Says It All
The following is a letter the ‘apparent’ writer could have written.
Jane laid this out for me just last week when I met her at a scuba diving course and over numerous intervening coffees. Remember, when you read this, she was at a scuba-diving course.
The word ‘brazen’ is just too mild a word to describe the transparency with which she related her story. The substance is correct to her words. The format is mine.
I cannot remember feeling so angry when I heard this diatribe.
Dear New Zealand,
My name is Jane. I’m now 34 years old.
I left school in 1995 with modest marks in NCEA. I couldn’t get a job after I left school so I went on the dole for a couple of years. Then I couldn’t get a job I wanted to do so I stayed on the dole for a couple more years.
So the dole, trading a few drugs, and screwing a few older guys for the stuff they bought me and the money they gave, got me money enough to party on and have a good time.
Then at 22 I met Jeff. He was full of life, had a fab job, seemed to be all energy and plans. He was soooo positive about everything, and he fell in love with me. I liked him a lot but I didn’t love him.
Jeff was into his sport, his job, buying a house for us, doing all the good-keen-man stuff, and he would do anything for me even though I wouldn’t do ‘anything’ for him. By that I mean, I did the minimum to get by and keep the peace.
Then Jeff wanted kids. I didn’t really want them but he had this plan for a wonderful family all living on Walton’s Mountain in the burbs. And so I went off the pill and let him have kids. It made a real mess of my body. Now my boobs sag, I’ve got stretch-marks and will probably never see size-12 again.
Kids really are a pain, y’know. The first one, Eric, screamed for most of the first three months, and Emily got her tricks from spewing after every meal till she was two. It really did start to wear me down after a while. There’s me. Stuck at home. No job….not that I wanted one less than being some famous person. No qualifications to get a job anyway, and stuck with Jeff-the-whirlwind, and two kids who always wanted to take the time I didn’t feel I had to give.
Anyway, time went by, the kids got to seven and eight, and I started getting really bored with Jeff always coming up with some new plan designed to get my butt off the couch. And I just got sick of it.
A couple of more years of boredom went by and I started to look at my options.
A friend, Sally, who was getting the odd biff from her old man,…and probably deserved it given she can be a real bitch at times… introduced me to DPB. Wooo! Now there was an answer. All I had to do was get Jeff off the scene and I could live without any responsibilities.
Sally had already done the beaten-woman number on the Family Court and had added whole bunch of other stuff just to make sure her claim stuck. She suggested I could throw Jeff under the bus at the Family Court, and get custody of the kids. Then share a house with her, not tell WINZ we were sharing, and get on with having a really cruisey life. And so that’s what we did.
I was a bit nervous at first, but it turned out to be so easy.
I got a lawyer for free, told her all sorts of shit about Jeff, and she coached me into using the right terms for the court. I lied my head off and nobody ever asked me to prove anything I said. By the time I’d finished (got custody of the kids) the court believed Jeff had interfered with Emily, had beaten me senseless almost daily, withheld money, cheated on me, called me names for being a dead-beat mother, and so the list went on.
Of course, he didn’t do or say any of those things, the poor wee dear worshiped the ground I walk on. But hey! It’s the new age, eh? First in, best dressed. All for one and I’ll be the one, thanks.
Jeff could have brought God hisself along to court as his personal witness and the court would still have believed me.
There was insufficient evidence for the police to charge Jeff. Of course because none of it was true. In fact my lawyer told me that the last thing I wanted to do was to try to press charges because then the charges would be tested in the real court, and that could really screw things up. But in the Family Court any old thing goes, and girls rock!
And so, after a few months of drama, Jeff was not allowed to see his kids, I got custody and a shit-load of money and benefits, just like Sally said I would get.
Me and Sally now share a house, (a really flash, 4 bedroom number with 3 bathrooms) both of us claim individual accommodation benefits, cos the system is too slack to match addresses and the ‘friendly’ landlord gave us separate tenancy agreements for half each. Cost us each a couple of bonks, but hey! Who cares? Fortunately, the landlord is a big boy. Ya need a big boy after a couple of kids. So it was all good really.
One of my kids acted out really well (it took a bit of coaching but we got there) and so now I also get a disability allowance for my son. Of course, I also get medical travel allowances, clothing allowances, cheap doctors fees, dental allowances, and so the list goes on. And every month, just after Jeff’s big fat payment turns up in my account I get a huge box of free pull-ups which my kid hasn’t needed since foreverbut they keep sending them. (I get these sent to me by courier and then sell them at the markets).
Plus WINZ helped me buy a flash car, and they help with the repairs. It’s a really great system, this WINZ.
With Jeff’s payments, plus all the stuff I get from WINZ, plus the money I pull in from the markets and few other things I do for cash, I really have a great life. I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind telling a few innocent porkies to some bored judge who doesn’t care anyway.
Jeff would’ve paid more but I made the mistake of writing to his boss while I was putting the boot in, and Jeff got fired. His new job pays ten grand a year less, so that cost me sixty bucks a week. Silly move, eh? My advice is, keep it all in the Family Court, then you get the max.
The kids are always at me for this and that, but I make sure they understand the reason they can’t have this and that is; I simply don’t have the money left over after partying, a bit of fun-medication, clothes, getting my hair done, this scuba course…and I want to do Fiji this year; you know, the essentials of a girl’s life.
And now, just for drill, both Sally and I have live-ins. They add cash to the pot and we use them to baby-sit while we go out. All they want is a bonk now and then. They even pick up their own take-away wrappers, do their own laundry, and they buy all the booze for us and take-aways for the kids.
Sally and I reckon we have to wait only another 18 months and we can toss these tossers under the bus and stick it them for more maintenance, and get two new ones to take up the slack.
Sally…she’s really smart, eh? She reckons that if we turn over new live-ins every three years, have a kid by each one, then we can living like royalty within about six years. Works for me. Me work? Get real!
All-in-all, I have to say that thanks to the Family Court. I’m living a really good life. And every day I wake up wondering at what a fabulous country I live in.
But what really pisses me off is the kids forever going on about wanting to see their father. What’s so bloody special about him? After all, I’m the one who wakes up and feeds them, most times. I’m the one who has to put up with their constant nagging for clothes, food, entertainment…none of which I can really afford because I have my own life to consider, you know!
So what’s so bloody special about him? I ask you.
Frankly, if this government could find a way to simply pay me what it pays me now, then Jeff could have the bloody kids and they could all play happy-families or whatever families do. But, you see, because I would have to get a job if I let Jeff have the kids, I’d have to go to work! UG! Oh no! For the grand or so a week I get from WINZ, Jeff and my little side enterprises, there’s no way I’m going to swap that for becoming a worker. Why should I? You guys and girls set the rules. All I’m doing is fitting in.
And who really gives a shit if the kids do or don’t see their father. Do you? I don’t! Sure, my kids are growing up to be dead-beats, but that’s probably their father’s genes causing that.
Go the Family Court, I say.