Melissa is driving through Darlington trying to avoid the police. If they see me they'll arrest me, and we know they know my car. I put the front seat back all the way so I'm out of view. I keep my seatbelt on because in case they see us, I don't want to be breaking any extra laws.
I have to start this story when I was getting a divorce. People told me the cleanest, easiest divorces are when there are two good lawyers. So I asked around for the two best lawyers in Madison. They knew each other, of course. And negotiations went smoothly, except for my lawyer quitting first when I started blogging about the divorce and then when I agreed to talk about the divorce with the New York Times.
The police are not actually chasing us. But we feel like we're on the run. I told my lawyer — not my divorce lawyer but my new lawyer, who deals with about-to-be-arrested types — that the police have been to my house three times to arrest me. The Farmer is so stressed he's not even coming back from the hayfield for lunch. The lawyer says, “You'll have to stay away from the house til I can get the papers signed by a judge.”
I was thinking of staying at Jeanenne's house for a few days but I feel bad asking her to harbor a fugitive. So Melissa and I are on our way to Madison.
As we pass the turnoff for our house I worry that we don't have our computers.
“Hold it,” I say. “I have an idea. Pull over to the side and drop me off in one of those corn fields and I'll wait for you while you go get our computers.”
“No. This is not The Bourne Identity. We have two iPhones and a charger. That's enough.
“You remembered the charger?” I say.
I look up at Melissa from my overly reclined seat and say, “You are such a good friend.”
We get onto the highway which is pretty safe. I sit up and call Ryan Paugh to see if we can stay with him that night.
He says yes.
I tell Melissa that Ryan was not phased by the warrant.
She says, “I don't think anyone who has agreed to be around you would ever be fazed. Except the Farmer.”
“You call him the Farmer? Are you insane? You live with him.”
“Yeah, when I feel like we're living a movie I need to use his character name.”
We drive for an hour and a half.
It turned out — I'm back to our divorce settlement now — it turned out that my ex did not want money from me or custody of the kids. He wanted to make sure I paid our IRS debt. So I accepted responsibility for all our debt — IRS, credit cards, doctors — and I signed that I'd pay the IRS before anyone else.
Ever since then, his lawyer has gone after me for the $4000 in lawyer fees. It's my responsibility to pay them, per our settlement, but not until after the IRS. So I keep having to file papers showing that I am still paying the IRS, and that I am not secretly a millionaire.
The problem is that it's easy for the lawyers to demand tons of court documents and it's very hard for me to comply. Remember, I am the on who can't get a driver's license because of the paperwork. I miss most airplanes because I can't keep track of all the numbers. I don't know my left and right.
So I missed a bunch of court stuff. And then I got indignant that the amount of filings they were demanding was harassment. This is, by the way, not an unfounded thought. It's a problem with debt collection in PA and WI and if I end up in prison you can bet I'm going to become some sort of legal activist.
But I don't want to ruin my family life. I call the Farmer to apologize. I tell him there is fun cheese in the fridge for dinner. I apologize ten times and ask him to pay the $1000 retainer to the lawyer.
He asks where my money is.
I tell him that building up my diverse and exciting inventory of goat cheese is an expensive endeavor.
He says he would never invest in a startup.
I don't tell him that marrying a serial entrepreneur is like investing in a startup: You part with your sanity in exchange for a huge lottery ticket and a guarantee that life will be interesting.
The local police have empathy for the Farmer. One off-duty cop stopped by to tell us that there is a warrant out for my arrest. That was a nice heads up. The officer told the Farmer and the Farmer told me and I told Jeanenne and Jeanenne told about fifteen people until she got to the person at my ex-husband's law firm that could withdraw the warrant. Or whatever it's called that she was going to do. But the thing she did triggered something in the system that forced the police to arrest me immediately.
I have had two narrow escapes when they have come to my house. But now I'm on the run.
Melissa is excited to go to Chipotle. I'm excited to go to Starbucks. These are luxuries to girls who eat off a farm.
We are mid-burrito, when Melissa gets text message. It's the investor we are supposed to be meeting in Chicago. James Altucher. We are huge fans of his blog and he does not know he's an investor but we want him to be an investor. He is confirming that we'll be there in three hours for dinner.
“What!?” I say. “You told me it was next week, not this week.”
“He said next week but it should have been the week after. This week is always a hard thing to understand because this week and next week are regional. You know, like if it's Tuesday and you say this Tuesday is it next Tuesday or this Tuesday?”
“You didn’t check the date? Are you kidding me? You are so lame! That is so lame!”
“We have enough time to get there.
“Yeah. If we had a private jet.”
“No. Really. We do. Let's just go right now.”
We go. I drive. Melissa looks around my car for a shirt she might like better than the one she has on. She finds nothing. She asks if there is a Forever 21 near the place we're having dinner.
I tell her we can go there after dinner if it's an all-night store.
Then she puts on my makeup.
She’s very serious. Then she smiles.
I say, “You look so good in my makeup.”
She says, “I think that's because you never see me in lip gloss.”
“What? I don't have lip gloss.”
“Look,” she says. “I found this in your glove compartment.”
“Oh yeah. I got that free from Booty Parlor. It's a porn shop for women. They want me to write about them. That lip gloss is an aphrodisiac … that’s so great for our investor meeting… Here, give me some, too.”