, we’d like to take the time to give you the “straight, uncut dope” on “doing it up right,” “getting crunk,” and the myriad potential benefits of getting “totally ‘faced.”

Freeform Amateur Debates
Everything from politics to religions to pop culture to that thing your girlfriend does when she’s “down there” can be expounded upon and argued about with no regard for facts or coherence. Most debates will take the form of FOX-News programming, wherein the loudest is usually considered the “rightest.”

Some hot-button issues to consider:

Is a cousin located far enough out on the family tree branches to be considered “fair game?” Follow up: At what point did society determine this was “wrong?” Was it after the horrendous string of birth defects?

The deck has been stacked against repeat sexual offenders for far too long! Follow up: At what point did society determine this was “wrong?” Was it before or after the sign went up in my yard?

That’s what happens when you elect a black president! Follow up: As the head “man,” is he still in the position to stick to the “man?” My casual co-opting of the hip hop lifestyle has also granted me some sort of enlightenment or something in regards to our president and the plight of my brothers, who are all several shades blacker than I am.

Unless you’ve knocked up like five or six random women within the last couple of years, I don’t think you’re qualified to offer your opinion on abortion. Follow-up: Condoms just don’t feel as good. I totally had no idea that was your sister. For reals, bro.

Don't worry about not getting enough to drink. Your friends will make sure you stay hydrated.

Making Memories (for other people)
A full night of drinking and drugs (trust me, these two will be in close proximity more often than not) will often play havoc with your mind, leading you to believe you just had several beers and went quietly to bed after entertaining your friends with your racous wit. In all reality, nothing could be further from the truth, and most of your friends and acquaintances will be able to piece your night together for you. Brace yourself.

And it goes a little something like this:

It late into a full night of drinking with party moving from the local bar to someone’s house. While some people have wisely called it a night and headed home, the die-hard still remain, willing to ride their buzz right into the barrel of God’s shotgun, which he has nicknamed “Daylight” and loaded full of headaches and regrets.

The full-on party has devolved into subdued conversations, occasionally punctuated by riotous laughter/loss of consciousness. Elsewhere in the house, drunks are half-heartedly trying to get it on, despite the fact that neither partner can feel anything from the neck down or form coherent thoughts from the neck up.

At some point, someone will emerge half-clothed from a darkened room and ask if they might have an additional bump of coke, or hit of ecstasy or another Xanax or whatever and that they’re willing to OH MY GOD SHE JUST STUCK THAT BEER BOTTLE IN HER VAGINA! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!

Once something like that happens, a crowd will gather. And speculation will begin.

Is this supposed to make her look sexually desirable? I mean, we all know that an entire (but miniature) human can emerge from there BUT JESUS MAN, SOME THINGS ARE MEANT TO BE A MYSTERY! CHRIST ALMIGHTY, AM I SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE I CAN EVEN COMPETE WITH THAT? I’M NOT HUNG LIKE A LOUISVILLE SLUGGER!

Soon enough, though, someone is going to take a chance on that, despite the fact that they’d need to be forearm deep before either of them felt anything. Good luck, man. That’s not for me. GOOD LORD, ONLY THE NECK IS STICKING OUT! GET SOME CLOTHES FOR HER. OR SOME COKE. DO SOMETHING, MAN! PUT YOUR PANTS BACK ON! THAT’S SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER.

Now try to match that up with how you think your night went.

  • Girl: Had some drinks. Woke up sore. Scored a baggie of coke somehow.
  • Guy: Totally got it on with this crazy chick. She was wild!

Other memories you may make for this crazy quilt we call “life”:

  • Human beer cozy
  • Sexual harassment suit
  • High-centered roommate’s Escalade on the freeway median
  • Human Sharpie canvas
  • Misplaced virginity
  • Lost job in less than 4 hours
  • The case of the mysterious and uncomfortable infection
  • Got a tattoo/joined the military

Vomiting
Your body’s way of telling you that you’re headed towards blood poisoning at a high rate of speed. You can’t get a much clearer sign that you should call it a night. However, this sign is often interpreted otherwise by power drinkers, usually as the following:

1. Time to get some sleep, perhaps right here on the bathroom floor.
2. Yay! I’ve got room for more drinks!

"Fuck you, buddy. I already did."

