My Ex-Wife's Super Power
Everywhere we look nowadays, we see super heroes. There are more TV shows and movies about super heroes than ever before. MARVEL has built an entire universe and has invited us to live there (which I happily accept). But there is a super power that my ex-wife Arlene has that no other super hero employs.
As if bitten by a radioactive divorce lawyer, Arlene obtained the superhuman ability to sense whenever I had money.
Granted, all through our marriage, any money that came into the house was spent on I-don’t-know-what, but she didn’t need a super power to know when I had money. We worked for the same company, any bonus or raise I received she was aware of and spent accordingly. Although we lived comfortably, we never lived in luxury, and were always in debt.
The real fun started when we got divorced.
For anyone that has ever been divorced, money is the issue most ex-couples fight over. Fortunately for Arlene and I (and the kids) we always got along post-separation and divorce. We attend events (graduations, birthdays) as a family without incident. It is usually Arlene, me, the kids, and Arlene’s boyfriend (there’s a sitcom in there somewhere I just know it). The real fireworks come when the issue of money comes up – that is, if I ever have any Arlene wants it.
It’s not like I live an exuberant lifestyle and I want all the money for myself. I eat bologna sandwiches for lunch. The closest I get to a good bottle of scotch is when I walk past it to aisle where I pick up my supply of ‘Bob’s Big Boy Scotch Whiskey and Furniture Polish’. When I bought my car I gave up buying coffee and lunch at work (hence the aforementioned bologna sandwiches). I’m not frivolous with money; my biggest expense lately is that I bought an iPad – about five years behind everyone else.
In the beginning of the divorce process a previously divorced friend of mine advised me to put all my cash in American Express Travel Checks and bury them in the back yard. I passed on his advice (damn it) because I have no nefarious reason to withhold money from Arlene. When I do get “extra money” it goes in the bank, or toward credit card debt, or I save it for Christmas gifts (your Mom is trying to steal Christmas from you kids).
But Arlene’s super power never scared me more than when it kicked in just the other day. I recently just filed my last three years of tax returns. I know, I’m an idiot for waiting since I get money back every year, but if it hasn’t been prevalent over the course of my writings, let me make it clear: I’m pretty damn lazy. With that said, I was getting three years’ worth of refunds and that’s like waving a red cape in front of a bull.
I talked with a friend from work because I was worried that I hadn’t received any checks yet, and since it was three years’ worth of paperwork, the government might screw up (because that never happens). A few days later I took a day off from work, as I walked out to my car I grabbed the mail and there was the first of my checks. I took out my cell and called my friend to tell him that my first check arrived. I didn’t get far into that conversation: “Sorry, Bill, I’ll call you back, Arlene is calling.” I pushed the call answer button on my phone and I heard this: “You owe me money”.
No hello. No ‘How are you?’ Just, ‘You owe me money’. How did she know? I had just opened the envelope; the check was still warm in my hand; how did she know? It was frightening.
What followed was the usual ‘No I don’t’, ‘Yes you do’ conversation before I eventually gave in. I had five more checks coming in which meant it was going to be a very long month.
Since then I have done my best to keep the total sum of all the checks from Arlene but not unlike Spiderman and his Spidey-sense, I’m sure Arlene already knows.
If only she had used her power for good and not evil; we could have been millionaires.