Here in Canada, couples filing for divorce must wait one full year before a judgment will be granted.  Why?  Well, because the government (not YOU) knows what’s best for you.  They don’t believe you actually want that divorce, think you two are just perfect together, and would really love for you guys to make it work.  They’re shippers at heart, so they’re giving you a cooling off period during which you can reconsider things and hopefully work things out.  

That’s really swell of them to care so much, but I would think that if they were really all that concerned about our well-being, they would implement that mandatory cooling off period on the other side. Instead of having to wait a year before getting a divorce, couples should have to wait a full year before getting married.  Oh, sure, many do, but just as many rush headlong into marriage like Lord Cardigan leading his forces against the Russians at Balaclava.  But why stop there?  Why limit itself to sticking its nose into our personal lives?  If our government truly cared about us, they would implement cooling off periods for other equally weighty decisions.  

Want that new car, house, or refrigerator?  Oh, sure, you may say yes now, but will you still say yes six months from now?  Maybe you need a cooling off period during which you can continue driving that old jalopy or live out of your car or subsist on take-out and packaged ramen.  And what about perhaps the most important decision an adult can make: the decision to become a parent.  Shouldn’t there be a cooling off period, say somewhere between two or three months, for couples thinking of getting pregnant? They could register an “intent to impregnate” and then take some time off to really think things through.  If they’re still gung-ho after the designated wait time has elapsed, the government will approve their petition and it’s a go.  Have at it.  But, if it turns out insemination takes place before approval is granted, then the couple could be subject to a modest fine which would, of course, go toward helping to fund other equally important government programs like the Having Seconds Thoughts About Your Haircut statute and the Reconsider Your Shoes regulation.

According to Akemi, there  is no cooling off period in Japan.  People can divorce immediately.  There is, however, a cooling off period for women who want to remarry.  While Japanese men may remarry immediately, Japanese women must wait six months.  When I asked why this is, Akemi informed me that it was to avoid any sort of paternity confusion in the case of immediate pregnancies.  Sounds a little, er, gender-biased to me but what, really, what do I know.  I’m just some naive citizen who needs to be protected from himself.

1Hey, want to guess the identity of one of the feature ingredients in Ben & Jerry’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch ice cream, a flavor inspired by the scotch-loving anchorman in the movie of the same name?  Well, I’ll give you a hint.  It aint scotch.

The “scotch” being featured here is actually butterscotch.  It felt like a bit of a bait and switch, a grievous error in judgment on the part of Benjamin and/or Gerald which I rectified with the addition of a shot of Booker’s bourbon:

Ah, MUCH better.
Ah, MUCH better.

Okay, so after starting my research on that huge pile of books pictured in yesterday blog entry, I was able to eliminate over half from contention, and then another that turned out to be utter crap 100 pages in.  And so, here is my reduced get-to pile:

Now that's a bit more realistic.
Now that’s a bit more realistic.

And what of you?  Read any good books/sampled any good bourbon lately?  Do tell!

29 thoughts on “December 6, 2013: Your government knows what’s best for you! Really!

  1. Wow, Joe. I really do have to slow my reading down. I thought that bottle of bourbon actually said, “boogers”. Bleh!

    I agree with the gender bias of the Japanese cooling off period. There seems to be a lot of that going around.

    Have you ever considered writing a book about ….stuff? 😉

  2. All this talk of marriage and babies and over-throwing the government. Tell me I’m not jumping to conclusions.

  3. I am wholly in favor of the divorce waiting period, for this reason:

    Marriage is not just a personal choice. It is a legal institution. Anybody can call themselves married or divorced anytime they choose, that is a private matter. But if you wish to be LEGALLY married in accordance with Canadian law, then it is no longer a personal whim, you have to play by the legal rules that come with it. Likewise conceiving a child is a personal choice, but once they are born then they have legal rights too, and that’s when the legal rules of birth registration, etc come up.

    As far as personal feelings go, I believe divorce is taken far too lightly and am wholly in favor of at least a year waiting period. If anything, that would probably contribute to people not rushing into marriage, it makes it something serious, not just a swinging doors setup.

  4. There are way too many “Thou shalt nots” or “Thou shall,” in one form or another in so many aspects of our lives. Just want to holler – leave me alone! … sigh.
    Meanwhile the bourbon looks tasty. Have to sample to ensure it is not a bad batch, eh?

    JeffW…that is one might fine looking cheese cake – from Chef David – Voila!

