Child Support for Dummies

The other day I overheard a conversation in which a man was complaining about having to pay child support. He told his friend, “…and every time I see my ex, she’s wearing new shoes. Can you believe that?”

No! How dare that woman purchase new shoes! Everybody knows your former, evil seductress — the one who’s now single-handedly rearing your contribution to the Great DNA Swim — should be forced to walk on tacks and broken glass before she’s permitted multiple footwear options. For crying in a bucket, what a wench!

Look, Moron, one of the popular, oft-intrinsic benefits of being born with a uterus is the ability to hone in on hella-reduced shoes. For what you spent on lunch that day, bitching and moaning about the financial woe of being a weekend parent, I could have purchased two pairs of shoes, maybe three — and in less time than what it took you to order, eat, and calculate a ten percent tip for your “busy waitress chick with the saggy tits.” (At least you’re across-the-board in your effort to be crowned Mr. Silas Marner 2008.)

Yet, you’re not really complaining about the cost of footwear, though, right? Nah, you’re mad because she’s taking your kid-money and doesn’t appear to be suffering. In fact, she’s going about business as usual. I would have enjoyed eavesdropping your honest sentiments, which might have been more along the lines of: “And every time I see my ex, I’m freakin’ irritated she’s not begging on the corner of Market and Stemmons.” Or how about: “And every time I see my ex, I still notice every detail,” because, let’s face it, you’re still wrapped up in the drama of your split. It’s not about your child, and that pisses me off. Why? Because it takes a village to compensate for the mistakes of its idiots. I don’t enjoy picking up your slack — emotionally OR monetarily.

Allow me to clear things up somewhat. Custodial parents do not “qualify” for child support from non-custodial parents; they’re entitled to it. This is not about charity, and you aren’t some kind of hero if you submit regular payments to your baby mama/daddy. In fact, bragging about that sort of thing is about as silly as telling people how rad you are for stopping at red lights. Furthermore, the money is about your kiddo’s welfare. If new shoes are something Baby Mama needs to wear in order to bring home her share of the bacon for Little Precious, so be it. It’s not like she’s laying around eating bon-bons in those shoes you bought her. If so, you should have fought for full custody (and been more selective with whom you impregnated). Deal with it or shut up, Silas.

Things I do with my shoes (that your ex might also do): Clean Little Precious’ room, take Little Precious to school, slay scary bugs for Little Precious, prepare Little Precious’ meals, purchase Little Precious’ groceries, take LP to the movies and the library and the pool and Six Flags and and AND…well, hopefully, you get the idea. Man, it would suck to do all of that barefooted or with only one pair. I’d hate to wear my work boots to the public pool. Likewise, I shiver to think of how hideously imbalanced your child might be if his/her mother is expected to live like some kind of little matchbox girl in order to save for that Lamborghini Gallardo you probably think she should purchase for his sixteenth birthday gift (after ALL those years of receiving your child support).

Chirrens ain’t cheap or easy. If you think a few hundred bucks here and there will float the boat, you should be sterilized right this second. Seriously, you really should — because your semen shouldn’t be allowed to contaminate the gene pool any further. You should WANT to make sure your child has everything he/she needs to avoid making your mistakes, to be successful in her endeavors, yeah? Well, sometimes that isn’t free. Sometimes it takes a lot of friggin’ “shoes” to make that happen. There’s a difference between being a good, attentive parent and just being an ATM. You often have to be both AND in a way that’s also good for your own well-being. Otherwise, you create a spoiled brat who’s been allowed to suck your lifeblood dry. Your baby mama does you no justice if she deprives herself. Therefore, when you see her sporting those new shoes, know she deserves them; after all, she’s wearing them when she’s singing Hannah Montana with your kid.

As for me, I can’t complain. My ex knows cool kicks are a small price to pay for the woman who loves his child as much as he does.