Should You Have More to Drink?
A good question, one that is usually answered with an unqualified “yes.” Listen for some of these common signalling phrases (most of which will be stumbling out of your mouth, so it may be wise to get a second party [PAAAAAAARRTTTYYYYY!!!!! – ed.] to corroborate):

I’m losing my buzz!
Unqualified yes.

Whose sister do I have to fuck to get another drink around here?
Unqualified yes. (And: Barry’s sister, actually.)

I’m going to make a booze run!
Are you driving?
– Yes. (Unqualified yes.)
– No.   (Unqualified yes. And one for the driver.)

I don’t think I can drink any more.
Unqualified yes. But have a small one, like a shot of Rumpleminze.

I can’t feel my face.
Unqualified yes + one (1) bump of coke.

I’ve got to get back and study.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!! Unqualified yes.

I think I’m bleeding internally.
What am I? A doctor? Hell-unqualified-yes, motherfucker! (Med students are allowed to answer this question with the addition of the word “yet.”)

[Slipping into a coma]
No. (But only because it would require some sort of intravenous intervention to continue drinking. Check with the med students.)

I’m being arrested!
If you can get “one for the road,” by all means, do so.

Stop fucking my sister! Here’s your goddamned drink!
Unqualified yes. (Double up. You’ve just been through something which could be construed as traumatic if you weren’t so wasted. Get a double for your sister as well. The “sister-fucker” only needs a single.)

-CLT

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Life’s Little Lessons Vol. 5 – The Third-Person Miracle of Childbirth or Renting Out Your Uterus for Fun and Profit

March 2, 2010

The pros refer to it as "Transverse Vaginal Adoption."

You may often find yourself overwhelmed by the problems of the world and ask yourself, “Self, how can just one person make a difference?” 

The truth is: you can’t. Not only can one person not make a difference but these persons should waste less time trying and/or asking pointless, rhetorical questions. 

The question may be even more troubling if you are a woman. But take heart: while it has been scientifically proven that there are any number of things women can’t do (become president; play pro basketball in a plausible fashion), it turns out that there are many things they can do (file sexual harassment suits; make less money; keep up with the laundry). 

In fact, there is one “job” that women are perfectly suited for: carrying a stranger’s child to term. 

Most, if not all of you, have experienced the small but heart stopping thrill of missing a period. As you backdate your one-night stands and attempt to put names to faces, you may have briefly entertained thoughts of raising the offspring of a near-stranger, whom you have nicknamed “Abercrombie,” thanks to the sweatshirt he left behind. 

There are childless couples all over the world who are unable to carry their own children to term for any number of reasons (botched appendectomy, a lifetime of drug abuse, curse from an angry God/gypsy). This is your opportunity to finally use your reproductive powers for good! 

Should you decide to aid these pitifully unfulfilled men and women by using your body as some sort of obstetrical petri dish, don’t worry: you will not need to have sex with the father. 

In fact, it’s probably better if you stop asking that question repeatedly in such desperate tones. The father-to-be, whose seed has frequently fallen on rocky soil (and even more frequently, on the shower floor) may be only too willing to take you up on your generous offer. 

No, your place is to provide a hospitable environment for the growing child. Think of your reproductive system as a home. While in the past, this “home” was often low-rent housing requiring no credit check, where nearly anybody could get in (and, consequently, often resulted in multiple “evictions” and “lock-changings”), it’s now time to upgrade to a lower-end condo at the minimum. 

Once the embryo is safely installed, you will now be ready to face the next challenge: a brand new set of parents! 

The barren couple you are pinch-hitting for will now have a focal point for their anxiety, frustration and self-hatred: you. 

Be prepared to give up all control of your life for the next nine months as your new “parents” decide everything for you, from your breakfast cereal (Total or Special K only) to your bedtime (earlier and earlier). They will be ceaselessly intrusive and have hundreds of pointers, tips and other advice for you to follow. 

