Chapter 30

Your case or a night at the movies

In a sense your case is like a movie; just make sure it’s worth the cost of admission. What genre of flick it turns out to be is completely up to you. Ultimately it will be written and directed by you, and no doubt star you. How long it screens in court is not a sign of success or popularity. If it does run longer than a Kevin Costner movie marathon, you’re probably going to see a big blowout in production costs. It might be mainly a one-man show and enough to make any bloke a little self-conscious, but that’s not an excuse to start acting like a movie star. Hopefully it’s a story of a man who has shown great patience, dedication and consideration, none of which require any special effects.

If your case is rated R and looks destined to be compared to a horror classic, you’ll probably end up having nightmares. Even if you believe Jane is acting like a poltergeist, it doesn’t mean you should be adding to the theatrics. Engaging in behaviour that children should not view, or passing off conflict as entertainment, isn’t going to rate real well. If your case contains scenes that might be out-takes from a kung fu film, then you’ll probably go home empty handed rather than with an Oscar. Dramas don’t draw much attention from the audience either, and if your cast includes thousands, your case may end up being more epic than you imagined. Any B-grade acting should not be blamed on the script, so it’s best to remember your lines. There’s obviously some level of mystery to the story, but the less that appears, the more creditable your performance will be……….

Chapter 39

The afterlife in the Land of Jane

Was it all just a bad dream? I’m afraid not. Welcome to the afterlife, the new, yes new, relationship you have with Jane. Don’t sit back and think this is going to be a holiday with all meals and accommodation provided. That might have been the previous relationship you had. Don’t panic, it’s not a boot camp and there’s no sign that reads ‘Welcome to Hell’. You’re in a place of limbo, somewhere between a bad dream and the never, never again. Where’s Jane, you ask? Oh, she’ll be there when she wants to, or if it suits her. You may not know where things stand with Jane or where they are headed, but don’t rush, tread lightly and just remember to put one foot in front of the other.

The afterlife with Jane is what you make of it. The less time you spend venting the disappointments of your former life, the sooner you’ll move on. You can’t change a rocky past, but you can smooth out the future. What Jane does with the other 99 per cent of her life is not your business, and really the same goes for her. There is, however, one mitigating factor — your children. The situation she finds herself in is not your concern or responsibility. Yet your kids certainly are, whether it’s written down in a parenting plan or not. You’re still their dad, or at least it should say so on their birth certificate……….

Chapter 43

Grizzly bearing the cost of it all

There’s no price you can put on your children, but you can guarantee that although they come free of charge, they will cost you time and time again. That said, they provide you with plenty of gold to go along with the grief, and being there in the front row of your child’s life is a truly rewarding experience. Expressions like ‘money well spent’ don’t sit right when it comes to grizzly bearing the cost of it all. Perhaps ‘whatever the cost’ is more applicable to this situation. It’s certainly not a game for gamblers. But those who are willing to invest some effort and trade in massive amounts of patience may end up with a fair return.

Your expenses depend directly on the amount of arguing you wish to do. The more you fight, the more you pay. The less you tolerate, the more you pay. The more you disagree, the more you pay. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, the sign reads the same. Argue at your own cost. How much do you really want to wager on an argument with no favourites or guarantees? Whether or not the gamble pays off, the cost of it is hard to count, let alone make sense of it all. The taxing effects on your health, mentally and physically, of maintaining a rage or argument can also be costly. Fighting’s not great for the appetite or diet either. It will leave you tense and cause a real headache or even a heart attack. If you had the foresight to see what the true cost of this would be, you might not end up grizzly bearing the cost of it all………..