Since the Judge ordered Rooferman to attempt to see his daughter 3x a week now, I got a call from His Deadbeatness to set up last night’s visitation. He was as sweet as pie to the Judge, professing he ‘hadn’t seen his daughter in a long time, and that’s all he wanted to do.”
So I requested he actually show up on Sundays, and that he see LB for 3 hours on Tuesday and Thursday. Since I don’t have him on the daycare pick-up list anymore, I told him I could pick her up and drop her off at his house. He told me he wouldn’t be there until 5:30 pm. I said “LB’s daycare closes at 5:00, so I usually pick her up at 4:30.” Like he cared.
So I brought LB back to my office for an hour, which was fine because I work in education, and its a kid-friendly environment where everyone lavishes her with attention. Afterwards, I drive to Rooferman’s house, and low-and behold he’s not there. He calls and says he’s running late, but to “hang tight” until he gets there.
Sigh. Deja vu.
He pulls up in his shop truck, and out pour 3 little girls, Blondie and himself. I extract LB from her carseat and start ushering her up the hill. Then I notice Blondie is crying. Rooferman wraps her in his construction-worker embrace. I stand awkwardly with our daughter, waiting for her dad to acknowledge her presence. Finally he says hi to LB and with some prodding, she goes to hug him. He looks at me and says shortly, “What time?”
“Judge said bedtime.”
“No, he said 30 minutes before bedtime. She goes to bed at 8:00 pm.”
He and Blondie give me the look of death, and he says “Well we’re running a little late, so how about 8?”
This is NOT happening. After all the times I’ve been flexible and let him get away with showing up late, or switching days, or bailing completely and covering for him, I have no tolerance anymore. I tell them I’m just going to the gym and I will be back in 2 hours. Next time he can pick her up from daycare and have a full 3 hours.
I’m sure after I left he and Blondie had a “curse the ex” party, because LB came home saying “F-U.” Apparently that’s what “daddy says.” Great. Blondie was still crying, and even Rooferman’s eyes looked wet when I returned. Kids were strewn about the living room, watching TV. Blondie kept calling more adults in to say goodbye to LB. I kept thinking, how many people live here? I decided it was Blondie’s sister and her boyfriend, because she told LB to call them “Aunt and Uncle.”
Who knows what drama was plaguing their lives. But its obvious that Rooferman and Blondie are struggling and overwhelmed. I wonder how much they have on their plate right now. How many people they are responsible for? How far behind they are on rent? How many jobs does Rooferman have lined up in our sad-ass economy?
My friend who works at the county, said that last year over 200 building permit applications were submitted. This year, there’s been less than 75. How does that translate to roofing jobs? As you drive through the county, you can see construction sites that are like ghost towns; half-built grocery stores without windows or paved parking lots, homes without siding, still wrapped in Tyvec. You can walk through my neighborhood at Three Springs, and inside the office buildings you can see insulation still covering the walls. No businesses have shown interest in moving in, so why finish the job?
Winter is coming. We’ve already had snow. I know how hard its going to be on Rooferman. I remember the frostbitten fingers, the frozen shingles, the dangerous, icy roofs. There’s a reason why roofing is in the top ten most deadly jobs. The first winter I was with him, I came home to him slugging off a bottle of tequila. Earlier he had watched a man slip off a 3-story roof and impale himself on the scaffolding below.
I really don’t see how he’s going to be able to follow the Judge’s orders. I’m pretty sure both he and Blondie hate my guts right now, adding more stress to their lives. I actually feel kind of sorry for them. I’m also shocked how devoted and involved Rooferman is to his new life. Its like he’s wiped the slate clean and created a new identity for himself.
Mostly, I’m just relieved my that’s not my life anymore. Wow, do I sound like a heartless bitch or what?