Want to crank up some AC/DC while getting your morning coffee going?
Too bad! Instead you’ll be listening/watching Baby Mozart while sipping 100% organic chamomile tea! 

Looking forward to an easy, drug-filled delivery?
Not anymore! Say “hello” to a midwife-directed kiddie pool delivery attended by hundred of sandaled strangers! 

(Oh, and by the way, smoking crack to control birth weight is obviously no longer an option.) 

As the pressure from the expectant (but otherwise useless) biological parents combines with the tiring grind of hosting a parasite, you may soon find yourself looking for even a momentary escape from it all. 

ESCAPE TO SUNNY MEXICO!

 

Looking to get away? Disappear? Avoid extradition? 

Come to sunny MEXICO! 

Beautiful Mexico is home to a large number of beaches, resorts, bars and casinos! 

Take advantage of our favorable exchange rate and relaxed morality while enjoying our refreshing lack of invasive questions and potable water! 

Whether you’re looking to terminate a suddenly unwanted pregnancy or start a new family under an assumed name, Mexico has got you covered! 

See why millions of Americans are calling Mexico “the REAL land of opportunity!” 

Se habla espanol!

-CLT 

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Platitudes for a New Millenium

February 23, 2010

Nothing says "mysterious garage fire" like watching this smug bastard pose with your ex-wife.

As you make your way through the various potholes and “Bridge Out” warnings on this road we call “life,” you will often find yourself on the receiving end of unsolicited advice.

Unfortunately, most self-appointed advisors (including us) tend to use shopworn clichés (like “shopworn cliché”) and meaningless catchphrases instead of delivering actual advice (especially us).

Today we take aim at an old favorite: “Living well is the best revenge.”

Is it? Let’s take a closer look.

Say you’ve just wrapped up another Nip/Tuck marathon when your wife says something like, “Speaking of which, I’m leaving your for that plastic surgeon I met at the gym.” And away she heads to a new life full of late-model sports cars and free collagen injections.

And what do you have? Ten years of bills, 20 more years on the mortgage and two sons, one of whom is looking to join the “Orange” team down at the local correctional facility and one of whom is looking to join the Audubon Society.

Unfortunately, the child with whom you actually feel a connection has just sold your laptop for drug money and the other will be sticking you with several hundred thousand dollars in unpaid student loans as he pursues a go-nowhere career in ornithology.

At this point, someone will pipe up with, “Living well is the best revenge,” if only because it’s easier to say than, “There’s no way you’re competing with that.”

But is “living well” really the best revenge? Is it even revenge?

In a word, “Ah, hell nah!” Revenge is still the best revenge. Sugar in the gas tank. Tuna cans in the air vents. The mysterious fire in the garage. That’s revenge. The problem is: you’ll be the prime suspect.

Try this instead.

Get ahold of the good doctor’s name, address, phone and email address. Most of this should be easy to obtain, especially if divorce proceedings are underway.

As for that email address? A week or so of late night drunken calls to his house should get you a sternly-worded email reminding you that your estranged wife has no interest in “servicing” you no matter how “horny” or “depressed” you feel.

Now take that email address and sign him up for every deviant porn site you can find. Sign him up for every shady personal ad site. Every online petition. Every “Work at Home!” scam. Anything that clogs an inbox and takes an act of God to get rid of.

Mark every questionnaire you come across with “Yes! You can contact me at home/work!” Try to make sure that the “Best Time to Call” manages to cover most of a 24-hour period. Add him to any and every mailing list you can find, especially those of the erectile-dysfunction/out-there porn variety.

Unfortunately you won’t be able to witness the ensuing debacle firsthand, but you can let your imagination run wild. He’ll be dealing with a clogged inbox, various strains of malware and popups and nonstop calls from solicitors. He’ll be busy trying to explain away such periodicals as Men Who Love Men Who Love Horses and NAMBLA’s Amateur Boy Scouting Manual.