  5. That bourbon ice cream looks good, but I’m off of the alcohol while I’m on the pain-killers.

    And since that will have to serve as the segue, the Vicodin is making it hard for me to read books right now. I like to read before I go to sleep, but I also have to take the Vicodin to be able to sleep through the night with the knee pain. The problem is that the Vicodin kills my concentration and I end up reading the same paragraph five times. I’ve given up reading books until next week.

  6. Read any good books/sampled any good bourbon lately?

    i’m re-reading the crystal cave trilogy (a 3-in-1 thing) so i can know what’s going on for when/if i get book #4.

    i word (or two) about the souless series; first, i really enjoyed them. (i think i recommended them whe you were looking for books to be made into movies)
    second, the blurbs on the backs of the first few spoil for the previous, so be careful what you read. amazon spoils too, so watch out for that.
    third, book 3 follows right after book 2, so if you’re enjoying them you may want it ready to go.
    fourth, if you liked them you maybe want to tell the author so on her blog;
    http://gailcarriger.livejournal.com/

  7. Okay let me guess. You sat down hoping to get drunk eating your Ben and Jerry’s scotch ice cream only to find out there was no alcohol in it, so you added some. Brilliant! You should of made a scotch float out of it. And there you go again talking about having a baby. Quit thinking it to death. Just do it. We won’t tell the government.

  8. Oh I’m in tears Joe – “intent to impregnate” bahahahahahahahaha….

    Just catching up with the blog. Did I miss something Ivon – have you joined the military? The haircut’s very cute, just caught me by surprise….

    I’d like a cooling off period on the Mexican food I had tonight.. ugh!

    I’m currently designing a t-shirt for my niece and maybe my sister to wear to the Taylor Swift concert. Better get finished.

    Hope you’re all well
    Byeeeeeeeeeee, Chev

  9. Haven’t read any good books lately, but I think your opening 3 paragraphs might be a good basis for one…

  10. Oooh, I do love butterscotch. Scotch, not so much, although Suntory does a nice one I can sip without gagging. If I’m already drunk.

    I’m still trying to read. I have no clue what disrupted my ability to consume books, but it has been a few years now. Either stress or perimenopause, or both. I do like China Mielville, dense, chewy books, very lush prose.

    My husband’s first divorce was actually a dissolution in CT. I read the fine print, he was supposed to wait a year to remarry. He didn’t know that, we fell short by ten days. I wonder if anyone would notice or care after 26 years now.

    Premarital course would be useful, as would pre-pregnancy and parenting classes. Hell, in some states (I’m looking at you, Utah), actual sex education would be a good idea. Leave it to the parents? Why? No one taught them anything either, did they?

  11. Personally I think no more than 3 months is a good waiting period for a divorce, if the marriage hasn’t broken down to the point of no return, you never know, things might improve enough that the 2 people might get back together, especially if they have kids, it adds stability to their lives.

    However I would say that divorce should only be granted immediately if one of the partners has been abusive to the other, for obvious reasons, people in that situation need an escape avenue and it should be made available to them.

    Speaking of Ice Cream, I’ve always loved Lemon or Strawberry flavor. Can’t really beat the basics when it comes to stuff like that lol

  12. Benjamin & Gerald’s is their ultra-premium ice cream line.

    Just like Timothy’s is the upscale counter-part of Tim Horton’s*.

    *No, not really.

  13. I would like to get marriage out of the hands of the government. It’s still a legal matter as long as governments enforce contracts.

    As for waiting periods, it’s common for a pastor to have pre-requisites before performing a ceremony. Six months of pre-marital counseling was a pre-requisite for the church building we used, but we got a large portion of it waived because the chaplain who performed our ceremony had known us forever and was a member of the church and just vouched for his mentor-ship as serving as that.

  14. Day 2 of being stuck in the house because of big ice storm here in Texas. @ Tam Dixon – you have ice in your area? At least I have electricity, and glad it is the weekend and do not have to go out or worry about work.

  15. In Quebec and Newfoundland up to 1968 you could not get a divorce unless you applied to the federal Parliament for a private bill of divorce. In Ontario, prior to 1930 there was no divorce law and individuals seeking a divorce similarly had to apply to Parliament for a private bill of divorce. Prior to the 1968 divorce act the government might grant a divorce for certain reasons. Or it might not.

    And to Randomness, if the government requires that there be an allegation of abuse to get a divorce quickly, then believe me, there will indeed be allegations of abuse. Here in Canada when a person wants a quick divorce there is almost always an allegation of abuse or cheating, whether it happened or not. I’ve seen this first hand.

    I would suggest that if there has to be a waiting period then there should be a waiting period for marriage. But that would be treating adults like children. I don’t think that’s a good public policy, even if adults do sometimes act like children. (Yes, I include myself in that statement)

    Most people don’t upend their life and separate on a whim. It’s usually a long process. And if it is a whim, do you want to be married to a person who would leave you on a whim?
    Not me.

