When I retired from work late last spring, my fellow workers took me out to lunch downtown as their way of saying goodbye. Among a couple of other gifts, my friends gave me a $150 gift certificate to my favorite local pizzeria, the Lost Dog Cafe in Westover in Arlington.
Today being a holiday, Labor Day, I had lunch there at noon and used my coupon for the first time. None of my long-estranged children showed up but the draft beer and the Italian Pizza Pie were delicious.
There was even some pizza left over when I left. I drank the entire draft in the hour I was there but I could have ordered one or four more if JJD or L (that's short for Jimmy, Johnny, Danny or Laura, now that Dan's married) had showed up.
I had plenty of time during the hour to reflect upon the likely-permanent pernicious effect the "professional" cast of characters like Divorce Lawyer Joe Condo, Social Worker Meg Sullivan LCSW, "Psychologist" Victor Elion and others had upon my defenseless, vulnerable minor children during the divorce proceedings fifteen years ago, as, in my opinion, those uncaring, manipulating adults fulfilled their own various agendas to the lasting detriment of my children, none of whom has spoken to their father in about a decade due to the overbearing influence exerted by those adults upon these young adolescents. Although that was a long time ago, I sometimes worry that those same characters might be engaged in the same sort of family-wrecking behavior, in my opinion, that tore apart my family irrevocably, as shown in the link http://law.justia.com/cases/virginia/court-of-appeals-unpublished/2004/1714034.html, and could very well be similarly affecting some other poor family in Fairfax County even now resulting in the same lifelong, devastating results.