For more fun, do the same for your soon-to-be ex-wife. It should take their sex life to the next level as they scramble to entertain each other’s perceived fetishes, turning their bedroom into something halfway between a bondage club and a petting zoo.

And then, just as the lube is applied and the animals given a “safety word,” the phone will ring, bringing with it such questions as:

  • Are you available to host the third leg of a charity marathon? You’ll need to supply Gatorade and lined bags for exhaustion vomit.
  • Can you please to wire money to sick relative in Eastern Bloc?
  • Is this the GM who was listed as “submissive” and into “watersports?”
  • Would you take $5000 for the fire-damaged Maserati?
  • You, asking if your wife is available to “service” you.

“Living well” is the old way. The new millenium demands a change. Say it together now:

Living vindictively is the best revenge.”

-CLT

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Fancy Plans Guide to Winter Driving

December 14, 2009

Nothing makes hazardous winter driving easier than snapping away with your camera.

Winter is here. The temperature has dropped and the roads are deadlier than ever (and I’m including Maximum Overdrive). Here’s a quick guide on the do’s and don’ts of winter driving. Remember, being prepared might mean the difference between life and a short period of inconvenience.

So, how can you tell whether roads are safe to travel? Well, there are many resources including local news, Department of Transportation web sites and the traffic chopper. However, these reports may be as accurate as advertised as weather conditions can change rapidly during the course of a winter storm (and only in one direction: from bad to worse).

Use this simple test to determine whether roads can be safely travelled:

Do you have to work today?

  • Yes (see A.)
  • No (see B.)

A. NO. Roads cannot be safely travelled. [Skip to the end of this post.]

B. YES. Roads are safe to travel. [Continue reading.]
(Note: the quickest way to make a road safely navigable is to call in to work. Once you are unable to make it in to work [A] you will automatically fall into category B.)

Here are some key areas to focus on:

Low visibility often results in exciting rounds of "Car Tetris."

Low Visibility
Heavy snow and high winds will often bring visibility to under 100 feet. Here’s what you can do to combat “whiteout.”

1. Be proactive. Make sure others can see you. Turn every vehicle light on. Headlights, fog lights, high beams, hazard lights, etc. If you think it might help, go ahead and fire up the hazards and dome light. The better lit you are, the better your chances of not being hit by Speedy Joe Jackass.

Those of you with aftermarket products may also consider turning on every neon light/LED attached to your Hyundai. [see below]

Of course, the trailer itself remains dangerously underlit...

2. That takes care of people seeing you. But what about you seeing them? We can never safely assume that the other drivers will light themselves responsibly, much less give two shits about anyone but themselves.

So, to get back on point, what can you do to improve your odds of seeing other vehicles? You’ve already got all YOUR lights on so you’re probably seeing the road as well as you ever will. Maybe you could squint a little or try “visualizing” the road ahead. (It works for world peace. Or so said that bumper sticker attached to that bumper you just collided with.)

These, of course, are for your nipples.

Emergency Road Kit
Should you happen to end up in the ditch, freezing river or 12-foot tall snowbank, you’ll want to be prepared in case you have to wait several hours for rescue vehicles. (Well, maybe not the river. We’re talking hypothermia in a matter of minutes once you get wet. In this case, make sure your will is updated and you’re Satisfied-Very Satisfied with your progress in life so far.)

An Emergency Road Kit should contain the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • Matches
  • Blanket
  • Extra clothes
  • Food
  • Water
  • Booze*

*optional

(Notes on booze: While it may seem immediately beneficial to have some available alcohol to combat cold and boredom, there are several drawbacks:

1. Alcohol does not actually keep you warm. It only makes you feel warmer. However, with a good buzz, “feeling” warm may be enough. Try to refrain from removing your clothes or wasting precious battery life calling up your exes.

2. When the highway patrol finally rescues you, it is probably better if you don’t reek of booze. Sure, you’ll get a free ride to somewhere warm, but your personal belongings will be scattered to inconvenient locations several miles away from each other. (For example: you – jail, your house – right where you left it, your car – impound lot.)

