Welcome to Friday Feedback, our weekly endoscopy examining the digestive tract of this blog with the long, flexible tube of reader critique. I’ll try not to gag; will you do the same?
I received a lot of heat over my response to Is My Marriage Dead or In a Coma? but this is my personal favorite:
Woman on husband #2 giving advice to woman married with two young children that her marriage is dead. The Christian conservatives say gays are destroying the sanctity of marriage but you are a far bigger threat to the institution than the homosexual agenda. The blood of this family is on your hands if they get divorced.
This person wrote me from a burner email account so I don’t have a name – let’s just call him or her “Pat.”
Pat, I am not on husband #2, at least not at the moment. I am instead writing my blog, as I try to do everyday.
I hope to be on him later as Mr. Patience and Understanding is taking today off to golf with me and you never know what can happen in that 8th tee box restroom! If you like I’ll send you an update and let you know how that went.
What exactly is “the homosexual agenda?” I’m not familiar with that. Readers, can you chime in and let me know by leaving a comment? Is it to be happy? Have families and rights associated therewith? To make sure we all wear fabulous shoes and decorate our mid-century homes in post-modern fashion? Do tell.
As for blood being on my hands, I’ll accept the charge against me if Lost in Portland misunderstands my advice to separate and divorce if further counseling is not helpful and thinks what I really meant was “chop up your man-child husband with an axe and store him in your woodshed.”
Thank you for your patronage. Now don’t you have a Tea Party rally to go to?
More important than Pat’s feedback was the email I received from our protagonist, Lost in Portland:
I truly appreciate your advice and I’m glad I reached out to you. Obviously there is a lot I need to think about, and I have two very good reasons to try to get my marriage off life-support! In the meantime, having the Ex around isn’t good because I can always ‘idealize’ that relationship, leaving me to loathe Hubs.
Thank you so much!
I love getting feedback from my letter writers and I’m glad I could help you!
In return, can you do me a solid and try to make “CFP” (Cock From the Past) a thing? I’d like this acronym to become part of the hip vernacular so be sure to use it as often as you can. The same goes for all you readers. “PFP” (Pussy From the Past”) should also become popular so let’s all work together on this, shall we?
Finally today, I have some feedback from a woman I reached out to via a Facebook message.
As you all know, I am currently finishing my book: How to Get Divorced Without Losing Your Kids, Your Money and Your Mind: a Holistic and Practical Guide to Marital Dissolution and Family Reorganization.
One aspect of my book involves researching several Oregon lawyers, including reviewing their disciplinary files kept by the Oregon State Bar. From those files I get names of people who were dissatisfied with their representation (to say the least) or whose cases ended up generating ethical violations.
Herewith you have a partial portion of one Portland attorney’s disciplinary record.
I say partial because the Bar has been giving it to me in dribs and drabs and doesn’t seem to want me to view the whole thing. More on that in the book.
The pile of paper above includes several hundred pages from one case – a case that was a comprehensive and utter shitshow and a perfect illustration of lawyers acting in their own best interests and not the best interests of their clients.
One would think with a case like that the former client may have some material for the book so I sent her the aforementioned message on Facebook, which read:
I am writing a book on divorce and currently reviewing some files concerning your case I obtained through disciplinary records at the Oregon State Bar. If you would be interested in speaking with me, please message me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. By the way, I’m a huge fan of your (redacted)!
I am redacting that information for now because I’m saving it for a chapter in the book titled: The Divorce Stockholm Syndrome: When Your Lawyer is Screwing You and You Think It Feels Good.”
Upon peering at her Facebook friend list, I was surprised to see her lawyer amongst her tribe. Yeah, I should have done that before I sent the message. I’m learning, give me time!
So, I followed up with this:
Please disregard my earlier message – I don’t think you’d be interested in this project. Thanks!
No harm, no foul, right? Wrong. She messaged me back!
Hmmm. Now I’m wondering.
And then I did the same. Isn’t this fun?
LOL – sorry. I’m pretty sure you won’t be interested. Still love your (redacted), though!
Also I can’t stand people who use “LOL” and yet just did it myself. Please pardon me.
Now this is where it gets interesting. She wouldn’t drop it, as you can see below:
I just didn’t know that someone I don’t know could look at my divorce file!
Wow. The fact that this woman is ignorant of the public records status of her divorce is astounding. It’s probably because her lawyer never, you know, explained that to her.
I didn’t want to be rude, but I thought someone should let this poor creature know that anyone can look at her file. In other news, water is wet and divorce is expensive.
I’m looking at parts of your divorce file relating to the disciplinary charges asserted against your lawyer. I don’t have the whole file, although just FYI anyone can look at your divorce file unless it is sealed by the court. It’s public record. Sorry, I hope I didn’t upset you.
I’m writing a book to help people avoid being taken advantage of by the divorce process and the attorneys within it. Your case is a stunning one, frankly, but I peeked at your “friends” list and let’s just say I don’t think you’ll want to chat with me! Anyway, sorry to bother you.
See how I am gingerly trying to disengage?
Now, thus far when I reach out to people whose names I find in these files, I have received two kinds of responses: either an enthusiastic “hell yes I want to contribute to your book!” (roughly 75% of the time) or “thanks for reaching out but I’m trying to put that in the past and move on.”
This response was different, and I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d share it with all of you.
Hi Robin. I looked into this a little further and found out that (redacted – for now) team represented your current husbands x-wife… Apparently she did a good job (as she does, and did for me). Sorry you’re holding onto being upset about that! It was more than a little disorienting to be approached in the way that you did (maybe you should reconsider before letting someone know that you have been digging around in their personal matters!)
Yes, you’ll see from my list of friends that I am a big fan of (redacted) and Everyone at the firm. She and her team have always done right by me and mine! I hope you will consider that there are always two sides to every story, and not go around trying to make good people look bad, since that usually comes back to just make you look bad! Yikes!! Best of luck out there. And may you find peace. -(redacted)
I’ll save most of my observations for the book, but needless to say I actually did laugh out loud when I read this.
I can look beyond the excessive use of exclamation points. I can even look beyond her bizarre and frankly paranoid accusation that I am “digging around” in her “personal matters,” although I do feel badly about making her disoriented. I hope she’s OK now.
What I can’t get over is the use of the phrase “two sides to every story” without irony, especially since she seems to think my issue with this lawyer and firm is solely based upon Mr. Patience and Understanding’s divorce. Let me assure you, it is not. Again, not to be a tease, but more on that in the book.
My favorite part of this message, hands down, is the passive-aggressive phony concern for my well-being, as well as the assertion I am “trying to make good people look bad.” Reputations are earned, darling, and this didn’t start with me.
It will end with me, however. And you can take that to the bank, along with all that money you owe your creditors. Divorce is expensive, n’est pas?