A Present’s Hidden Price Tag

Dear John,

First, I wanted to thank you for failing to appear in Court the other week. I was very grateful to not have to see your face. I can’t imagine you wanted to have to stand there and tell the judge how much money the marijuana garden you stole from me is making. Or why you failed to report that you had a job at Short’s. Sometimes I wonder if you realize normal men are disgusted when they view your refusal to support the children you fathered. I mean, you avoided social gatherings because you were afraid that if there was a group of people they would confront you or beat you up, so you obviously understood that all the lying, cheating, stealing you were getting by on was not socially acceptable behavior. Anyway, you did manage to drag out leaving your daughters to live in poverty awhile longer while you enjoy my furnishings and things that would make their life more comfortable. I’m sure you are feeling like a big man stealing from a bunch of girls. But the courts want to know how much you are making and they think you ought to be supporting your children as well.

I also thought that I should mention that the girls were quite pleased with the presents you left on the front porch while we were out for a walk Sunday. Or did you know that because you were still watching from one of those parking lots across the street? Such touching sentiment, a frog puzzle for Lilly, so she can think of you and your little tattoo all the time she works on it. A play tent for Oriel, exactly the right age to enjoy that, now we have a pair and can join them with the tube, fun times. But it was the Birthday Girl’s present that really takes the cake. A suitcase? Really? I admit she was delighted to have her own luggage with Tinkerbelle on it… fancy. But the four-year old doesn’t do much traveling.

Honestly, she probably would have been delighted if dog shit had fallen out of that package just because it came from her dad. She jumped in a circle giggling and shouting, “He loves me! He really does love me!” while clasping some pink cheetah wrapping paper to her chest and flailing a bright green bow in her hand. Someday she will discover all on her own that you likely had someone else wrap it. But you chose that present with intention. Didn’t you? And even if it is just a benign indication of your happiest dreams that Big M might get to spend some time with you, no one else sees it that way because you obsessed on the idea of kidnapping, and you refuse to do what the judge asked you to do in order to spend time with your kids.

Even though you were not technically breaking the PPO as the Judge didn’t say you could not leave packages on my doorstep, the police were not amused. They were happy to make and file a report about the incident. The mysterious way the items appeared when we stepped out is enough to pick you up for stalking, by the way, but I don’t want trouble, I just want you to do the right thing and provide for these children you insisted I bare. The two $50 Wal-Mart gift cards will buy the girls some thermals and boots this winter I am thankful to not have to worry about that again, but you could have just given that money to the Friend of Court and made a whole month’s child support payment.

I understand that you think that you would like to deal with me directly instead of the court because you can just make me do whatever you want. I tried every way possible to deal with you in an honest and fair manner. You didn’t want to play fair and made a choice to lie to get a PPO against me so you could steal my stuff. Now you are just going to have to deal with the legal system to decide what is right and fair. You drug our life into that arena and I am going to leave it there.

Your attempts to contact me on Craig’s List have been noted.

You don’t really think that I would meet you for a drink? I understand you do a lot of it as your back porch has beer cans and bottles strewn all over it. I’m sure you are living a life your daughters would be proud of. You already decided that you didn’t want to keep us so there is nothing for you here. There is nothing to discuss. Why do you want to mess with the hearts of these little girls? You can be a part of their life after you go to your classes and learn that it is not ok to manipulate and abuse women. Until then, you can pay the Friend of Court and hope that some of that money gets back to these children you fathered. You made the choices to set this in motion, and no one but you can fix it. I know you would like to brush it off and say “the past is the past” with your thug mentality that you can get one over on another person and they just have to take it so you don’t do it to them worse the next time.

I’m not falling for it. As many ways as I wish we could enjoy a cup of coffee and a laugh, I know that good would never come of it. Therefore, I must decline.