3. The effect of alcohol on your decision-making skills may result in very ineffective actions, like sticking the flares in the exhaust pipe to see if you can “blast” your way out of the snow, shoving the blanket into the gas tank and lighting it for some “continuous” warmth or exposing yourself to the cold/other drivers. (Not to mention all the drunk-dialling you’ll be doing.)

No matter what the weather is, Jack Nicholson is always on the lookout for speeders.

Drive Slowly
Generally speaking, winter driving means road conditions will vary from “unfavorable” to “wrath of God.” As you travel across snow-packed and icy roads, you will notice there is a fundamental disconnect between where you think you’re steering and where your vehicle is actually heading. This often leads to accident reports containing ridiculous phrases such as “The car seemed to have a mind of its own. Like Herbie. Or Christine.”

This particular strain of black ice will also torch your vehicle, much like a drunken hockey fan.

Black Ice
A common winter death trap is the fiendish act of God known as “black ice.” Black ice is a hardy winter predator which mimics a clean, dry road surface and will attack passing vehicles, sending them into the nearest ditch, guard rail or oncoming vehicles.

Due to its invisibility, warning you to “look out for black ice” is much like asking you to plan your next accidental pregnancy. You won’t realized you’re fucked until after you’ve “hit” it.

-CLT

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Fancy Plans Guide to Divorce

July 24, 2009
A divorce isn't necessarily a sad event, especially one as simple as cutting a picture in two.

A divorce isn't necessarily a sad event, especially one as simple as cutting a picture in two.

At some time in your life, odds are that you will get divorced. For some of you, that means you will need to get married. For others, you’ve been through this already and would do it again in a heartbeat. I myself just went through a painful one (Reality v. Lion Tamer), which has left me rudderless and discombobulated.

Why do so many people get divorced? Is it really the destruction of our family values and needless separation of church and state? Is it God laughing at us? Are that many of us getting knocked up under the bleachers?

Let’s take a look at some nice, calming statistics:

In a recent survey of nearly 1,000 formerly happily married couples, these were the main reasons given for their divorces:

51% – Because of the kids.
22% – “That thing they (their spouse) do when they sleep.”
10% – For the kids.
4% – Infidelity.
4% – Coin flip.
3% – Backfiring ultimatum.
3% – Jerry Springer Show appearance failed to reconcile differences.
3% – Ashton Kutcher.

Other (less than 1%):
Stockholm Syndrome wore off.
Found loophole in chosen religion.
She started fucking my brother, so I started fucking our sister.
Sobered up.
Signed petition from friends and family.
Dr. Phil recommended it.
After 96 hours, we both realized it was time to move on.
Marriage license revoked by county.
Due to recent economic slowdown, we were forced to eliminate the partnership.

As our nation’s divorce rate reaches the tipping point (in which there are more divorced people than ever were married), there’s no time like the present to pick up some advice for the damn near inevitable, especially if you’re male. Statistics show that 98% of all divorces end with the man paying alimony and child support. This is considered “fair” by everyone involved (except the man) due to the male’s two undeniable advantages: higher earning power and the ability to pee while standing up.

Since any divorce is an incredibly messy affair (and they all are – show me someone with a “clean” divorce and I’ll show you someone whose marriage ceremony was presided over by a fifth-rate Elvis impersonator and came with buffet coupons), there really is no arbitrary starting point for the amount of advice you’ll need.

This divorce is not as simple. Perhaps if the picture had been cut cleanly, rather than torn. You may also want the children to leave the room during the divorce process.

This divorce is not as simple. Perhaps if the picture had been cut cleanly, rather than torn. You may also want the children to leave the room during the divorce process.

I’ll pick one. The kids.

Now, as will become readily apparent, you both are not going to be able to not take the kids. Someone will have to take one for the “team” (such as it were) and raise the little fuckers. Be cautious, though. If one of you has significantly more income or net worth than the other, this will turn into a pitched battle for custody, at this point now referred to as the “free ride” or the “money train.”

Let’s take a closer look at Scenario B. If you thought raising kids was expensive before, just wait until the other party’s lawyer and sympathetic judge are through with you. You will now be on the hook for everything imaginable.

