who's on judge mathis today? #37

a books/snacks/softcore daily mini letter

plaintiff: bernadette from soledad, california. black blazer, oatmeal-ish turtleneck, hair scraped up into a very severe topknot which is one hundred percent my favorite way a person can look. i want that hair pulled up so tight if a strand popped loose it would make a BOING!!! sound. accordion of truth™ looks thin, but it’s there.

defendant: craig from sutherlin, oregon. i love the name craig, because i love kind, sensitive craig from the craig & zoe episode of catfish so much. this craig has a dress shirt and a chinstrap beard. i wonder how other craig is doing? last i saw on his instagram before he made it private (what the FUCK, samantha) he had a new girlfriend and a job at olive garden and was looking very happy. i hope he’s doing ok.

the complaint: bernadette is suing her ex-boyfriend for the cost of a truck

what does she want: $1650 for a “refund.” countersuit to make shit interesting: craig would like thirty-five hundred american dollars for “emotional distress.” ugh, i’m already queasy.

how it went down: i don’t know if this means anything but greg is strutting into the courtroom like he just got a blowjob backstage, literally grinning to himself as he enters the room! he usually looks stern and businesslike but today he’s the cock of the fucking walk and i hope that means he’s feeling spicy. bernadette kicks it off by calling craig an “irresponsible, broke manchild who lives with his mother” and boy i looooove when it starts off hot. they met online in 2016 and the relationship fizzled then they recently reconnected. greg plays dumb and asks how they showed up as potential matches after all that time and then they play dumb and say some vague shit about the ~algorithm~ or whatever but you know and i know and they know that we know that at 3 o’clock on a random tuesday morning while scrolling fruitlessly through new prospects one of them (probably craig tbh) went through years’ worth of “hi :)” messages he’d sent and decided to see if anyone would take his bait again. every single one of us has an old dormant eharmony thread in which we’d spent two months gushing breathlessly over someone who inexplicably fell off then two years later popped back up like “wow hey fool4love2 it’s been a long time remember me i’m so sorry for ghosting but i’m in a much healthier place now how are u?”

they started talking again and then bernadette invited craig to fly down to california from oregon to attend her birthday party, and he arrived with no money and no gift. oh, bernie. i hate that i identify so deeply with what i know is about to happen next. she put him up in a hotel and gave him some cash and the next day took him back to the airport. greg (rightly) asserts that some people would’ve driven him right back to the airport upon discovering that he was broke, and by “some” people i think he means “black” people because that is for sure what most of us would do? not me of course, i’m tragic and lonely enough that i’d bring him back to my actual house and order him a pizza while he ruined all my furniture and towels, but a black person with self-esteem would have been like GRAND OPENING, GRAND CLOSING.

a few weeks later bernadette flew up to see him in oregon and right up until this moment i was thinking “what a bad bitch” because she seems confident! and self-assured! and obviously has money to be paying for plane tickets and unexpectedly putting her man up in a hotel! but you can’t be talking shit about someone being a broke asshole and then...get on an airplane to go see him? she paid for all of the plane tickets and the hotel rooms and all the food, and it doesn’t sound like she was under duress while doing so, so bernie baby you are simply not allowed to call dude a loser because then what does that make you? i’m not the one losing if i’m getting flewed out!

craig was a general contractor who went through some difficult times and lost his business and his house and moved to oregon to live with his mom to put himself back together. i am allergic to taking a man’s side, but there’s a difference between “shiftless mama’s boy who never moved out” and “lost his business in this economic hellscape in which 99% of us are forced to hunger games each other in order to scratch together a living.” craig initially suggested that he and bernadette meet halfway between california and oregon but he didn’t have the cash to do so, and then she offered to fly him to her birthday. he also says he ended up in a hotel because bernadette’s daughter was unexpectedly going to be home for the weekend and you can’t have a strange man from the internet staying with your kid, not because he was a mooch. apparently she knew he couldn’t pay her back, that was the entire arrangement! then the night after craig arrived bernie put her kid up for adoption (probably?) and he stayed at her crib (plot twist!) and they banged.

the ruling: bernadette says the refund she’s seeking is for a truck for her mother and craig says “i object!” sir, this isn’t the good wife, pipe down! her version of the story is that her mother wanted a truck and craig had a friend who was selling a truck. bernie wired craig $1650 to buy the truck and then he was supposed to drive it to california for her mother. i’m gonna pause it here and speculate that 1 he pocketed the money and never bought the truck or 2 he bought the truck and tried to drive it down but he crashed it and couldn’t afford to get it towed or couldn’t pay for gas or some other broke shit, because she wouldn’t be leaning so hard on this “he has no money!” if it wasn’t part of the story in some way? otherwise why sue a person you spent twenty minutes calling poor?! sue rich people!!!!!!!

craig’s convoluted version is that he actually needed the truck for himself and once he was done with it he was going to eventually give it to bernadette’s mom. apparently he drove the truck to california (for what? to show her the thing she’d maybe eventually be getting?) and on the way the truck broke down and he spent two days on the side of the highway waiting for bernadette to arrange for him to be picked up. wow i get the sugar baby of it all but DAMN CRAIG don’t you have any friends? can your mom call AAA? two days on the side of the road?! craig adds that the real reason he was supposed to drive down was to do some contracting work on bernadette’s house “for free,” which we all understand to mean “for dick.”

judge mathis denies craig’s $3500 emotional distress claim for the two days he sat by the side of the road and LOL GOOD. bernadette has texts from craig not only confirming that it was for her mother but also saying that he would pay her back for it and thanks for the laughs but why are you even on here if you texted her you would pay?! craig says he only wrote that to get her off his back but you said it, dude. judgment, duh, for the plaintiff. next time pick up your mama’s big beige house phone and lie right to her ears!

did uncle greg say anything fucked up to anyone: *chuckling* “you want a refund on your ~activities~ and your ~activities~ caused him emotional distress? sounds like you’re a piece of work!”

*bangs gavel*