Bride Of An Oblivious Man by Mario V. Farina

"Yes, Mr. Bradson, the first session is free," said Ron Massaro, senior partner of Winston, Watson, and Massaro. "From your phone call, I understand that you're seeking a divorce from your wife, Margaret Bradson. Have a chair and tell me all about it." He sank in the leather-clad chair behind his large oaken desk while Wendell Bradson sat in one of the two facing armchairs.
Bride Of An Oblivious Man
Bride Of An Oblivious Man by Mario V. Farina
The visitor, Wendell Bradson was about fifty, medium height, full head of graying hair. The attorney, was about thirty, tall, handsome, dark brown hair. "My first name is Ron," said the attorney. "May I call you Wendell?" "Of course. Where do I begin?" "At the beginning, Wendell." "My wife's name is Margaret. We've been married six months. I'm forty-eight. Before Margaret, I was married to my wife, Nancy, for twenty-four years. We had two children, both girls." He paused, gathering his thoughts. "Please continue," Ron requested gently. "My two girls are grown now and married. They have kids of their own. I thought I was a good father to them, but it's possible that I was not. Throughout my life I've been self centered. There are times when I get so wrapped up in my own interests, that I didn't pay attention to what is going on around me. Nancy used to say that I was Mr. Oblivious. My daughters thought so too. They often accused me of doing the uh huh thing." He paused again. "The uh huh thing?" "Yes, I might be reading the paper and one of the girls would come to me asking something like, 'Dad can we watch television?' and I would say "uh huh" without even knowing what the request had been. Later Nancy would scold me for having allowed the kids to do something that she, herself, had not authorized." "I can understand why she called you Mr. Oblivious," commented the attorney. "It wasn't long after Mary Lou, the youngest of my girls had been married, that my wife suddenly said that she had had enough of our marriage, and wanted to strike out on her own. To say I was shocked, wouldn't begin to express my surprise. I thought I had been a good husband, supplying all her needs, and making her happy. She told the judge that the main reason she wanted a divorce was that I completely ignored her. The judge did not hesitate in agreeing that a divorce would be good for her." "What is Nancy doing these days?" "With the money she got from the divorce agreement, she opened a beauty parlor that is very popular. She has an apartment of her own." "Did she remarry?" "No, at least, not that I know of." "You met my receptionist when you came in, didn't you," asked Ron? "Yes, when she saw me she waved me right in to your office." "Pretty girl?" "Sorry, I didn't notice." "Do you mind if I ask her to sit beside you and record what we say?" "No, not at all." Ron pressed the intercom button on his desk, and said, "Would you please come in, Peggy, and bring your notebook." "Right away," was the response on the other end. The door opened, a young dark-haired woman, came in and sat on the vacant chair next to where Wendell was sitting. Ron spoke while she took notes. "For the record, Wendell Bradson is present on this date (give today's date) seeking a divorce. He himself is divorced from his former wife, Nancy Bradson. I will now be asking Mr. Bradson questions concerning the details of his request. Do you have that, Peggy?" "Yes, I do." "Wendell, tell me what happened after the divorce." "The divorce was a big shock, to me," Wendell began. "For the longest time I just sat at home, and brooded. I had been heavy into stocks, but my interest in them decreased, and I lost a lot of money because of my inattention. I'm a trader at the market, and I do pretty well, but even a little time off can make one rusty." "I decided that I needed to snap out of my malaise," he continued, "and get back to work. I joined a club for singles and received the names of many women who were seeking a husband. Despite my age, I looked for someone much younger than I. There was a call from a girl with a pretty voice. She said her name was Margaret Lindsay. We talked and she seemed interested in me, especially that I made a lot of money with investments. We agreed to meet. I was smitten the moment I saw her. She was eighteen years younger than me, but this did not seem to make any difference to her. We got married." "Did you continue to live in the house that you had shared with Nancy?" "Yes, but she wanted it completely remodeled; new kitchen, bathroom, den, all that! Nancy had taken the old BMW. I bought a new one for Margaret. She adored it. Anything she wanted I would say yes to. She loved jewelry, and I got a lot of that stuff for her. " "Seemed like a marriage made in heaven," commented Ron. "Yes, it was," responded Wendell. "There came a time when she requested joint ownership of our home, and also of our Fidelity stock account. I had this taken care of by the same attorney that I had used when Nancy and I had divorced." "Would I be correct in guessing that that the Fidelity account had been the same one that you had had with Nancy?" Ron asked? "Yes, exactly." "You had already divided that account with Nancy, hadn't you?" "Yes, the account had taken a blow, but I was building it up again!" "What happened next?" "I became so engrossed with financial matters, that I reverted to my old habit of being oblivious. Margaret would complain, and I would promise to do better. My actions would improve, but only for a short time." "I see storm clouds began to gather on the horizon," commented Ron. "Exactly right! After we had been married for a few more months, Margaret suddenly declared that she wanted a divorce!" "The second divorce within a year!" observed Ron. "Worse than the first!" "How so?" "It came to light that she had taken over the other half of the joint account with Fidelity, the other half of the house, and all of the checking account." "Amazing! How had she been able to accomplish all that?" It was that old uh huh thing of mine. She would ask me if it was all right to do something and I would say "uh huh" without knowing what I was agreeing to. She would put a piece of paper under my nose and I would sign it. I signed away all my possessions by being oblivious. She has demanded that I move out of the house!" "And you would like to have all of those uh huhs reversed?" "Exactly! Can it be done?" "Before I answer that, I need to ask you why you came to me." "I needed a lawyer, and the only business card I could find in the house was one with your name on it." "Yes," said Ron, "I gave you that card when I represented you with your divorce from Nancy." "You represented me?" "Yes, don't you remember?" "I thought you looked familiar, but no, I didn't remember you. That was inexcusably oblivious of me, wasn't it?" "Yes, I would say it was. Did you know that I also made the arrangements for your joint stock account with Margaret, and took care of the deed giving your new bride half of your home." "You handled that for me? I never noticed you were the same attorney." "Another example of your being oblivious!" "It seems that a lot of bad things happened to me during those times," remarked Wendell. "What about the answer to my question. Can you represent me in my divorce from Margaret and in getting my property back?" "I'm afraid not, my friend. It would be a conflict of interest for me. I'm already representing another person." "What about Mr. Winston or Mr. Watson?" "There is no Winston, and there is no Watson, in the firm. I'm the only attorney in the company. Those other two names are for show; to make me look more successful." "Surely you can represent me! What's the conflict of interest?" "I'm representing your wife, Margaret, in the divorce against you," responded Ron. "My wife! That's impossible" Wendell shouted! "You're my attorney! You have always been! You told me that yourself!" "This time, it's different. Look beside you." Wendell glanced at the woman sitting in the chair next to his. "Margaret," he cried out! "Is that you?" She smiled. "Yes, it's me! Who else would it be? You never even noticed! How could you be so oblivious?" "She's my receptionist," said Ron. "Even today, you paid absolutely no attention to her when you came to my office. I'm representing Peggy in her divorce against you. She will be my new bride, and, you can be sure, with her, I won't be oblivious!"

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