A Hot Pocket Broke My Family
How a Hot Pocket argument led to divorce
My daughter came home from school yesterday with a school project. She had to write an essay about an event in her life that defined her. She shared a memory I completely forgot. So, I felt compelled to write it out here.
My then-husband let a simple argument over a hot pocket destroy our family. My oldest son, Nick, loved hot pockets more than anything at 16. He’d use his earnings as a host at a local restaurant to buy lots of Hot Pockets. It was his money and so I never complained about it.
One day, Nick was working. While at work, his dad (probably doing drugs and/or drinking) cooked two of his Hot Pockets. When Nick came home from work, he opened the freezer expecting to see his Hot Pockets. They were gone, but his dad left the empty box in the freezer.
Nick storms into his brothers’ room, accusing him of eating his favorite food. They knew nothing about it. Nick started screaming, “Who ate my Hot Pockets?”
No one comes clean. He drills me, even though he knew I didn’t really like Hot Pockets. He politely asks his sister, Lauren. She denies it. That left one person — his dad!
Nick approaches his dad to ask what happened to his Hot Pocket. His dad denies it. Then Nick sees the evidence on the side of his bed — the Hot Pocket microwave sleeves. This is when it gets heated. Nick can’t fight the feeling of being angry — his dad ate his food and lied about it.
Let’s put aside the fact this argument was about a Hot Pocket. Nick rants at his dad about lying to him and stealing his food. He would have been okay with it if he would have told him when he originally asked and replaced it. But his dad didn’t do that.
His dad raged back, alleging Nick was out of line and should “watch his back.” Nick wondered what that meant and asked him to clarify. His dad said that once he’s 18, he will have to move out.
It’s not an overstatement to say it was a tense situation. I tried to intervene to keep the peace, but they both were furious and I didn’t know what to do to stop the fighting.
Eventually, I convince his dad to go to the store and replace the Hot Pocket. I didn’t see any other way to resolve it. It was only right since he bought it with his own money.
Once his dad came home with a few boxes of Hot Pockets (bought with my money as his dad never worked), he threw the grocery bag at Nick’s face. It hit him in the corner of his eye. It didn’t cut him, but it definitely hurt.
“Whoa, that was not called for? Who do you think you are throwing anything at Nick’s face?” I scream.
“When you act like a bitch, you get put in your place,” his dad replied.
I stood in the living room in disbelief. I knew his dad has abusive tendencies, but I was usually the victim. Now, his target was my son.
Nick calmed down after making his Hot Pocket. He sat at the kitchen table and was about to take a bite.
“Come on, Nicholas, gimme a bite?” his dad asked in this snarky voice. He was clearly trying to get under his skin. As I sit and listen to him torture my son, I realized this man wasn’t shit. He’s bullying my son, and it has to stop.
I turned to Nick and reassured him this won’t happen ever again. That seemed to make him feel better. I told his dad that if he ever spoke to Nick like that again, he’d deal with me.
Over the course of the evening, things appeared to settle down. The next morning, Nick argued with his brother about the computer. I pulled Nick aside and suggested we watch an episode of Game of Thrones (our favorite show). Out of nowhere, his dad came running up to him, while Nick was relaxing on the sofa watching TV, and punched him.
Nick started bleeding and we look over and see his dad screaming,” Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s what you get.”
I had no other choice but to call the police. He was a danger to the family, and I had to protect them. The police arrived and arrested him (he had a warrant). While he sat in the county jail, I filed a restraining order.
You’d think that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t. Three weeks later, we had a court appearance for the restraining order trial. During court, he tried to get the judge to kick Nick out of the house and let him back in. It didn’t work, but it was sad to see how far he would go to destroy his own son.
We divorced and let’s just say; we aren’t friendly at all. He still blames me for his legal troubles, but if he wasn’t on drugs, there would be no legal entanglement.
This is how a Hot Pocket destroyed my family. We’ve all recovered and moved forward, but I don’t think Nick and his dad will ever be close. As a person who lost her father to cancer at a young age, I wanted my children to have a healthy bond with their dad. But he can’t give that to them. He only wants to use them for his selfish needs and drain their bank accounts.
In the end, Nick doesn’t feel like he missed much. He told me recently that he’s happier without his dad’s presence in his life. All I could say back was, “Me too, son. Me too.”
Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below. Don’t forget to follow me to read more of my stories.
Originally published on Medium: https://medium.com/the-memoirist/a-hot-pocket-broke-my-family-878769d18d7f
About the Creator
Chrissie Marie Massey
Chrissie has spent the last 20 years writing online for several major news outlets. When not writing, you’ll find her watching a Lifetime movie, wearing her favorite PJs with a frozen soda in hand.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Wow this story shook me. Good on you for sticking up for your son!
A very sad tale. The maternal instinct is strong, and you didn't stand by while your ex-husband bullied your son. I'm pleased things worked out for you and Nick in the end.
Mother love is always the greatest!
Parents who have courage will be their children's greatest strength.
Wow this story shook me. Good on you for sticking up for your son!
The hot pocket didn't destroy your family, the drug addict did.
I was just talking about things along this line with my best friend this week. You likely know it, but that Hot Pocket didn't destroy your marriage, your husband did. If it wasn't a Hot Pocket that day it would have been a pair of socks another day, or something else. He was a time bomb who was contributing nothing positive to your life or the lives of your children. As much as people hope that their families will still together and everyone will get along, thatl doesn't always work. At this point, what you have to do is protect yourself and your children on every front. Get your husband out of your lives entirely. I have nieces whose mother is an addict, with problems similar to your husband. They technically love her and wish her the best, but all she does is try to manipulate them for her own needs, so they have to be protected from her. Keep your husband away, protect yourself and your kids, and move on. One day if he's redeemed himself, maybe things will be different, but until then he can only do harm and your best best is to distance all of you from him as much as possible, in every way possible.