  16. Ponytail: I believe we got the edge of the ice storm. We have ice on the trees but most of the roadways are dry. I’ve been out Christmas shopping and the stores are packed. Tomorrow more ice is coming our way. We might skip church, and huddle in the house. 🙁
    If you have power and food, you are set! Did you make a big pot of Chili?

    Less governmental control? Are you becoming a Republican Mr. M.?

    JeffW: That was a good looking cheesecake! Will Daniel be taking over your business? 😉

    Maggiemayday: I’d agree for more sex education, encourage/fund long term birth control implants for teens and premarital counseling courses.

    They opened up a gourmet Olive Oil/Vinegar store and I thought of you, Das. I sampled the strawberry balsamic and it was heavenly. I’ll have to go back without the boys and buy a few things.

  17. @ Tam Dixon – Ha!, I’m making my chili either tonight or tomorrow! I may make a homemade pizza tonight, but it won’t be nothing like JeffW or Joe or what Chef Rob Cooper makes. No… think more like Chef Boy-ar-dee. 😕

  18. @Mike from Canada

    Oh that’s interesting, I’ve never been divorced so I don’t know how it all works really(Beyond the usual stuff). But do think that a clear cut case of abuse should be grounds for a quick divorce for either party.

    Thankyou for explaining all this though.

  19. Oh, the government is all about knowing what’s best for you. The sad thing is that, more and more, people are totally willing to give the government the right to make those decisions for them.

    I’ve read “Soulless”, and personally, I didn’t love it. Partly because the whole “sexy alpha werewolf man meets independent, modern woman with attitude” thing is just so overdone in my opinion. I want to read about other sorts of relationships. Also, it is a little too paranormal romance and not enough steampunk.

    I’m still trying to work though the huge number of ARCs I got at Comic-Con this year. I read a book called Tandem, which I enjoyed (parallel universes FTW!), and I’ve started listening to the audiobooks for a series about monster hunters (first book is Monster Hunter International) that’s pretty entertaining. Kinda reminds me of the Dresden Files, in the way that I could see a crossover between the two totally working. Except there are lots and lots of guns. “There’s a monster! Shoot it!” “It’s still alive!” “Shoot it with a bigger gun!” “It’s still not dying!” “Then that’s what grenades are for!”

  20. No good bourbon; it’s not really my style. I prefer white wines and bubbly wines – hardly a refined palette, I know.

    As for books, while I’ve bought probably about 10 new ones in the last month or so, I’m afraid I haven’t gotten through my pile. Several are academic-based and while I have plans to read them, given I have other academic books/articles that need to be read for projects asap, they’re going to chill on my bookshelves a little longer. I am currently in the middle of Two Boys, At Swim which is very good if difficult in parts due to the heavy Irish writing that includes many phrases/slang that I look up for either context or out of simple curiosity. I am also in the middle of The Forever War, which, halfway through, I have to say I’m not impressed. Which makes me feel bad because I believe you’re a fan and it seems many other sci-fi authors are. The concept is interesting and I understand the political relevance it had when published, but I simply feel nothing for the characters and thus far, the plot is far less philosophical than it could be. Perhaps the author didn’t want to be preachy, but it lacks substance to me. That said, I am only halfway through, so perhaps I’ll change my judgment.

  21. Randomness: I’ve never been divorced either, but I’ve seen a lot, and tried to keep out of the middle of a number. It’s amazing how many people I worked with were married and got divorced. I was beginning to think it had something to do with me.

    In almost every case it got very ugly. One woman walked away from her husband and three daughters she brought to the marriage and three boys born in the marriage in order to ‘find herself’. That was the only one that went easy, well, as easy as such a thing can go. Two really nice people. Oh well.

    And yes, I agree completely, if there’s abuse it should be quick. I doubt it usually is though, the abusive people tend to drag it out every way they can.

  22. I think when you get divorced, instead of going infront of a judge etc, you should have a ceremony. Just like a marraige ceremony but one where you break your bonds together and so on. lol Now those would be great to get invited to. lol It’s pathetic that we have to have someone else tell us if we can have a divorce or not. This is one dumbass law! It’s all a money-scam.

  23. As for books, I’m into Ufology so anything i would refer probably wouldn’t intrique you. I’m reading Communion by Whitley Streiber, The Day after Roswel by Col. Phillip Corso and Bill Birnes and UFOs- Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities by John B. Alexander, PH.D.

