January 6, 2017 — Divorce month (aka January) is here. My office phones are ringing non-stop and I have multiple court appearances each week (sometimes each day). Studies show that after the holidays are over and the new year rolls in, there is a spike in divorce filings. Many people don’t want to ruin that holiday magic by filing for divorce.
After the new year, the number of new divorces increases steadily through March and then levels out. After summer-break is over there’s a smaller spike in September, because who wants to ruin a summer vacation?
I settle four out of six cases in a week. I’m on a roll. (Note that 90% of all Divorce cases settle without a trial). One busy morning in court I get a frantic text from my ex-boyfriend. He got our daughter for the day, because his day off is during the week. However, he’s “sick” and can’t drop her back to my house or her daycare.
Great. So I’m stuck with multiple hearings in Queens and he’s “bedridden” with man-flu in Manhattan. I call Jake, but he’s already at work and he can’t swing by to get my kid. I arrange to get the afternoon hearings covered by one of my employees and buckle-down to DRIVE into Manhattan. Listen: I never drive into Manhattan — I think I have only navigated it twice since moving here in 2007.
But driving from court to the Upper West is the only option I have at the moment, because I’ll need to rush around and get my other kids afterwards. I’m not sure why I have a hang-up about driving into the city. The gridlock? The bridges? The tunnels? The taxis? Fortunately, I’m afternoon reverse commuting, but the traffic on the way out will kill me.
On the drive, I slow-roll by iconic land-marks — like the Apollo Theater — and take pics only because of the serious traffic.
A few days later and my daughter is sick; I’m sick. We both have the flu. I guess my ex- wasn’t exaggerating about his flu. Still, I’m angry that he got her in the first place when he was sick. Jake keeps the boys so that I can lay in bed. I’m rescheduling cases and also trying to get briefings done on my laptop in between just passing out and taking care of my daughter. Having the flu and trying to run a business and parent sucks.
“Did you eat?” Mario texts me. “No,” I respond. “I just can’t get out of bed.” My bedroom is on the second floor and I can’t deal with the stairs. “I wish I could be there to help, so I’m sending you some soup,” he responds. “The Uber should be there in 11 minutes.” Even though he’s a thousand miles away, he makes me feel so loved and so well-cared for by this gesture. Dudes: this is a #winning pro tip.
Around this time I start planning on my trip to DC for the Women’s March that’s scheduled on January 21, 2017. I want to take my 8-year-old. But I’m nervous about backlash counter-protests. Permits still aren’t approved. Jake isn’t happy about the idea.
“Why don’t you just come to Orlando that weekend,” says Mario. “There’s going to be a sister march here.” Mario is a registered Republican (he’s half-Cuban after all). He voted for Hillary — thank god! He’s a small business owner so I understand his leanings.
But he’s an immigrant and sensitive to social issues. He’s a Christian, and at one time that meant something more to the Right than the current circus of extremists. He’s just right of center, to my just left of center. Neither of us have a party after this election: progressives to the left of us, Jokers to the right; there’s no middle. “Will you march with me?” I ask him. “Of course my love,” he says.
I can’t say I didn’t have an influence in his vote: