Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Drone Bee

Sometimes I feel like a drone bee.

Their main function in the hive is to be ready to fertilize a receptive queen. Mating occurs in flight, which accounts for the need of the drones for better vision, which is provided by their big eyes. Should a drone succeed in mating it will soon die because the reproductive organ and associated abdominal tissues are ripped from the drone's body as copulation occurs. Several drones mate with a virgin queen on her mating flights. Honeybee queen breeders may breed drones to be used for artificial insemination or open mating. A queen mating yard must have many drones to be successful.

In areas with severe winters, all drones are driven out of the hive. A colony begins to rear drones in spring and drone population reaches its peak coinciding with swarm season. The life expectancy of a drone is about 90 days.

That's me. I have served my purpose: to fertilize the female. Now, it's all about how much money I can pony up toward the baby's upbringing. As for an actual role in my son's life, well that's another matter all together. Out of the hive with you...

John Tierney, resident moron (and conservative, big surprise there: the two words go together better than "flies" and "shit") at the New York Times wrote a piece that pissed me off last week with a fatuous piece about "mens' abortion rights", the thrust of which was that men often get forced into fatherhood they never wanted (much as many women argue that overturning Roe would force them to have children THEY may not want), and should have the option of "financial abortion" that is, a legal document absolving them of financial responsibility for a child they never wanted. I'm marginally sympathetic to that point of view, considering my [rather specific] situation, but one thing that pissed me off even more was the comments at blogs that dealt with the Tierney's piece. Some samples, largely from T-Bogg:

Tell ya what, when daddy puts half a million in trust for in utero junior, then we can talk about whether or not daddy gets a say. That way if daddy walks after junior is three months old, junior has a fall back position.
# posted by Anonymous : 10:23 AM

me ... I love how he equates writing a support check once a month with being "equally responsible" ...

Tierny gives ninnies a bad name
# posted by Anonymous : 8:21 AM

Okay. Men should be allowed to discuss whether to have a child.

Which means, to me, that they get to have the discussion with the woman who is carrying the child about what she's ultimately going to do, in the same way that she gets to have the discussion with him about whether he's ultimately going to change diapers at three AM and drive carpool and stay home with the sick kid, etc.

There's a big difference between encouraging men to be equal parents and encouraging women to discuss reproductive choices with men, and enacting laws to require both.

Child support is not "parenting with equal responsibilities". Until we have legislation requiring actual "parenting with equal responsibilities", then, legislation requiring women to discuss abortion or pregnancy with the man is putting the cart before the horse.

What a glib asshole Tierney is.
# posted by D. Sidhe : 9:58 AM

What glib assholes Anonymous 1 & 2 and D Sidhe are. I know a number of men who are dying to be fulltime fathers, who have been reduced to little more than a check once a month.

To be honest, I do not personally know one single mother who was abandoned by her partner: rather it was the fathers who were all let go, as if being a father is just another position in the corporation, one that can be filled or replaced if necessary. Except that once you've been fired, you're still tied to the company. Oh, and send money now, before I call a lawyer.

Consider Alice, a young mother I know here in Philly. "You would LOVE my ex-boyfriend Chuck," she told me. "I knew pretty soon after Alan was born that things weren't going to work out, so I broke up with him. He didn't take it well at first, and he cries sometimes, but I do let him have Alan every other weekend. And we're close too. I can't wait for you to meet him!" They were the same tones Melissa uses when she talks about having to keep Sam from something he wants. "He just doesn't know any better." "It's for his own good." "I have to do the thinking for him and hope he learns."

That's fine if you're a baby. But for a man? No respect: just pity, condescension, and a couple of fucking crumbs.

As a matter of fact, I did meet Chuck, just a few weeks later. He didn't seem particularly happy about the arrangement: he had that same ten-mile stare I get when the troubles begin weighing heavily. It struck me that the "closeness" Alice had trumpeted was purely out of necessity so Chuck could continue to see his son.

"You're lucky," I told him. "You get to see your boy every couple of weeks." Chuck sneered, and I think if he didn't know what I was going through, he would have punched me in the face.

"'Lucky'? LUCKY? Yeah, that's me," he spat. "Lucky Chuck...

"Hey, it's not your fault," he added hastily. "You're in a much worse boat than I am..."

My friend Susanne is the same way: she talks about her ex- as if he was retarded, or an old dog that can't help but pee on the floor. My boss, who is a wonderful person, speaks of her ex-husband in the same way: useless but pitiable.

[Did you know that the vast majority of divorces are instigated by women, and the vast majority of men had no idea there was somethign wrong? It's true: I spent three years at a job in which I abstracted studies on divorce, single parenting, and noncustodial fathers. It's nearly always the woman who gives the man the heave-ho, and it's nearly ALWAYS without warning. Buzz buzz, little drones, buzz buzz. You served your purpose. Out of the hive with you!]

Melissa wrote me last night "[My parents] don't think you're a bad dad, they say all the time how keen you are to see Sam when you can." yes dear, like the time this week I was supposed to talk to Sam on his birthday and you brought him to your parents' house. "You can call us over there." Sit up, doggy. Sit pretty, sit pretty! There's your biscuit! Maybe I'm more doggy than drone.

See that "When you can."? What she means is "when we allow you to". At least that's the way it feels to me. I have no say in when I see Sam; everything is subject to veto.

The other night Melissa IM'ed to tell me about her job offer: $60,000.
I'm happy for Sam's sake. I'm currently pulling in $32,000, and if it were not for my housemates, I don't know how I'd pay my support. I don't know how I'm going to scare up the extra $100/month for Sam's Montessori. I don't know how I'm going to aford his babysitter when he visits next. I don't know how I'm going to manage to financially handle the move to Vermont, in which I'm pulling up stakes at the worst possible moment and starting life over in a state with very few jobs.

Yet here's my ex rubbing my face in her good fortune.
I learned yesterday that McGill University fucked her over on the job they offered her, and it's an interesting commentary on loyalty that, no matter how angry I am at Melissa about everything else, I believe she deserved that job, and that she really DID get a better offer than UPenn. I am SO ready to fill up the van, drive to Montreal, and throttle the living shit out of the bastard that fucked her over.

I will write more about this later. I am coming to terms with the fact that I have become, as someone has put it, "a mean and angry person that I don't want to talk to", and it's just gone too far.


Blogger weinerdog43 said...

Just wanted to drop you a short note that this reader thinks you are doing a great job and your son will be proud of you. One of these days, he'll be able to converse w/you on a more meaningful level, and he'll discover his Dad is a pretty cool guy. I'm betting he'll want to spend more time w/you as he gets a little older.

You can bond w/him at a level that she can't on her best day, so be patient. Be strong and be a Man. You're doin' fine.

10:46 AM  

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