Tom and Natalie Parker have three kids, two dogs, and a cat named Scruffy. Their house, on Ferd Hickey Road, features two baths, three bedrooms, and a sizable den. They have been married off and on almost 10 years.
“When we got married the first time, we had no idea we’d hate each other within a year. But after separation we felt lonely and during the blizzard of ’93 got back together to keep warm and then remarried shortly thereafter. Our first kid was actually born nine months later,” explained Tom. “This pattern got to be cyclic, but there weren’t many blizzards so we only ended up with three kids.”
Their divorce lawyer, Al Compton, has also become somewhat of a personal friend over the years. “I give them a discount now when they file for divorce. At first, I thought their behavior was a bit, well, spastic, but you just have to know Tom and Natalie,” said Compton. “We get together for barbecues now. I try to coach them through their spats when I can, it’ll save them some money in the long run.”
Natalie seems happy in their relationship at the moment. They have been married again for almost four months this time. “Now that we’ve become friends with Al, and we can get our marriage license renewed at East Town Mall so easily without missing any work, it just makes sense to settle our disputes by living apart for awhile,” she explained. “Perhaps we could have saved some money by not getting divorced so many times, since we’ve gotten back together each time, but our relationship has really grown stronger this way.”
As for the children, Andy, Mikey, and Stevey, they don’t seem to mind so much. “By the time we were old enough to know what was going on, we were already used to it. We don’t understand why other kids need counseling or Ritalin,” said Andy, the oldest. Friends and teachers say the children are very grown up for their age. According to Nancy, they just stay at the house now while she and Tom go to their respective parents’ houses to live during a period of divorce. “We keep the refrigerator stocked with microwave dinners.”
When asked if they will stay married this time, Tom mused, “Well, I don’t rightly know. We’re getting along so well this time. Things are going great, we have plenty of money to pay the bills. But I just know she’s going to do something to piss me off again.”