Friday, February 19, 2010

Single Guy vs. Single Dad Pt. 3 (On a date with a bitter single parent)

Have you ever been on a date with someone who is still extremely bitter with their ex?  This often times makes me feel as though the dinner table is a bit more crowded with the ex in virtual attendance with us.  Oh the joy of intently listening to someone you barely know babble on about someone else you have never even met.  I'm as guilty as the next parent interjecting my love, pride, and admiration of my kids to any willing ear that I come across, but I do work to limit this topic on dates.  Then I run into the bitter single mom who has been divorced too many years to still be so bitter and who is also talking incessantly about their kids as well.  It is in these conversations that our table for two at dinner needs several more chairs to include the ex, ex in-laws, divorce attorneys, and their children.  In these extremely crowded dinners for two I notice that I'm listening simultaneously with two different ears and perspectives. 
Let's take a look at Single Guy listening vs. Single Dad:

Date: My ex was extremely abusive
Single Guy: Where does he live so I can kick his ass
Single Dad: Where does he live so I can kick his ass? Then again, every woman these days seems to want to play the victim card.

Date: My ex is a deadbeat dad
Single Guy: After I kick his ass, I'll take his wallet for you
Single Dad: What is your definition of a deadbeat dad, kids need their father and not just their dads money

Date: My ex has no idea as to how to be a dad and I have to limit his contact with "my" kids
Single Guy: This schmuck really needs an attitude adjustment
Single Dad:  What do you mean "your" kids and that you "limit" his contact?

Date: I wish my ex would just go away or die
Single Guy: Oh lord she could be talking the same way about me in 5 years. Check please.
Single Dad: Oh lord she will be talking the same way about me in 5 years. Check please.

Keep in mind that I was raised that if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all.  Yes there are some very bad parents out there who really do need an attitude adjustment, but at what point do you just start tuning it all out.  This topic goes both ways and I've heard many horror stories of single dads who try and play the victim.  Or go on and on about how their ex is the evil mom of the century.  The male Mr. Fix It does pop out when I hear some of the stories, but the jaded battle weary skeptical single dad is also taking notes.  The danger appears to me that both sides will just start tuning it all out and I wonder if we are all suffering from the crying wolf syndrome the ones who did truly suffer abuses will be left out in the cold.  Just a thought.


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