Sunday, August 14, 2011

The end of a lesbian love affair

.Last week I had to serve my ex with a court order for the re-payment of the monies that she owes me- $11K, not a small chunk of change.
New Zealand requires most of the court documents and even police restraining orders to be served "in person".. And yet they don't have "process servers" like there are in US. Seems strange, but it is what it is and I had to do it myself.
But let me start from the beginning.

A year ago, my ex,Sara, ("The One") found herself in a very bad situation. She was dumped by her girlfriend,literally,kicked out of the house (owned by that girlfriend) and had no place to go, no money and no friends in that city.
Granted, that disaster was of Sara's own making: she met the woman online,got engaged to her 3 weeks later and moved in with her within 2 months (very,very lesbian thing to do..LOL.. The famous U-Haul joke)! In doing so, she left a job that paid her quite well and a town where all her family,friends and support system was situated.
Sara moved to Auckland without a job (or any prospects of one), no savings and sizable debt.
Things went to shit pretty soon, as was expected by everyone: these women didn't really know each other, both of them didn't work (Sara's girlfriend was on DPB-NZ welfare benefit) and they were stuck in the house day in and day out.
To be fair, that girlfriend WAS a nutcase (as I found out much,much later through conversations with people who knew her well), but it all could been prevented had Sara took time to get to know the person and didn't rush into relationship without any thought.
So... For 3 months Sara was unemployed, adding to her debt and no sooner had she secured a job (NOT an ideal job, by the way), the relationship was over, bitter arguments were continuing and Sara was out on the street.
By then, Sara and I were "finished" (as far as romantic relationship goes) for almost a year: she dumped me right after I helped her secure a very well paid job (she would not had gotten that job if not for my connections, that is a fact).
In fact, Sara broke up with me the day her contract was signed (I think the ink was still drying on it when she told me that our relationship "will not go the distance")..LOL...
I was still in love with her, though. I was hoping for a second chance for us.
But that's not why I helped her, ultimately. I didn't give her money in hopes that she'd jump in bed with me-it wasn't like that at all. I actually really cared about her. Her being so sad,heartbroken and destitute just broke my heart.
Sara asked me for a loan. I gave her the money.
 I also paid for a hotel (temporary place to stay), paid to fix her car, put a bond on a house for her to rent and paid the contractor to fix that house.
She asked me for another loan a month later. I gave her more money.
She kept telling me that she was really grateful, that she will re-pay me,that she had a plan.
In the meantime, she asked me to go over her finances with her. When I done so, it was clear that Sara is in a deficit about $600/month. I agreed to supply that amount monthly to help her get back on her feet.
She swore that from then on she would take care of her finances, stick with the budget and climb out of a hole she was in.
Sara had a number of psychological issues, which she never faced. However, that August she admitted to one (eating disorder) and started attending OA (over eaters anonymous group) meetings. Back in August I urged her to see a "shrink". She never got around to it, always finding excuses.
In the meantime, by the end of October, I was having some serious financial troubles myself. It was nothing I couldn't manage, but I could ill afford to support Sara in addition to my own obligations.
I've emailed Sara and told her about it.
In response I got email that was nothing short of "bullying"-she told me that I urged her to see a "shrink" and she had (finally, 3 months later) and she can't afford to pay the bill and it's due. She also took it for granted that I'd continue supplying $600/month to her for the next 3 months.
I did. I paid for the psychologist and the $600... Sara was telling me how much she appreciates it and how she would always "be there" for me and repay me the money.
We never did get a "second chance" for our romantic involvement,as I've met someone else that August and was pursuing that relationship.
I made the last payment of $600 to Sara in Feb. She sent me email thanking me and,basically, trying one last time to "milk" me for more, saying how she would have to "figure out how to make-do" from now on.
This time I didn't buy into it and didn't budge-I really couldn't afford it!
Besides, Sara had 6 months to sort herself out and come up with a plan. She could done any number of things (including filing for bankruptcy and wiping off ALL of her debt), yet she's done nothing.
When she realised I'm not about to fork over any more money, all the texts and emails first trickled down, then stopped completely. She told me some story about her IPhone "not working properly" (why do they all use that excuse??).
Then Christchurch earthquake happened. It had a serious impact on me. I had to make some decisions and make them fast. I was restructuring my whole life and I needed money.
I've emailed Sara and explained the situation to her. I told her that of $11K that she owes me, I would be happy with $5K and the rest she could consider forgiven.
Her reply was "You are such a drama queen (that's from someone who posts on her FB wall things like "I lost all faith in human beings" and "I feel like a teenager in love-I've never felt like that before"). You know I don't have any money".
That was it-no sympathy (you know, all that moral support she promised me, "I'll always be there for you" her exact words were), no offer of some sort of payment, or even payment plan. No suggestion that she would try and see what she could sell/borrow.. Nothing..
After a while she stopped answering my emails and phone calls altogether.
This is the person who used to text me in all hours of night and day (sometimes at 1 am or while I was IN a booking with a client), asking me for support, telling me how she was "blue" and "didn't want to live any more".. I always dropped whatever I was doing and text her back immediately, trying to build her up, to make her feel better.
Few times I jumped on a plane (or in my car) and gone to Auckland just to support her.
When she walked away in a huff from her "dream job" at a prestigious winery (where I worked as well), I took a stand to support her: I told the management off, I quit my job in protest, I went to newspapers to rally  support for her.
I helped her get another job that paid as well ( VERY difficult in a small town,NZ,as she was making a lot of money) and when she walked away from that one,too,after just 4 weeks,I was left  "holding the bag", as I promised the owners that I would work for them for at least 3 months,through  X-Mas/New Year's holidays-as a matter of fact, that was one of the conditions of them hiring Sara. So I kept my word and worked in that hell until January.
