Social Media & FBAMM

Divorce in the Age of Social Media

THE PRICE OF PEACE

peace of mind 1

Image by:KS Horne

 

(Excerpt From Facebook Ate My Marriage.  Republished with permission from Hell Bent Press and the Author)

Chapter 20:  The Value of Peace of Mind, $34.72

The questions of the elements of relationships and their sustainability have been stated in many ways, in many places, with incomprehensible diagrams, and taught by nearly incoherent academics and shamans over the entirety of recorded human history. The distillation of these truths, both revealed and discovered, have been sold for $19.95 in hardback editions for more than a decade now and are as follow:

1)      Personal Compatibility

2)      Sexual Compatibility

3)      Financial Compatibility

I have no fear of being sued by these contemporary authors for citing this information without reference because:

1)      They would have to get in line to sue me.

2)      They didn’t come up with these concepts, nor did they offer any citation.

3)      They go on the morning talk shows and debate each other about the definition of these terms so that they can sell books.

I have no answers – Gods, I do love that phrase – but I do have an observation as to peace. In the period since the start of this little nightmare, and since I have filed for the divorce, I have been considering the question of “Peace” and what it means. Now, in terms of “Peace,” I do not mean the mental automatons we would produce through the removal of human freewill necessary to stop genocide, war, or family arguments. What I mean in the way of “Peace” is that state of personal tranquility that allows me to sleep through the night without waking up screaming. The answer is $34.72.

So when someone says, “What price peace?”

I respond, “$34.72.”

When they ask, “Who the hell are you, and what does this have to do with the Golan Heights?”

I answer, “Dr. Cusper Lynn, D.D.S., and not a damn thing. But I heard you yammer on about peace, so I assumed you wanted the answer, and it is $34.72.”

At which point less than peaceable individuals chase me off by wielding weapons and sticks with nails in them, before I can clarify this insight.

Financial Compatibility may be a hot button term on the talk show circuit, with buzzwords like, “Comfort Spender,” “Web Wastrel,” “Savings Ogre” and other terms that authors try to trademark and sue over (see notes above should you be one of those idiots), but in the end they all can be distilled to one unpleasant and non-trademarked phrase: “OVERDRAFT FEE.”

The saver v. spender debate may rage on, and finances, as with sex, may continue to be deemed a battle of “control.” But the harsh reality of $35.00 an incident overdraft fee is the final arbiter and ends all discussion. In the month before my wife’s “Flight to Freedom” (“The Dr. DeeAnn Lynn Story,” I picture it as a made-for-television movie on either the LOGO network or “Lifetime”), my soon-to-be ex rung up $445 in Overdraft Fees. First, you might ask, “How did she do that?”

This same question occurred to me, and so I asked her.  She said, “I saw there was an ‘available balance,’ and I know how big you are on paying off our debts, so I decided to pay some bills and my therapist.”

If you are of a mathematical turn of mind, you will say, “But at $35 an overdraft, you can’t reach $445 – as 12 x 35 = 420 and 13 x 35 = 455. So how do you get to $445?”

In which case, I would congratulate you on having a greater grasp of basic math than my wife did at the time this occurred. I would also observe that you either graduated high school before 1986 or have a Ph.D. in math from an Ivy League university that you obtained within the last 10 years.

As to the answer to the question, you don’t get to $445 in $35 intervals. You get there by having 12 overdraft assessments at $35 dollar an event (12 x 35= 420) and one “special assessment” of “extended overdrafts” of $25. So if you add the two (420 + 25 = 445), you have now arrived at the magical number.

This is a magical number, as it was the last full joint checking account statement that DeeAnn and I had together.

Shortly after DeeAnn got her first pay check my cell phone was turned off, as was Bryce’s and Kaylee’s. I called DeeAnn at the practice she had joined, on my boss’s office phone, to inquire as to the “Why” of this event – this being before the PFA and the three youngest joining her in Media.

With some irritation in her voice, she came to the phone and informed me, “The bill is past due. I’ll take care of it. You didn’t think I turned off the phones did you?”

I ignored that question, thanked her for her attention to the matter. An hour later my cell phone rang, and it was Bryce calling to let me know service was restored.

Not wishing to interrupt DeeAnn at work a second time, but more than a bit curious as to the “How” question, I sent her the following text:   “Thanks. Glad phones back on. What account did you pay it out of?”

I knew damn well there was no money in our joint account, as I had not gotten paid. Later that night, well past 10, my phone informed me I had received a text message. It was a single word “MINE.”

I have kept that message, and that cell phone, as they are both artifacts of the pre-PFA Lynn family life, and they clearly demarked the point at which I should have known that this was not a reconciliation. They are also evidence in the divorce proceeding, as my wife did have my phone turned off the night before I was supposed to arrive in Pennsylvania to attend the PFA hearing.

It would be two weeks after I delivered Heather, Kiefer and Julie to Media, Pennsylvania, that I would open my first checking account ever in my own name, into which I placed the entirety of my paycheck.

After paying my divorce attorney inFlorida, my Family Court attorney inPennsylvania, my mortgage foreclosure defense attorney inFlorida, my daughter Kaylee’s tuition payment installment, Bryce’s tuition payment installment, and a water bill, I had $34.72 left in my checking account to last me until the next payday. I slept more soundly that night than I have in the last 27 years. PEACE.

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Text Copyright 2011 Cusper Lynn

Text Copyright 2011 Hellbent Press

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