Your children will be yanked out of the suddenly drug-and-gun infested public school and sent to the nearest/most expensive private school. Their wardrobe will now require constant updating. They’ll need bikes, cars, college funds, trust funds, Montessori schooling during the summer, all coming out of your paycheck.

They’ll drill you with, “Don’t you want what’s best for the kids?” Try not to answer, “I thought we had agreed on ‘adequate.'”

And while we’re speaking of the kids, let’s take a moment to consider their feelings. Any number of therapists and analysts, now billing you by the hour, will mention ad nauseum that the children are the most hurt by a divorce. Your response isn’t really needed here, but try not to let your spite and aching pocketbook convince you to say something witty like, “That would only be true if both me and my spouse beat them nonstop during their visits.” This will only garner you some contempt, additional billing and a possible visit from Social Services.

The therapists will also mention the childrens’ internalizing and over-willingness to shoulder the blame for the split. Perhaps now would be a good time to attempt to recall your childrens’ names and gather them around for a quick status check. They may ask you the most heartbreaking question of all: “Did you and mom/dad get a divorce because of us?”

Here are some responses which may aid in the healing process:

  • “Oh. My. God. Are you aware that the world does not actually revolve around you?”
  • “Well, I don’t think so, but your mom/dad certainly seems to.”
  • “No. No. Of course not. I mean, you could have behaved better and been a little more helpful…”
  • “If you take nothing else from this conversation, remember this: never stick your pen in company ink.”
  • “Pass.”
  • “Well, let me ask you something: did you know you’re adopted?”
  • “Go ask your new mom/dad.”
  • “Didn’t you read the poll results?”

Now, are the kids really the victims here? In a word, no. Not really. In three words. No, not really. There are, in fact, several benefits for the children of divorced parents:

Sometimes it is much simpler to perform the divorce during the wedding reception.

Sometimes it is much simpler to perform the divorce during the wedding reception.

Meeting new people.
These children will be fortunate to meet new and exciting potential parents, often unannounced. No longer will they be forced to deal with the same two boring parents for the rest of their lives. Former rules will now become guidelines or better yet, nostalgic memories, as the authorities in their lives shift constantly.

They’ll get to meet dad’s apparently endless supply of easy women whose lack of self-respect is only outdone by their social ineptitude. They’ll also meet mom’s revolving door of underemployed males, usually “between” wives or jobs, looking for a prepaid house and some easy-to-ignore children.

Two places to call home.
The children will also have a variety of living situations. There will, of course, be their home base, where 90% of their stuff is, with its convenient proximity to expensive private schools and malls. They now will also enjoy their “home away from home” where they can while away your work day drinking, doing drugs and having premarital sex.

More material wealth.
With two parents, four grandparents and some exponential temporary explosions due to on-again, off-again dating, every child will be showered with gifts, money and other purchased signs of love by competing parents.

Ground zero for gossip.
Being the middlemen for uncommunicative former spouses, the children will be quizzed endlessly about the goings-on in the unseen residences. Who’s doing whom. Where mom got the money for the plastic surgery. Where dad’s recent ex has herpes. How mom’s new stud got busted for workman’s comp fraud.

They will also be able to interact with both parents outside regular visiting hours via clandestine late night phone calls:

Whose car is that sitting outside our house?
Fine. Mom’s house.
Who?
Met him at the company softball game?
Does she work with him?
Find out.
No. Not now. Jesus! Has he been over a lot?
‘Nearly nonstop’ is referring to what time frame?
‘Recently?’ What the hell does that mean?
Never mind.
No, I am not outside right now!
No. I was just driving by earlier—
Jesus Christ! Close your window and stop waving at me!

The pain=creativity bonus.
The tension and heartbreak of divorce will allow your child’s creativity to blossom, resulting in overwrought poetry, song lyrics and teacher-disturbing margin doodling.

I hope this has been enlightening for you. Take this advice and go boldly out into your shattered world. Don’t worry about the kids. They’ll be fine. Have fun looking for that second job/house/spouse!

-CLT