  24. oh and Project Serpo or “The Serpo releases 1-21 2Novermber, 2005 to 30 August, 2006. Commentary by Bill Ryan and All postings by Anonymous. It’s a supposed secret program of Human/Alien Exchange Program that happened. It’s what Steven Spielberg based his “Close Encounters” movie off of. “Loosely”. The movie is about the innitial contact with them etc. Thats why during the movie you see a bunch of people in jumpsuits training etc. and then are being exchanged with aliens etc. The movie doesn’t really say much about it but its something in the movie. It’s something you might look at while watching the movie and thinking “whats that about?” but then forget it and move on with the story plot etc. If interested you can go to SERPO.ORG and download the pdf. etc It’s a very interesting read. Reagardless if it’s true or not, it’s very intrigueing and worth the idea of makeing a movie or series out of it. lol Just an idea.

  25. sorry for the mistyped words. My spelling is better than this. lol I was typeing quickly and an awkward keyboard and it has a mind of it’s own when the English Language comes into play.

  26. I just finished The Good Lord Bird, a historical fiction set in the U.S., a few years before the Civil War. The story’s told from the perspective of a 10-year-old slave boy who gets liberated (somewhat against his will) by John Brown, the white religious abolitionist, who is portrayed in this book, hilariously, as having more than a few screws loose. John Brown, for some reason, thinks the boy is a little girl, and presents him with a lovely new dress to wear shortly after freeing him. Thus, “Henry” becomes “Henrietta” for the next several years, as Henry discovers that living as a black girl is a good way to be invisible in the dangerous conflict between “slavers” and “rebels” of the Kansas Territory. Henry travels with Brown on an abolition fund-raising jaunt through the Northeast and into Canada, meeting Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman along the way. (Interestingly, Douglass is self-centred enough not to realize that “Henrietta” is a he, while Tubman sees it right away, as most black women in the story do.)

    John Brown’s gang eventually land in Harper’s Ferry, planning the ill-advised raid on the federal weapons arsenal there. Even though every U.S. history textbook I’ve ever read has told me how that raid turns out, they’ve only ever given maybe a paragraph’s worth of information on it. So it was enlightening to get a much more detailed picture of it, and at least an idea of the man behind it.

    The conceit of the first-person narrative is that it was written down when Henry was an old man, recalling the events some 60 years after they happened. Consequently, there are a lot of timing inconsistencies (for example, at the beginning of his tale, he says that he lived as a girl for 17 years, but the story takes place entirely within about 5 years at most, at the end of which he has shed the “Henrietta” persona). But this just seems to lend an air of authenticity to the fictional character of Henry; you would expect an old man not to be able to recall perfectly what happened to him as a child, and to exaggerate some details here and there.

    Quite a good read.

  27. Jeff and I used to do the pre-marriage counseling for our church (one of many). We felt it we could get through the stuff that led to almost getting divorced the first time in 2001 we may have wisdom that could be shared. I am proud to say that we are still in contact with 2 of the 3 couples we mentored and they are still together. I don’t really know what happened to the 3rd. One of the 2 couples we didn’t think were going to make it. They always came to the sessions angry after having to do the homework assignment. Lots of arguing at the sessions. We are so pleased they are still together and working on it every day. And it is work. As they said in Princess Bride, “anyone who tells you differently is probably selling something.” But it is work on both sides. When it gets to crisis mode, if both parties don’t want to do the work to make things different, then divorce is the better option.

    We were then okay for awhile, but Jeff in 2010 I think it was went into midlife crisis mode. Those were a few rough years. But we’re better again.

    I think what happens is most people go into marriage with honeymoon eyes. When the honeymoon period fades (and that can vary couple to couple, sometimes even 7 years later), that is when the “work” begins. A lot of people don’t want to put in the effort anymore. Divorce is just easier (or so they think). I am the only one in my immediate family (I mean like my mother, sisters, etc.) who has remained married once. My mother got married 3 times. My sister was married 3 times (and is in a mutually abusive relationship). My other sister was married once but divorced. My half-brother….well…who knows what he is up to and I really don’t care to know. My father never remarried after my parents divorced. But it really was because we both decided to stay and make it work. Having a child with autism didn’t help. Statistics vary but 75%-80% of couples with a child with autism wind up divorced because of the stress. I can honestly say that the first time we almost divorced it was because of that. I was so focused on Patrick, I forgot about Jeff. I forgot that I needed to make an effort. Jeff gave up.

    As much as I wish for nongovernment interference in personal matters, there are some people who really should not be parents–ever.

    You are sure talking about marriage and babies a lot Joe. (Clears throat). Anything you want to share with the rest of the family?

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