So the ending of the graduation party saga:
1. My wife was nagging me that I needed to go. I bluntly told her that she needs to stop trying to bully me into going; the decision is mine and only mine. I am aware of the risks/rewards and I get to make the final decision, not her
2. This was my parenting weekend. DD17 (the grad) did not come over this weekend because of the grad party. DD16 was on a vacation with her friend, so she didn't come over either. This left me with DS11. I picked him up at his normal time on Thursday. On the way to my house (~45 minutes), I asked him if he wanted to go to the grad party and he said that he did. He asked me if I was going to go. I told him "I don't know", which I meant literally at that moment in time (i.e., I still had decided). Lucky for me (keep reading), this phrasing is commonly translated as a passive-aggressive way of saying "no."
3. DS11 apparently communicated to his mother that I was not going to attend the party. So, the two of them negotiated that she would pick him up from my house. I know this petty, but this knowledge brought me considerable joy because my ex-wife had tried to bully me to live within a few miles of her during the divorce and she *hates* driving to my new house (it's about 70 miles, round trip). It also gave me an "opening" to safely attend the party, albeit briefly.
4. My son and I negotiated when I would pick him up from his mother's -- he wanted to stay for 4 or 5 hours. So, at the correct time, my wife and I drove to the party. In my head, my plan was to get there, hug DD17 and tell her how much I love her, grab my son, and leave. Unless the police were already there when I arrived, I would be gone before someone could call the police and they arrived (based on my prior history: I had no more than 8 minutes).
5. I shared my plan with my wife. I don't know if she liked it or hated it, but she went along with it. So, that's what I did. At least two people in attendance were *very* surprised that I showed up and audibly said so aloud (and not directed at me). I was on and off the property is less than 5 minutes. My wife lingered a bit longer, but that was fine because she has never been previously warned to stay off my ex's property.
6. My son and I went to a nearby amusement park and had a great time that night!
[This message edited by barcher144 at 4:16 AM, Monday, July 10th]
Me: Crap, I'm almost 50 years old. D-Day: August 30, 2016. Two years of false reconciliation. Divorce final: Feb 1, 2021. Re-married: December 3, 2022.