The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 03, 1997, Page 5, Image 5

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    Contract collapse
Waiting periods on divorce fail to provide solution to problem
graduate student in wood
winds performance and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
Trick question: Who is the most
obtuse person in Lincoln?
a) The weather forecaster who
predicted 1-3 inches last
b) The kid who tried to sell me a
Super Nintendo while all the
power was off in my apart
ment building.
c) The door-to-door suntan
lotion salesman who tried to
sell his wares at 4 a.m.
Sunday (during our infamous
d) Don Stenberg, attorney gen
eral of Nebraska.
Of course, the answer is d. Why d,
you may ask?
Stenberg still hasn’t learned not to
make foolish statements about things
he knows nothing about.
Stenberg’s words have already
spaiked my ire. Stenberg believes that
depression isn't an illness; that peo
pie only miss work due to physical ill
nesses - not mental ones.
Obviously, Stenberg has never
been depressed. He knows nothing
about mental illness, just about
Nebraska’s “bottom line.” Since rec
ognizing depression as an illness
would cost the state money, Stenberg
isagainst it.
And, along with his view that the
“bottom line” must be protected at all
costs, Stenberg has decided to come""
out in favor of contract marriages.
Why does this not surprise me?
Stenberg has decided to make
political hay out of divorced people’s
pain and suffering - which, come to
think about it, is typical behavior for a
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dui jjaiu, jruu say, 1 nave uu
intention of ever getting a divorce.
What does this have to do with me?”
The simple fact is that no one,
with the possible exception of Donald
Trump, gets married in order to
divorce. Marriage is like the lottery.
You can maximize your odds of suc
cess, but you’re never sure until you
play whether or not you’ve won.
To understand why Stenberg’s
comment is so ignorant, perhaps a
brief review of contract marriages is
in order.
Under a contract marriage, coun
seling would be required before you
were married. You would have to go
to counseling if your marriage was in
trouble. And, there would be a two
year wait for your divorce (if needed);
the only grounds for divorce under
contract marriage would be adultery,
spousal abuse, abandonment, or if
your spouse had been convicted of a
major crime. **
Stenberg said, “A covenant (con
tract) marriage would require more
thought and effort to obtain and
would carry with it a greater moral
and legal commitment.” Stenberg
went on to say, “Today, I am present
ing a legislative proposal aimed at
one of the key factors in juvenile
crime; poor school performance;
juvenile drug, alcohol and tobacco
use; and similar problems.”
Nice to know that “curing”
divorce would also cure so many
other social ills.
ine way tnat Menoerg put it
makes it appear that people are just
divorcing willy-nilly, without a care
for themselves, their children, or their
society. Statements like Stenberg’s
trivialize the pain and suffering that
divorcees go through.
Obviously, Stenberg has never
met a divorced person - or recognized
one if he did.
We divorced individuals are every
bit as moral as anyone else. We think
things through, just like everyone
else. We didn’t make the choices we
made because of “spiritual or moral
poverty.” We simply needed to get out
of our marriages, because they
weren’t working.
What are we supposed to do when
our marriages fail? Are we really sup
posed to stay with a person who lies,
cheats, is abusive, violent, has bad
morals and low principles? When our
spouse, who has promised to love,
cherish, etc., has brought home a sex
ually transmitted disease?
Yeah, that’s my America - mar
riage no matter what.
Ask yourself this question: What
would you do in this situation? One of
my male friends was married to a
woman who cheated on him. She lied
to him about her behavior, ran around
town, abused drugs, made a real mess
of his life. They had a child. What
should he do?
He ignored it, until he walked in
on his wife and her lover having sex
in front of the baby. At that point, he
went and filed for divorce. He had no
Wouldn t any sell-respecting
human being do the same thing?
Don’t we have the right not to see the
person we love the most screwing
someone else in front of our child?
The sad thing is, this couple met
in church. There was no sign of this
sort of abusive behavior in my
friend’s fiancee. They dated for two
Tell me this, Don. How would a
contract marriage have helped this
One of Stenberg’s best points is
that studies show that children with
two parents do better in life than those
with only one parent. Fine. I have no
problem with this.
However, as njy friend Karron
Bratt said, “What about marriages
that are unhappy? Aren’t kids better
off with one good, functional parent
than two unhappy, dysfunctional
Stenberg needs to realize that
children are better off when they feel
safe and secure. As a divorced person
and as a child of divorce, let me tell
you - children are much, MUCH bet
ter off when they feel that their par
ents love them. And the simple fact is
that children can’t and won’t feel that
way when their parents are fighting
all the time.
. As for the counseling provisions
under contractmarriage, icounseling
is a fine idea in theory. However,
counseling probably wouldn’t have
helped my male friend, because not
everyone tells the truth about who
they are. Sometimes people deliber
ately lie, but mostly people don’t even
know who they are themselves due to
immaturity and lack of life experi
i nere is anotner prooiem mat
Stenberg doesn’t realize: What if your
spouse doesn’t want to go to counsel
ing? What do you do then?
