Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Monument In Austin

I've been in Austin before.  This is the capital of college age people and their parties.  Beyond Sixth Street, there're a plethora of interesting bars with a very welcoming environment.  I love the concept of old wood houses converted into social reservoirs with their comfy couch room for close friends and the open bar in the backyard for new acquaintances.  The park benches and the taco stands add both practicality and informality to an atmosphere built by groups of interest rather than loud music or casual encounters.

But that’s not the most valuable impression I’m getting from the city.

A friend of mine has been living here for many years working for a big tech company.  He opened his doors to me while he was taking care of his daughter and his son, eleven and nine years old respectively.  Divorced short after his second child was born, this man has cultivated a chemistry with son and daughter that is really unique.  They are the kind of kids that run to hug the guest and then run back to keep hugging their daddy.  After dinner, I was invited to join them in a board game of memory, and I enjoyed losing like never before.  Most people love children; I don’t, so the merit is double.

The price people pay to build a family (or attempt to) is so dear that I never completed the transaction.

The current system victimizes the male, converting him in the target of financial aggression patronized by the status quo.  The result is people like me that don’t see a single reason to start a family.  The risk is just too high, and the rewards are zero by statute.  Even the emotional reward of been the king of the house has been taken away by the feminist.  That would all be fine and good if the laws were crafted around equality, but they are not.  On paper, women are victims, and they are entitled by law to take and exploit.

I admire this man who managed to cultivate love in an environment where visits and custody need to be granted in writing and filed.  At the same time, my friend was struggling with additional claims for money that he just got in the mail.  An unknown lawyer is asking him with impersonal but aggressive vocabulary to disburse more than twelve thousand dollars in child support that does not appear in the official record of automatic deductions from his paycheck.  But he made the payments with personal checks.  So he is expending energy going back seven years and collecting the evidence.  Not even the IRS forces you to go so far in your financial past.

But he keeps his son and daughter out of this battle and plays with them on the floor with loud laughter.  That is the monument I came to see in Austin.

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