Well, it’s that time of year again.
The holiday festivities are over, the crimson velvet mailbox bows have been put away, and now-like a feeding frenzy at a hen house-the well heeled ladies of Birmingham are eagerly disseminating this year’s “list” of the year’s marital fatalities. More anticipated than the Academy Award nominations, this is the “Did you hear who is getting a divorce?”-list. More aptly put, it is the “Oh how awful, tell me EVERYTHING” conversation that short circuits Verizon from Mountain Brook to Vestavia every February and causes the rest of Birmingham to receive “ I’m sorry, all circuits are busy at this time”-recordings.
Your very own Scarlet, not being from the South-but having manners nonetheless-was sincerely trying NOT to eavesdrop on a conversation while at the dermatologist in Mountain Brook last week, but simply could not escape hearing tragic tidbits and details of the gruesome carnage of one of the latest neighborhood divorces. Amidst details of “the fabulous house now in foreclosure”, the “precious children” (who were reportedly being raised by wolves while the father was philandering in California with a female bodybuilder and the mother shopped at Saks ), one of the ladies casually dropped the comment that the divorce had cost the couple over a half million dollars in attorney fees. Over a HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN ATTORNEY FEES. And she said this without batting a single Lattice-eyelash or raising a botoxed brow.
Not being from the South, I have never heard of such a thing. Is this a southern thing? Do they teach math differently in the south? Even Scarlet knows that a half million dollars buys a lot of sweet tea. Perhaps there is a special “math camp” where southern parents send their children that aspire to become divorce attorneys to learn the basics:
Rule #1: One cheating husband plus one choir-singing wife plus three kids plus one home in Vestavia plus beach house in Florida= $100,000 attorney fee
Rule #2: One cheating husband plus one cheating wife plus trust funds plus four kids plus beach house in Florida plus one house in Mountain Brook plus angry, fired secretary waiting to testify = $200, 000 attorney fee
Rule #3: One cheating CEO husband plus one cheating wife plus Beach property plus two kids plus trust funds plus Psychiatrists and police waiting to testify = $300,000 attorney fee
Rule #4: Two decent people wanting a divorce plus recently unemployed husband= “I am terribly sorry, but my busy schedule does not allow me to take your case at this time”
But even Scarlet is having trouble coming up with a scenario that warrants a half million dollar fee.
Baffled, I hate to consult our very own Anonymous, as he is arguably brilliant.
And, having been raised in the south, understands the southern way, which apparently I cannot, despite years of trying to learn. Always the gentleman, he simply poured me a glass of the world’s best Torreon de Paredas Carmenere Reserva, smiled, and told me to forget about it. Easy to see why he he has half of Birmingham so mesmerized….
Some things are simply charming-southern or not.
Until next time, Scarlet