In my case, there was no alterna
tive. My ex-husband refused counsel
ing, saying there was nothing wrong
with him. So, there was nothing I
could do. , V.
I bet Don Stenberg has nevd|%%d
someone go through hell on eafth -
which is what divorce is. Ant! if he
does know how bad divorce is, he is
doubly foolish.
Let me say it again: No one gets
married in order to divorce.
No one.
: Waffle House
Lincoln where syfUp Fiftgs moreh^sWtm Wwtmjjm
junior -broadcasting
major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist,
Nebraska.. .the good life.
That's what the sign at die border
says anyway. If you look around, it’s
obvious that Nebraska is indeed the
good life and has everything to offer
a person. Quality education, strong
family values, a phallus for a capital,
and acres of parking.
But where’s the Waffle House?
. :,.Otdof die 1,110 Waffle Houses
^spread throughout 20 states, our
• dear Nebraska gets the guff.
^ ; Normally I don’t hold restaurant
chains close to my heart, but after
my first visit, the Waffle House fran
chise was firmly entrenched near my
left ventricle.
Allow me to explain.
It was spring break of 1996. The
UNL ultimate team was traveling to
the University of Texas in Austin for
a tournament At the wheel was my
roommate Stump and riding shotgun
was a fellow who answers to the
name Poop. I try to make it a habit
not to fall asleep when my life is in
Stump’s hands, but after pulling two
consecutive all-nighters for the sake
of midterms, I was out like stone
washed denim before we reached the
Kansas border.
Poop, whom I’d like to wish a
fast recovery in his wood chopping
induced cranial wound, woke me up
10 hours later in the parking lot of a
Denton, Texas, Waffle House.
Walking into that Waffle House,
I was as shocked and confused as a
freshly neutered cat. I went to bed in
a normal world and awoke in some
sick and twisted dimension that was
the Waffle Zone. All around were
drunken cow pokes a hootin’ and
hollerin’. It was a bizarre state of
delirium that no drug could ever
The confused state was quickly
transformed into a state of euphoria
thanks to a waffle slathered in maple
syrup. (Quick fact: Waffle Housq
is the world’s leading server of X
waffles, T-bone steaks, X a
omelets, cheese (n eggs, X
raisin toast, and apple / v
butter.) Being Texas 1 S
natives, Stump mid Poop
couldn’t believe my instant J
obsession with that white trash /
version of Denny’s. To them, /
Waffle Houses were an eye- —
sore, blinding you at every off
ramp, but to a Nebraskan,
was ti
trip, I
of die
was i
Their days of spoiling me with
homemade goods made me resort to
getting a pair of pecan waffles for
take out, one for myself, and one for
my current roommate.
While I waited for my “Good
Food Fast,” I grilled the waitress
with end
less questions. How many waffles
have been served? How many ways
can you get a burger made? Stumped
for answers, she resorted to giving
me a menu and a job application to
take home.(Quick fact: Over 330
million waffles have been served
since 1955.)
On the menu, I found a nice cor
nucopia of Waffle House informa
tion that so eloquently told the
Waffle House story.
Waffle House
began as the dream of two
neighbors who envisioned a
company dedicated to peo
ple. On Labor Day 1955, the
dream became a reality as the
first Waffle House opened for
W business in Avondale Estates,
Ga., a suburb of Atlanta.
moment now as I try to use my
columnist position as a way to influ
ence others as I present to you the
“Top Seven Reasons Why Lincoln
Can Support a Waffle House.”
(Quick fact: I chose seven because
there are seven different ways you
can get your hash browns cooked.)
1. With the recent opening of the
“Burritos as big as your head store,”
the next niche market on the list
would have to be the market forj
grits, which in Lincoln has yet to be
2. Nebraskans love beef, and if
y’all advertised that there are at least
844,739 ways to prepare a Waffle
House burger, the world’s beef sup
ply would plummet
3. Since Waffle House serves
Coca-Cola exclusively, put it next to
campus and become die local fix for
4. Seventy-five cents for a bot
tomless cup of “Americas best cof
fee.” Much cheapo* then the local
esoteric coffee joints.
5. There is something like 238
places a person can get drunk in the
Lincoln area. That’s a lot of drunks.
Drunk people love to eat!
6. The Waffle House job applica
tion is so ridiculously simple that
even Lincoln’s stupidest resident
could find employment there. Just
imagine over 200,000 potential
7. The sight of Bert’s Chili on die
menu made my friend Jason salivate ^ .
to the point of dehydration.
There they are. My seven rea
If reading this has you thinking
of dropping out of school and mov
ing to Tennessee and marrying a
coal-miner’s daughter just so you
can liv$ tiear a Waffle House, don’t
Just drOpkheir “Let us Know” Dept
at P.O. Box 6450, Norcross, Ga., >i
30091 and let them know how badly
Lincoln wants a Waffle House to call
its own.