Author’s note: I wrote this originally shortly after the 21st, but decided against posting it around the date due to the masses of hype. In short
I wanted to give the ‘the end of the world’ and the ‘I told you so’ threads a chance to quiet, before adding my own 2012 disaster story.
So as I write this it’s early morning. The house is still relatively quiet, and I have a few moments to contemplate the end of the world. That was
yesterday of course, a little earlier than much of the planet, but with barely a burp it passed it would seem, and of course the world goes on
But the lead up to this monumental event had me wishing at a few points we could see the end of times, as the week leading up to the 21st was anything
but ordinary, at least as far as I was concerned.
To ride out this interesting week though, I must go back intially about 6 months. After making the leap and moving interstate earlier this year, I had
had little to no contact with my ex, the mother of my youngest daughter. Figuring abandonment, I left and started a new life for all of us. Around 6
months after this event, I get word from my ex that she suddenly and inexplicably wants contact with her daughter. So much so it would seem the next
step was lawyers and family law court. Not wishing to get dragged into a second legal quagmire (a rant for another time), I established contact and we
eventually agreed upon two weeks during the mid-semester school holidays, and three weeks at the end of the year. Plane fares would be halved evenly,
and she would be able to have contact again.
With the Christmas school holidays looming, we all sat down as a family and decided to all go at once back to our home state. There we could spend
time with both family and friends, and allow my housemate’s mother to see her grandson for only the second time since his birth back in
It was around then little things began to go wrong. About three weeks before we were set to go, the little guy gets sick. Nothing major, but the
doctor advises no flying. OK, I put this one under my belt, and it looked like mother and daughter were staying put. So that left myself and my two
girls. About three days later however, I’d noticed a significant change in my eldest daughter. She was generally moping around, on edge and in
generally “a mood.” Finally after a day, I pulled her aside and asked what was wrong. Turns out she had no desire to return, and wanted to stay
home with my housemate and be closer to her friends.
As much as I really wanted her to come back with us, mainly just to see her grandparents, I can understand. Where we came from, she never really fit
in, was unpopular and was bullied a lot by the local kids. Since our move, she has gained a lot of confidence, has gained a lot of popularity and good
friends and has seemed to lose that social awkwardness she had before our move. At almost twelve, the desire to spend time with friends obviously
outweighs the need to see family. Of course I want what’s best for her, so after mulling it over, and a discussion with my housemate, she agreed to
look after her. My daughter gets to stay behind with her friends, and of course dad is number one in her eyes.
So now it’s down to me and my youngest. Facing the prospect of being back in my home state alone for three weeks, I contacted an old friend and
scored some holiday work at his pub. Nothing big, just drinks and bar work, some easy cash for the few weeks rather than sitting around bored, waiting
for the world to end.
So a few weeks ago, off we jet. I can say I’ve seen the inside of Sydney airport so much this year, it really gets tiresome. But spending an hour
waiting for transfers has become a way for us, and finally, after two separate plane trips, we arrive in our southern destination.
It’s freezing. Having gotten used to tropical weather, the first day was about 15 degrees C and it was pouring with rain. Despite this, we visit
friends and family, and after two days drop off my daughter with my ex. I catch up with my friend, and prepare for the holiday season of working
behind a bar.
This where things started to go really wrong. The first night at the bar, a drunken jackass decides to take out his frustration on another patron. Now
I’m not exactly a stringbean of a fellow, but attempted to step in and separate them. The net result of my bravery? A bar glass smashed into my
temple. A night in hospital and seven stitches later, I’m now really considering the wisdom of this trip.
So as a result of this, I have to spend the first week on the mend rather than working. Stuck at my parent’s home for a few days, and unable to go
anywhere, I spend most of time catching up on some writing, and regularly use Skype to chat to my eldest daughter some 2000kms away.
A few days in, one evening my daughter is not there. Call me crazy, but when my kids go quiet, I usually double check what they are up to. I ring
home, and get my housemate. My daughter doesn’t want to speak to me this night. After a bit of digging, I finally get her online, and discover
Her hair is cut. Short. VERY short. Now I know she’s almost 12, and her hair is her business, but it took a long time to grow, and now she was
sitting here on the other end of the computer screen looking like Friar Tuck. Her reasoning? My housemate is actually Bi/Lesbian, and keeps her hair
‘boyish’ as is her style. My daughter, with the cat away, wanted to emulate her, and thought I would be ok with it by the time I got home and had
time to calm.
So, after the first week, the doc says all is good, only a concussion and some “lacerations” (honestly I looked like a beaten prize fighter after
that), I returned to the job, meaning to fill out the last two weeks, collect my daughter shortly after New Years, and head home.
So we get to the following Tuesday, and lo and behold, a phone call from my ex. My daughter wants to go back to dad and go home, barely a week into
her visit. Turns out, my ex must have realised just how high maintennance her daughter actually is, and with two new ones under her belt, suddenly
found the going a little tough. Thus, like always, she quits. Wednesday morning, I pick my daughter up, pretty much fuming at this point as to how
badly this endeavour has gone. In a fit of frustration, I call the airline and have the flights moved up a week. Basically, I’m ready to put this
town and it’s bad luck at my back. The finalt insult? I can’t reschedule the flight, and have to book two new flights home. A week before the
busiest time of the year? Oh yeah, you can bet they weren’t cheap. Thankfully, I can use the flights I’d already booked at a later date within 12
months, so not a total write off.
edit on 30/12/2012 by 74Templar because: eta