Thursday, 24 May 2012

I understand now

For over a year, I've been struggling to understand why she left me. Was it because I was a drunk (most likely), was I mentally or physically abusive (maybe mentally, not physically), did I not provide for her (I paid for everything), did I not support or encourage her enough (I have a stack of unused musical equipment and brochures for educational programs)?

Whatever the case, the last couple of weeks has been an eye opener of "why did she leave?" Now, I know.

The main point from her point of view? I didn't want to procreate. She wanted to have a baby and a family and a white picket fence in the suburbs. I've been running away from that ideal all my life, I wasn't about to back down and take it now. I just wanted to have fun and share my fun with someone special, I thought she was that someone special. I guess not.

For the last few weeks (hence my lack of posts), I've been finalizing my divorce. When I finally got a hold of her, she had the audacity to tell me that it was my fault that I hadn't done it sooner. I've been trying to get a hold of her since November. It's now the end of May.

Anyway, a process that could taken 1 week has now been dragged out for over a year. 2 weeks ago, after I finally got a hold of her (phone disconnected), it turns out she was in New York with her new boyfriend?! No wonder I (and no one else) could get a hold of her. We finally sat in front of a judge, got our divorce, but in order to get the paperwork required for me to leave this god-forsaken country, I had to wait another week because her boyfriend from New York was coming to visit! She didn't have time to go to the various government offices to get the paperwork. I was okay with this. I'd already waited a year, what was one more week?

On the following Monday, I called her to get the rest of it. She said she would call me on Tuesday and we would meet in the afternoon so I could get all the paperwork. Again, I was okay with this. Tuesday rolls around, and not a word. No text, no call, nothing. Now it's Wednesday and I'm a little peeved, so I call, and her laissez-faire attitude, just set me off, I was pissed.

For 6 years, I was a pretty easy-going husband. I tried to get her to jobs, encourage her to further educate herself, sing in a band (I bought guitars, keyboards, drums, and I don't even know how to play music, I can barely sing in the right key)-- every whim she had I tried to accommodate her. I paid all the rent and bills, put clothes on her back, food in her mouth. It was like looking after a child and she has the balls to say I'm childish? I spent almost a decade in a foreign country, away from my own family and daughter because of her, and she goes so far as to say the breakdown in our marriage is my fault.

I've had enough. It wasn't my fault. Quite simply, she was a selfish little bitch with the maturity of an 8 year old. I did my best and it wasn't good enough, so I'm done with that. No more pandering to little girls. You want to be treated like a queen, then act like a person. If I have to grow up and contribute to society, then so do you.

When I tell people that I just got a divorce, they always say "I'm so sorry." I'm not sorry, I'm pretty fucking happy it's over. Now, I'm free. No more stress, no more nagging, no more responsibility.

I'd rather be alone forever, than to deal with all that bullshit again.

Onward with the adventure.

My dad

I got issues. I think every man has issues with their dad. It's become a stereotype-- it's so common. My dad is dead now, so I can talk shit about him and he can't get mad at me. Not that he would-- in his later years, he chilled out quite a bit.

My issues stem from the typical #whiteboy #firstworldproblems bullshit. He didn't love me enough, he never played catch with me, he was too busy working... After witnessing Korean family ideals, that are supposedly so tight-knit (one of the first Korean myths (like fan death or kimchi cures cancer) I heard when I got here was how "close" Korean families were), I had it easy. I didn't study 16 hours a day while my father worked 12 and then went out drinking every night with his co-workers, only to stumble home in the wee hours stinking of soju... I had dinner with my family every night at the same time for 20 years. The kids here, when they are done with public school, go a hakwon/academy until 10 pm. Their parents don't feed/eat with them, we do. The teachers. You know who teaches discipline in Korea? The teachers. Korean families are lucky if they spend more than 30 hours a week together. That includes the weekend, when the kids aren't at school on a Saturday, and a couple of hours during the week if they're not studying or sleeping or eating or shitting. I spent 40 hours a week as a teacher, with my students and co-teachers. I taught them a language and a culture and... how to behave. When 12 eight-year-olds are running around talking gibberish (not English), you learn some crowd control, or you die.

Anyway, this is not about me or teaching in Korea or family/cultural values. It's about my bat-shit, crazy dad. He didn't always look like this. When I lived with him, he was actually, pretty clean cut. He always had the beard. I saw him shave it once in my life, when we went snorkeling in the Dominican Republic. The mask wouldn't form a seal because of his mustache. He shaved that of first, but the "Abraham Lincoln" look, looked ridiculous, so he shaved it all off.

Crazy as he was, he was a fucking genius. He had a computer science degree from the 70s. I'm 40 years old. I have always had a computer in my house. How many people do you know who have had a computer for more than 40 years? The computer I used to make my school reports on in the early 80s (I think I got good marks just for the presentation-- how many other kids in the 80s were handing in nicely, typed reports?), was literally as big as a refrigerator. The disks used to save stuff on were 12 inches and held about 256K. 16 colours was a big deal. My dad had to program his own screensaver because they didn't exist yet. It was just a simple clock. The computer he liked to call portable, before the invention of the laptop, was really just a tower desktop computer, but there was a 6" monochrome display built into the tower. The full-size keyboard doubled as the cover to the front of the tower, protecting the display for transport. I learned how to program on this computer during the eighties. Way before Windows existed.

Since my dad was a computer guy, and surprisingly, back then, I was not. We didn't always see eye-to-eye. Computers didn't do all the fancy, Photoshop, CGI, stuff back then, that they do now. It was DOS, command-line interface and boring. Dad could tell you the square-root of any number of the top of his head. I knew how to draw Superman.

I miss him.