I bought Sara $1200 last minute ticket to go to Melbourne, so she could attend her ex's 40's birthday and "relax and unwind" (mind, we weren't together anymore).
I took her out, wined and dined her in posh restaurants (for which I paid,of course) ,bought her expensive presents -she likes presents, they lift her spirits (again, we weren't together).
She never gave me anything (not that I wanted anything,but just to make a point). Not even a X-Mas card. Even now, looking back, trying to think of any "mementos" of our relationship, I can't think of anything: only text and FB messages.
After all that, she wouldn't give me MY money back, money that was clearly stipulated as a loan! She knew what I had to do to earn that money, how hard I worked.
I gave her a couple of months and filed a court case.
The complaint had to be served to her in person, but not necessary by ME, so I had one of my friends in Auckland do it.
According to the law, Sara had 30 business days to respond to complaint and serve me with a response.
I guess, she thought I will never go through with it, as she never responded.
Instead of 30 days, I gave her 2 months and, still, there was nothing.
So I filed for a Final Judgement. It was granted in my favour for the full amount.
Although not specified in writing, the court clerk told me that it was prudent to serve that in person as well.
I couldn't ask the same friend anymore: Sara is no dummy and probably would not come out of the kitchen if he came into the restaurant again.
So I sat out for Auckland. I had a plan: I had a "decoy" bouquet of flowers and "fake" present:big fancy box with a ribbon and nothing inside it.
I also dressed not to be recognised: I did the "butch" look..LOl..
 I was wearing a baseball cap with all my hair tucked under it, old,well-work leather jacket of "men's coat" style (both items borrowed from my mate), hoodie under the jacket and jeans. Granted jeans were designer and quite form-fitting and I had little black shoes with bows on (but they were FLATS and I just didn't have any other kind), but,still, I think I pulled a decent "butch". The fact that I had no make-up or any jewellery on probably helped as well.
I went into the restaurant where Sara worked for the last year. The front of the house person told me that they "don't have a Sara"... It really didn't sound good: clearly she did not leave on good terms.
Pretending to be just a delivery person, I asked if they knew where she went. After 3 trips to the kitchen (located 2 meters away) and some whispered discussions, I was told that she is now at some place called "The Tasting Room" in Kumeu.
Kumeu is where Sara lives, and, quite frankly, although it's technically Auckland, reality is, it's out in the "country".. Waaay out.
I went into Internet cafe to try and investigate the location of that "Tasting Room". Lo and behold, there was an email from my friend (Sara's ex of 12 years,as it happens..Yeah,yeah, I know, it's a small incestuous society we live in..LOL..) and she told me that through various FB chats she figured that Sara works "here" and gave me a link to the website of the restaurant. How's that for timing?!
By then it was 5 pm-very ugly "rush hour" in Auckland, so I passed few hours having dinner with a friend.
Around 8 pm I went to Kumeu. I found the place on the first try, but it really is "in the middle of nowhere", on a Highway with no lights and way pass any resemblance of  a town which lays on the way there.
I have to point out that this is definitely a "step down" for Sara. She has huge ego (which was a problem with all the previous employers) and until now only considered jobs in a very famous, upscale, ultra fine dining places.
I looked at the menu online: yes, she is trying for a "fine dining" menu, but...
The place does not look the part, it is located in the "boondocks" and if they are trying to attract posh Auckland clientele, good luck to them.
It is definitely a "destination" location, which proves to be a problem if one intends to drink alcohol. Besides, I don't think they have enough "pull" anyway: Sara IS very talented chef, no doubt, but Auckland is full of them, in various "convenient" locations and decor of the place is very "rustic"-it just does not scream "fine dining" to me.
They will have to rely on local population, which, when the novelty wears off, probably would not be willing to pay "fine dining prices" (that area is not considered "posh" by any means).
I do wish them all the best and hope Sara would make it last (if not for  any other reason, but to pay me my money back), but I am very doubtful.
Anyway, I went looking for an entrance (it's a bit confusing there) and one of the owners saw me through the massive glass window/wall and came out. I told her I had a delivery for Sara (huge bouquet and gift box in hand). She went to take it, but I asked if Sara could come out. Woman mumbled something about them being "in the middle of the service", but opened the door just off the entrance (weird location for the kitchen) and called Sara.
Sara came out, saw me and a small,smug smile was creeping up her face. I couldn't believe it: she actually thought that I came all the way there to beg for her forgiveness and congratulate her on her new job (they just opened 2 days prior)! What arrogance!! But it's actually my own fault: I "trained" her to expect that...
I handed her the flowers and the envelope with the court papers. "You've been served" I said quietly and walked away. She never said anything, or at least not out loud-I'm sure she wanted to call me any number of names :).
According to the law, she now has 48 hours to respond or make payment arrangements. If she does nothing, I will submit the paperwork to Collections and they will attach her wages,bank account(s) and force the sale of her assets.
I enclosed the note with the paperwork, explaining all that to Sara. I told her (sincerely) that I really don't want it to come to that. I don't have any agenda, nor am I trying to "teach her a lesson" or "prove a point". I just want my money back. It's that simple.
In that same note I told Sara that I will be happy to settle for a smaller (but reasonable) amount if it's paid in a lump sum within next 30 days.
I doubt I will hear from her. Collections Department,here I come.
I also had to disconnect her land line phone and Internet: it was in my name, as her credit is so poor, no company was willing to provide a service to her. I asked her back in March to get in touch with me regarding it, but, of course, never heard from her and was shocked to discover that she is still using it last week. I had no choice: I can't ruin my credit.
So this is it. Quite sad, really, but that's the way life is, more often than not.

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