Monday, September 8, 2014

Who Got the Goldmine and Who Got the Shaft?

In response to An Overdue Update, r. asked:
So on to the important stuff-- Who got the birds and the show car?

The short answer to this question: I did.

Our African Grey, Sir Spudly, died in February of 2012.  Moonie, our blind macaw, has had several massive seizures over the past two years.  Her balance is affected, so she tends to be pretty inactive.  Cognitively, she's just not the same bird, though in some respects, she's more easygoing now. Chicken, our small cockatoo, is Chicken.  She's fine.

Since there was no talk of splitting up after Sir Spudly died, we ended up getting a new baby African Grey.  Almost immediately after he arrived, my mother needed surgery and I had to stay with her to help out.  While I was gone, the bird bonded with FosterEema.  When I returned, I was given the position of least favored person, and he'd try to pinch me every chance he got,

A few months later, while I was out of town attending a parrot training seminar, FosterEema asked me for the divorce.  The plan was that she would take some (or even perhaps all) of the birds.  In the end, she wasn't able to find an apartment that allowed pets, so they stayed with me.

Chicken and Moonie, while they missed FosterEema at first, seemed okay with the changes.  The baby grey, however, continued to be nasty to me for a very long time.  His attitude improved when I took him on a road trip.  He decided, once we were in unfamiliar surroundings, that I wasn't as bad as he'd made me out to be.  We still aren't really buddies, but at least we have something of a truce. The truth is, I need to spend more time working with him.

As for the car, it's no longer worth showing.  While it was shiny and new when we bought it back in 2006, now it's just an eight-year-old import showing your typical wear and tear.  FosterEema and I dropped out of the car club years ago. Our weekly nit-picky wash, wax and detail sessions have long since become a thing of the past.

While it might sound like I got the goldmine and FosterEema got the shaft, I think our settlement was fair. We hammered it out on our own, and came to an amicable agreement.  While it is true I received a larger share of the material goods we acquired during our relationship, I  also took on all of the debt that went with it.  The house was, and still is, underwater.

FosterEema left with her personal possessions, an equal share of our joint bank accounts, and one car. She lived in the house for a year, rent-free, after asking me for the divorce.

While I suppose it's tempting to sing Jerry Reed's She Got the Goldmine after most divorces, I don't think it needs to be sung for our divorce.  We divided things up as fairly as we could, given the circumstances.  While it might have been easier to sell everything and split the cash, it's not possible to do when you have assets that are indebted to a level that's higher than they are worth.

If there is such a thing, I think FosterEema and I have managed to have a good divorce.

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