Sunday, August 23, 2015

Summer Vacation Saves All


You know, the one thing I've learned from this whole, horrendous, drawn out visa process, is that focusing on the positive is imperative. I've always been a glass-half full kind of gal anyway, but now, I'm a glass three quarters full, because let's face it if I wasn't, I'd probably be locked away in the loony bin somewhere. That said, while Gregory's visa denial was beyond dreadful, the timing, was actually pretty good.

(Since I mentioned it, I feel like now is a good time to drop this fun fact on y'all - while Gregory was notified of his visa denial when the embassy returned his unstamped passport to him, I still have yet to be. That's right, I'm the petitioner, and as such should have received notification, but someone cocked up and I still haven't gotten a letter or email to let me know. Way to go America, way to go. My lawyer is on it.)

We got the bad news three days before I was due to fly to Dublin to kick off our summer vacation. You're probably wondering how that could possibly be good timing but here it is; we had a couple of days to process the news, and make a plan (of course that initial plan was defunct about 312 plans ago, but still, we had a plan), and for the shock to wear off, so by the time I was on a plane that Saturday morning in May, we were ready to focus on us, and fun, and to enjoy ourselves. All talk of visas, waiting times, separations, or oh my God what are we going to do, was banned.

So I set off from San Antonio for a few days with my family in Dublin, before reuniting with Gregory in France to return to my old stomping grounds, and my French crew for a three week break from the bull$@*#. There would be laughter, and joy, and South of France sunshine, and goats cheese salads, and Zara, and by God, there would be Rosé. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Unexpected

{this will be me, a lot}

I've been thinking about writing this post for awhile, like, a long while, but I was waiting for things to settle down a bit and for us to have an actual plan in place, and now we do.

So here's the deal; Gregory didn't get his green card, as in denied, denied, denied. That's right kids, D E N I E D. Feel free to take a moment to shout expletives, I know I did. This is what went down and why.

Way back in 2003, Gregory was working as a bouncer at a club. There was a drunk guy who was harassing other patrons and Gregory asked him to leave. He wouldn't and his behavior escalated, shouting abuse at Gregory and the people standing in line waiting to get in. Gregory's boss urged Gregory to get him to go. After many verbal attempts, with zero success, Gregory shoved the guy. The guy fell, got up, and left. That's it.

But then, for what I can only guess was an attempt to get money, the guy brought charges against Gregory and the club. As you can imagine, they were quite surprised. But then, the drunk guy came to his senses and decided not to show up to court, and his lawyer stated that he wanted to drop the charges because he knew he was drunk and at fault. But here's the kicker, Gregory was in court already, so the judge said to Gregory that while he was only doing his job, he was young and needed to learn how to do it better, and he gave him 100 hours of community service. And that was that.

Fast forward nine years to life in Le Petit Village. Remember this post when I said that some stuff had gone down and we needed to get away for a bit? Well here's why... At the village festival, which also happened to be Gregory's birthday, there was an incident.

It was the end of the evening, and the village square which had been closed to traffic had just been reopened, but people were still milling about. A car came speeding through, almost hitting Gregory and his friends. Gregory hit his hand on the hood of the car and then waved his hand in a 'slow down' motion (I know this because I was across the street and saw the whole thing). The driver shouted, "go eff yourself," but in French and not as polite as that. I'm sorry to say that Gregory did not react very gentlemanly like to that, and a fight ensued.

It was a mess, but it was a fight, a dumb, boys being boys fight. Our evening came to end and we all moved on, or so I thought.

A week later, the police showed up at our door to question Gregory because check this out... the guy who Gregory got into a fight with pressed charges and said that it was a racially motivated attack. W H A T ? ! This guy said that he was innocently driving through the village and big Aryan looking Gregory saw him and ran after the car with a baseball bat (where did the bat come from???) shouting for the [insert racially charged words] to get the [insert bad words] out of his village.

That didn't happen.

The case went to court, the racist charges were dropped because the judge wasn't an idiot and saw through that one, and then he ruled that it was a mutual altercation, as in a fight, that's it, not assault, certainly not a hate crime, but a fight, between a couple of idiots. And that was that.

Or so I thought, because Gregory's Green Card was denied on the basis of Moral Turpitude.

P O P P Y C O C K! I wrote to the Embassy and requested another interview because surely they were misinterpreting the court records but get this, the consular officer told me that it's not what happened, or what the outcome was, it's that the charges that were brought against Gregory, COULD have resulted in bigger convictions. Feel free to take a moment to shout expletives, I know I did.

So here we are now, beginning the fun-filled waiver process. The process is expected to take six to seven months, and in the meantime, I'm in Texas, and Gregory is in Dublin (he's working there at the moment and long story short - it makes more financial sense for him to be there right now instead of France).

But here's the kicker, when Gregory's Green Card was denied, his ESTA was revoked (for those who don't know, and ESTA is the visa waiver that people in numerous countries use to travel to the U.S.) so he can't even enter the U.S.! That's right, Gregory has become persona non grata on U.S. soil because he shoved a guy in 2003 and got into a fight in 2012. Feel free to take a moment to shout expletives, I know I did.

#$@&%*! #$@&%*! #$@&%*!

I'm sorry for taking so long to tell you guys what's been going on, but I just haven't had it in me. These past few months have been rough with a capital R. But I do miss y'all, and I think about you often, and maybe now that I've broken the ice again, I might make it back here from time to time.

P.S. Fifty says hi.

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