Why I Watch Cooking Shows

My Day in Court, Sort of

If I had a pulled pork sandwich for lunch yesterday it must mean that I was in court. It has become the only bright point on these days in court when nothing happens, even though something is supposed to happen. So as I sit and hope that the court will set the stage for me to be free of this house and this man, I know that even if nothing happens, I can at least expect a good lunch. And you know, that’s not much by way of compensation.


So yes, I had my day in court yesterday, but it was very anti-climatic. The judge did not stand up, come down from his desk-on-a-platform, and bow down before me and say SORRY. Sorry that we messed up and that you had to wait three months for me to say “okay, let’s get the show on the road.” And he did not say, since we—I—have really made a mess of things for you and your family, why don’t you present your case now instead of us wasting even more time having you wait until Monday to speak to the scheduling judge to get yet another court date.  


No, he merely stated to my lawyer, “Oh, yes, on that April day, for some reason the case didn’t get on the docket until 10:23.” Which was three minutes too late, since we left the courthouse at 10:20. Okay (deep breath here), so why didn’t he or his clerk say that at any time? Why didn’t they confess? And why did he listen to my ex who apparently lied that I was not there, in court that day (I filed the motion for goodness sakes!)? And why did they close the case as mr. ex requested when the judge knew that they had created the mitigating circumstance? And why didn’t the judge immediately re-open the case three months ago when my lawyer called and tried to explain what had happened—since they already knew what had happened? And why didn’t they say that I will get my legal fees back for demanding that my lawyer draw up a letter asking them to open a case that should not have been closed because of their scheduling glitch? And why shouldn’t I get back legal fees for having my lawyer in court two times with no judge to hear the case. And why, why is it all about procedure but not logic?


The only bright point of the day was that mr. ex was not there. Nope, I guess he didn’t call to find out when the judge finally rescheduled this ridiculous hearing a full month after he cancelled the last hearing. (Does it count as cancelled if we were all there ready to go, but only the judge was missing? Would that be a perversion of justice? Or a justice perverting the process?)


What are these people thinking? That we have unlimited monetary resources for lawyers and unlimited time to take off from work? (Luckily the last two court dates were during summer break.) Do the judges take too seriously the fact that they have been placed on pedestals? And honestly, who is this man to decide my fate so callously? If this were a ballgame the umpire/referee would have been booed off the field long ago for thinking that this is about himself and not about my case. Hey, over here, it’s not your parade—it’s mine, so focus on the points at hand. Namely, two girls who are continually exposed to the nastiness of their father, and one woman who is continually exposed to the nastiness of her ex-father and who is going into debt buying food for her daughters because their father won’t. THAT is the point!


I originally filed this motion in November, hoping to have something happen to enable this house to be sold sometime during the summer. This summer, a full year after we divorced; a full year after it was placed on the market; a full year added to the two plus full years already during which I have been living with an ex-husband in the house who is nothing but a negative presence.  


Bitter. I keep hearing from people who have long since left this stage of their lives behind and how happy they are, and that I will get through this. I know that, I really do, but it is taking so long—and for no reason. Delays and egos. That’s what I’m up against. And a weepy woman with a smile to boot is not, apparently, a contender in this competition.


Oh, did I mention we could hear a criminal in his holding pen to the side of the courtroom as we waited for the judge to come back from his potty break, and then later, as the judge explained to some about-to-be-divorced man what was in his agreement because he was going solo? Not quite rattling chains, but there was noise enough for the bailiff to peek in to see that all was well. Maybe that was not a prisoner there but my emotions rattling, rattling against the constraints and the constrictions. Rattling against a system that is not helping. Rattling against a system that is inflicting pain and harm and wasted time.


So all that happened was that the judge cancelled the April order that closed the case. So, yippee, the case has been reopened. I am, in essence, where I was in November (2007), waiting for my case to be heard, but with far more skepticism (or realistic expectations). The system, the system is painful to encounter.


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