“Can you believe he took my three year old daughter to get her nails done?” I hear Manhater exclaim in rhetorical disbelief. I’m thinking, here we go again. So, I retort, as if she were asking for my opinion (because let’s face it, how much more of this do I have to listen to without saying something), “Who cares? I mean really, who cares?” “At least he’s spending time with her right?” I say, in a mild attempt at diplomatically diffusing the situation before she busts an aneurysm. “Yeah, but she’s only three” Manhater snaps back, almost in more disbelief than before and that I’m not taking her side. “I don’t like that at all. He has no business taking her there. I don’t even paint her nails at home”. After a deep breath and a quick sigh, (obviously forgoing diplomacy) I boldly say, “Don’t you think you’re being just a little nitpicky about this?” She quickly turned around in obvious disagreement to what I had said and continued to mumble to her self about how wrong she thought it was, as though she needed to further justify her own ludicrous rant.
Yes, we all know that Manhater's going through a nasty divorce. We all know that he’s a worthless, inconsiderate, vengeful bastard (she makes it obvious from the conversations she has with him at work). I’m not a completely insensitive prick. But frankly, I’m starting to get tired of hearing her gripe about every little thing he does with THEIR daughter. From the sounds of it, he appears to be providing for her, and as long as he continues to do so, and has dual custody, he has a damn right to parent her as he pleases, obviously within reason. It seems to me as though he’s been doing nothing but spending quality time with her a few times a week. Most single mothers would love for that to happen. She needs to put her pettiness and personal complaints with him aside and let him be a father. She cannot dictate every thing he does while they’re together. Granted, he may not have been the best husband in the world. Okay, from what I’ve heard he was a down right asshole. However, he hasn’t proven to be a bad father yet. He’s a hard working fireman, who doesn’t get a lot of time off, but I’m willing to bet a limb that when he does take time off to spend with his daughter, the last thing he wants is the Ex barking at him at every turn. Damn girl, leave a brotha alone and stop fretting over the little shit. So, maybe the nail salon wouldn’t have been my first choice for an outing with my three year old, but as far as I’m concerned, as long as they’re not watching horror movies, intravenously administering high fructose corn syrup, drinking beer, and mooning unsuspecting motorists together, leave them the hell alone. I kind of get the impression that she may be a little jealous that he spends time with her, even more so that he may have done something with her that mom perceives to be an experience that only mothers and daughters should share.
Over the past couple of months I’ve witnessed my co-worker openly bash and criticize every thing the soon to be ex-husband does with his daughter. I’m by no means a family psychologist, but it certainly doesn’t take a degree in anything to acknowledge the path of emotional instability she’s guiding her daughter towards. Her incessant nagging, reprimands, and censuring are only prepping that kid for emotionally draining and stressful behavioral patterns later in life. By example, she’s teaching her how to treat men, as a lioness methodically teaches her cubs how to hunt. I just hope that something gives soon. Otherwise I truly fear for the future of that unsuspecting and impressionable little girl, for she’ll undoubtedly turn out just like her man-hating mommy . . . . . . . jaded, but with an impeccable manicure.