Social Media & FBAMM

Divorce in the Age of Social Media

The Facebook War

Image ByBy ssoosay (Surian Soosay)

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

Chapter 32:  Omar O’Malley and the Facebook War

“Dad, Kaylee’s on the phone and needs to talk to you,” Bryce greeted me at the door as I returned from interring the remains of Daisy.

Taking Bryce’s cell phone, I saw him stalk off into the next room, visibly upset. This let me know that I was about to begin a “parent” phone call.

“That BITCH!” Kaylee sobbed.

As opening lines for Kaylee, it was not entirely original, but I had my suspicions about whom she was referring to, “And that would be?”

“Your wife!” Kaylee wailed.

“Soon-to-be ex,” I corrected, “and what did she do, exactly?”

“Well, she went into my Facebook and read about Omar and me,” Kaylee began, “then she started messaging me all night.”

This was, as “parenting” phone calls go, something of a relief. It was not the “He is a bastard” call – which I did not expect, nor was it the “Something terrible happened” call – that every parent always expects; it was “My mother is a lunatic,” which is only to be expected.

“So, did you talk to her?” I asked, still not versed in either the politics or the technology that had played such a pivotal role in facilitating or at least accelerating the demise of my domestic life.

“About what? All she wanted to know is what you had to say about all of this! I told her to mind her own damn business!” Kaylee yelled.

“Ah,” I said, for want of anything productive to say.

As I noted earlier, there was to be fallout over the Omar issue one way or the other. The only good news I had from the Kaylee call was that she had not been venue shopping when she called me about Omar. Children are natural lawyers. They learn quickly where to take their cases, when to appeal, and what the judges’ – their parents’ – natural biases are, so they frame their arguments accordingly. That so many of them grow out of this is a tribute to decent parenting. That some make careers out of this is a blessing for those of us who need them when dealing with insane spouses.

The problem for DeeAnn was she did not know what I had said to Kaylee on the subject matter. Had I supported it, then she would, out of necessity, oppose it. Were I to have adamantly opposed it, she would have come round to help them move in together – or more likely watched with some interest and words of advice – and finished the day out by rolling a condom onto Omar. (I do not jest; her mother, Loretta’s, had a legendary record in this regard).

As it was, she could only rage that she “had not been advised!”

“Well, Kaylee, it is only to be expected that your mother would be a bit put out.” I could not help adding, “That is what she is about most things, nowadays.”

“Yes, well, she was up until 3 in the morning posting to anyone and everyone about her daughter ‘shacking up with some guy named Omar’ and the fact that you are some sort of abusive rapist,” Kaylee said, with indignation. Her crying was not of the demoralized but of the righteous rageLynnsare inclined towards.

“Kaylee, you weren’t up all night with this, were you?” I asked, with real concern, as that had been her mother’s pattern before she went sailing off into the land of the permanently addled.

“No, Pop, I wasn’t! After I told her to mind her own business, I got off-line. Then she started calling my cell every 10 minutes. So I turned it off! Then she called the apartment! I had to take the phone of the hook,” Kaylee said in disgust.

“All in all, not out of the norm for your mother,” I said philosophically.

“DAD! She is getting the whole Cadwallader clan involved!” Kaylee shouted.

“Oh, dear,” I responded, sounding more than a bit like my mother.

“Exactly, ‘Oh, dear!’ I have now had messages from Aunt Flo, Uncle Bernie and even Granny Appleton,” Kaylee said, passing from outrage to exasperation.

While several implausible parental lies did occur to me, the most persistent and least plausible of these being “Things will settle down soon,” I judiciously chose to ask a question instead, “What did you say to them?”

“I told them,” she drew a deep breath, “quite calmly, that this was a private family matter and for their own well-being, they should not communicate with me or my mother on this topic further.”

“Hmm,” I said thoughtfully, “right answer, but I doubt it worked.”

“No, it did not,” Kaylee said, with a tranquil tone that bespoke of another gathering storm.

Now, dear reader, you may wonder why a young woman would use that sentence with extended family members. It might strike you as uncharacteristic of anyone under the age of 35. Kaylee, like every Lynn child, has been ringside for some of the more epic Cadwallader battles – divorces, paternity suits, competency hearings, probate suits, pretty much anything you would see on a daytime soap opera – and they have seen some fairly foul play among the Cadwalladers during these battles. For my part, I have tended to steer clear of these, save for those circumstances when DeeAnn insisted her or our participation was absolutely necessary, and I have uttered that sentence on several occasions to Cadwalladers who have tried to draw me into the family wars.

The sentence, like much of the wisdom that has sustained me during this marriage and divorce, was not my own. The authorship of the sentence, which I learned from my mother (Grandma Lynn) extends back in time. She had learned it from my Grandmother MacDhubhshith, who invoked it in several family squabbles. Were I to have the time or the inclination, I believe through the family history – and despite linguistic alterations that have occurred – the sentence would probably be found to extend back through the family line unbroken for over two millennia. As that sentence, and the delivered wisdom that dates back to the pre-Christian era of Western history, it contains in it both sage advice – meant to stave off a larger family or tribal war – and an implicit threat.

What the equivalent phrase to “well-being” would have been in the ancestral tongue, I am uncertain. That it would translate as “your personal state of peace,” as well as “I will make you regret your further involvement,” I have no doubt. Cadwalladers are not amenable to threats of this nature, these being too subtle and containing too many syllables. They are not stupid people. Some of their most immediate family members are intelligent villains of a Dickensian cast, having altered wills, dispossessed family members of their homes, and committed other villainous acts that required great feats of intellect (or at least cunning), along with an indifference to the well-being of others. Despite this proven intellect, they prefer succinct threats like: “I will break you!” or “You’re dead to me!” and the classic standby, “You’ll regret this!”

On a further point, I should note that the present clan of Cadwalladers to which I refer are a distinctive branch, having climbed out onto that branch and cut themselves off from the tree. DeeAnn, who was once a highly intelligent (albeit belligerent, arrogant and narcissistic) woman, undertook a study of her family tree. This study ran across several recent breaks in the Cadwallader clan at very distinctive points and from different family lines. Those breaks were, without exception, associated with some irredeemable bastard in the family doing some fairly nasty things. Not a few of those fairly close relations (second and third cousins) were hesitant at first to even talk to DeeAnn all the more so when they found out that she was “his daughter.” DeeAnn’s father, it seems, was one of the reasons the other families – respectable, honorable and as law abiding as any group of people can reasonably be expected to be – were not associating with her family members. That some of them did, against their initial hesitation, extend relations to her after meeting the Lynn family only goes to show you can fool a sucker twice. They too were being drawn into a classic Cadwallader dust up. All of which would have been impossible without Facebook.

In light of this knowledge, and the fact that I could take no action on this matter except through my legal counsel, I was preparing to use the shopworn phrase used by MacDhubhshiths, Lynns and Christians alike: “This too will pass” – only to find myself interrupted by Kaylee’s exclamation, “Oh, shit!”

“What?” I asked, now possessed of that parental terror that raises hair on the back of the neck.

Kaylee could only utter one word; “Bryce!”


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