420 Jericho Tpke., Ste. 222, Jericho, NY 11753 Phone: (516) 942-3200 Fax: (516) 942-3366
Mace H. Greenfield is a twice divorce father who had custody of his daughter since 1991. She is now 25 and he is so very proud of her. His favorite line is: "Been there, done that, now please listen to me."
He has also been known by the stage name of "Mace In Your Face" since 1984, having hosted both morning radio and talk radio, as well as having made many TV and news appearances. He has been published nationally and internationally.
He formerly sat on the Boards of Directors of: Fathers Rights Association of Long Island (Executive Director); Fathers Rights Association of New York State (Corporate Secretary); Grandparents Rights Association of New York (V. P. of Public Relations); Grandparents Reaching Out (V. P. of Public Relations). He has been a member of Parents Without Partners since 1992, sat on the Board of Directors from 1993 through 1995, again in 2002 and 2003, and was Nassau chapter President in 2004, and then was a member of Suffolk.
Mr. Greenfield changed careers to become an attorney after his return to New York in 1991, after his divorce in Virginia. He sought assistance of the courts, and only found it made his problems worse, not better. The Courts and other agencies treated him poorly because he was a father and they would not listen that he had (and still has) custody. Later, the Courts went after his x-wife for things she never did. When Mr. Greenfield called the courts and other agencies, and was told to just laugh at her like others would in his shoes. They also told him that he was petty when he requested the child support order be corrected to identify him as a man and his x as the woman. Mr. Greenfield, on the suggestion and urging by the Hon. Burton S. Joseph, changed his career path, retuned to college and then attended law school.
While hosting the talk radio show, "The Unfamily Hour," as "Mace in your Face," in the early 90's, his friends told him they heard Howard Stern talk about him on more than one occasion. He did not believe his friends and told them "!@#$ yourself." Then during the second week of law school in 1994, he was outside smoking a cigarette (he has since quit) and a young lady from his class approached him and said 'you look familiar, your voice is familiar, you're not that guy Howard Stern talks about, the other guy on radio Mace in your Face who disses the judges, DAs, cops and lawyers with impunity, those before him had their lives destroyed?' Struggling to keep his composure finding out his friends were not merely goofing on him as he prior thought, he tried to act cool and said: "yep, that's me."
Born in 1960, raised in N. Bellmore, graduated W.C. Mepham High School in 1978, attended SUNY at Stony Brook 1978 to 1983, and settled into Advertising Public Relations and Marketing with a full service agency. He decided to change careers and become an attorney to help others avoid the problems with the system he encountered. He again attended SUNY Stony Brook 1993 to 1994 and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He then graduated from Touro Law School in May of 1998, passed the bar exam in 1998, and was admitted to the practice of law in January 1999. Mace H. Greenfield opened his own office on September 4, 2002.
Mace H. Greenfield (written in 1991)
Not-the-Mama is not only the amusingly irreverent title, affectionately given the daddy dinosaur by the baby dinosaur on the TV series Dinosaurs, but is also a societal stigma given fathers, especially separated and divorced fathers having custody. Not-the-Dada seems to be an un-conceived of concept (let's hear about it single moms). Many capable, loving, nurturing fathers too easily give up custody during the separation and divorce process simply because of the Not-the-Mama syndrome. Yet, in this era of women's lib and male sensitivity, other than the biological differences, what can one parent do that the other parent cannot? Answer: That depends on the individuals as individuals and not on their labels.
As a divorced custodial father of a 4 year old girl (at time of writing, DOB: 8-19-87), I am constantly besieged: I really respect you for taking on the responsibility, it must really be hard on you! (As though its any harder on a man than a women); Gee, who takes care of her when you're at work? (Same as most working moms ... day care); Your so good with your daughter, how do you do it? How does any parent do it? (Consistency, set rules, plenty of nurturing, and lotsa' love). Why are people so surprised? It reminds me of the time when my daughter was about 2 years old and we were grocery shopping...
Several moms and dads asked me what my secret was to such a well behaved child who doesn't grab everything from the shelves, throwing everything in the wagon and then screaming when the items are replaced on the shelves, as their children were doing. Simple, I said, I don't leave the wagon close enough to the shelves for my daughter to be able to reach. - Simplicity.
Simplicity is the key to doing anything, but damn it, there is no simple way to braid her hair!!! Or getting those bows, clips and barrettes to stay in her hair! The important things in life, braids, clips, bows... OH NO! I'm Not-the-Mama! But I can do a dandy pony tail and get clips to stay in her hair behind the pony tail what-cha-ma-call-its. Kind of like many single moms doing a tune-up or oil change, we learn, we do, we get by or get a sibling or friend to help.
When simplicity fails, substitution works great. A few months ago, my innocent little 4 year old girl wanted a bra! So off we go to the stores. On the advice of my friend's sister, a mother of 2 (a 9 nine year old girl and an 8 year old boy), we went in search of those half top strapped under shirt what-cha-ma-call-its. The first 2 stores didn't have any, but every time my little girl saw a real bra, she said, There's a bra for me daddy. I blushingly replied, Wrong size honey. Now she has a draw full of those what-cha-ma-call-its and happily wears a bra every day.
The only aspect of single fatherhood of a little girl I really hate is having to take her to the dreaded, filthy, disgusting MEN'S ROOM when out in public. Conversations about this with many women seems to indicate that womens rooms aren't so much tidier than mens rooms after all. Am I just being consoled ... or ... can it be true ... I hate to even think it ... the WOMENS ROOM is just as filthy as the MENS ROOM? Was it just a myth that I've been holding on to all these years? If its true: Congratulations women's libbers on achieving rest room filth parody. Ha! Ha! Ha! (As my daughter would say.)
Worst of all, I found out that my daughter has been kissing a 4 year old boy at day care. Upon further investigation, I learned that this Casanova gets kissed by all the girls. I immediately, as a responsible parent, had a talk with the boy's father, and the boy himself. I discovered that this Casanova, though he comes from a fine upstanding family, never attended college and has no means of self-support. But worse yet, even under the severest of interrogations, this Casanova refused to reveal his secrets so that I too, could be kissed by all the girls.
What does any of this have to do with being a single custodial father as compared to being the mother? Not much and that is just the point. Whether mama or Not-the-Mama, being a parent is just that, being a parent. The greatest of responsibility, adventure and love. The needs of a child stay the same, the responsibilities of parenting stay the same, and the societal myths stay the same.
The only real differences are the societal misconceptions and the media that perpetuates this. Magazines and newspaper articles, and TV shows on the subject matter of parenting are all geared to the mama audience. Just as Cosmo and GQ are formatted to their respective gender counterparts of similar subject matter, there needs to be media parody for fathers. Or as Time magazine and many others are geared for all people, parenting publications should be presented in a way as to interest both parents.
Authors note: My little girls name is Amanda Margret, I misspelled her name on her birth certificate. She is not a little girl anymore but a young lady.