Southern Man

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Living Arrangements and Dramatis Personae

There have been a few changes in living arrangements in the last few weeks, so for those who actually sort of follow this blog and care about such things...

First, sadly, Southern Man and his new wife separated in late November. We are still a couple and are in counseling and are working to find a way to reconcile our many differences and find a way to live together again. But for now Southern Man has moved into a little apartment back on the north side; she is still in the house on the south side. Southern Man is back and forth a lot; she's already cracking jokes about north-siders and south-siders and reminding me how crazy I was running back and forth while we were dating. Sadly, the craziness just got worse when we lived together...

Second, Southern Man's ex has finally had enough of eighteen-year-old son's behaviour and has told him that he could no longer live with her. His history is such that he's not welcome to live with Southern Man, either, so at the beginning of December we staked him in an apartment here on the north side, just a few blocks from the school he occasionally attends - lease cosigned by his mother, first month's rent and security deposit paid by us, utilities deposits fronted by Southern Man - and it wasn't even a week before the landlord warned him that there had already been lots of complaints and that he was in danger of eviction, and a week after that he was in fact told to vacate the premises by the end of the month or face formal eviction. So in spite of our efforts to get him set up as an independent adult - particularly by his mother, who has gone far beyond the call of duty - he will be pretty much on his own come New Year's Day. As you can imagine, this has us both pretty torn up. But Southern Man is of the opinion that teen son is going to have to live with the consequences of his lengthy history of poor decisions with no more bail-outs from us. This kind of "tough love" is easy to talk about; it turns out to be pretty difficult to actually live.

So here is the current cast of characters and locations in the ongoing saga of Southern Man and his continuing mess of a life:

Southern Man, who lives in the little apartment on the North side and also owns The Land, which is ten acres on a lovely little lake and with a nearly-completed workshop and woodshop and which is 'way north of the city;

Southern Man's wife, from whom he is currently separated and who lives in The House on the south side with the two dogs;

Southern Man's ex, who lives not far from Casa Southern Man but who is currently dating a nice fellow from Kansas and who may (or may not) pull up stakes and move that way sometime in the future;

Southern Man's teen daughter and ten-year-old daughter, who currently live with their mother;

Southern Man's parents, who live in the house Dad built when Southern Man was still a pup, which is about fifteen minutes to the west;

Southern Man's sister and SO and stepson, who live near the center of the city not far from Southern Man's workplace;

Southern Man's brother and wife and one-ish of three sons (the oldest has flown the nest and lives nearby; the middle child is attending college in another city), who live not far from our parents.

Got all that? Good. Stay tuned, it's going to be an interesting year...


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