Wednesday, September 17, 2008


In a crowd, I'm a sponge. Heck, in a coffee shop with two other people, I'm a sponge. Always watching and listening and absorbing what people say and how. I've got years of notes about intriguing conversations I've overheard.

Might be a tad creepy, but it's my nature, part of what makes me a writer.

I've heard some bizarre stuff over the years, but something I heard recently is pretty high on the WTF??? list.

The first woman—mid 30ish, I'd say—was obviously in the middle of a divorce, one she was seeking because she "just doesn't love" her husband. No big reasons, she said. He's loves her and hasn't done anything hurtful or unkind. She simply doesn't "feel it for him."

My guess is she's having an affair, but it's only a guess. An educated guess.

So the first woman says to the second: "Hey! I'm going to put it in the divorce that he has to get a vasectomy! Do you think they'd let me make him get a vasectomy? I sure don't want him to have another kid and then get to pay me less child support. I need all his money. He can't have another kid."

You've got to have a pretty big sense of self to decide to pull your kids away from their father, decide to break up a family because you "deserve to have more fun." You've got to have a giant pair of stainless balls to then think you have the right to dictate your former spouse's future.

Like Hilary in the fabulous SNL skit last Saturday, if the Barack campaign needs some balls, this woman could loan him hers.

I'm fascinated by people's relationship to personal power. Some believe they have it all, no matter what the circumstances. Others think they have none. Neither is ever totally accurate, but like I mentioned yesterday, "believing is seeing."

For the most part, we've got just about as much power as we believe we have, as much as we're willing to presume. There are exceptions, of course, but most of the time we have far more options, far more ability to shape circumstances than we realize.

We—hell, this isn't general, I'm talking about myself. I just have to pull on my big girl panties and get on with it. It's really time.


Doubting Thomas said...

Interesting discussion. And a complicated subject, personal power.

mamatulip said...

I hope she was joking about the vasectomy thing.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I finally saw that skit on the Internet - just now, I'm always a day late and a dollar short on current events. I do love the believing is seeing philosophy - nothing new or trendy about that!

Michelle O'Neil said...

Do you think maybe your were getting punked? Could she possibly have been serious?

Go Mama said...

Power is infinite if we choose to connect to it. The bigger question is, once we find it, and with infinite possibilities, what are we going to do with it?!

"I just have to pull on my big girl panties and get on with it. It's really time."

Amen to that. Go girl. You know what it is.

kario said...

I love eavesdropping. I took a writing workshop with Hope Edelman once where she actually gave us an assignment to go out to lunch and eavesdrop to help us writer our dialogue better. My dream assignment!

As for this woman, I can only hope she was speaking out of irrational frustration or being facetious. With any luck she got home and wised up and felt really crappy about saying those things. Ugh.

Deb said...

Eavesdropping is the best! You sure caught a gem this time. I love how you've turned it into fabric for your big girl panties. I can hardly wait to see what is born from this pregnant transition you're close to the end of. Much much love to you.