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Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Long Division

Right now, I'm vacillating between rushes of energy and relief that I'm moving away from here this week, bursts of paranoia that something will go wrong, and regret tinged with repentance that I'm leaving this home that I love.
After four days of my ringing her, Tybalt calmed down enough to speak to me again without screaming, and we've agreed to meet on Saturday to decide how to divide up the spoils of war (aka the furniture from our soon to be sold flat). She was nonplussed about why I or she would particularly want this or that useless over-large piece of furniture that costs yet more money to store than it originally cost, but I pointed out some problems.
I know from bitter experience many years ago that this sort of thing is what sticks with you when all the dust and recriminations subside. I've never forgiven Lanky Ex for dumping my green crockery set. Not that I particularly want a green crockery set. Pffft. But he took it, and he dumped it, and it was mine.
R eminds me of my favourite line from Shallow Grave: "we know the price of it, but we don't know yet what it cost". These things go deeper than what did it 'cost' you?

F'r instance, case in point: I have no teevee in my new Temporary Abode (or bed, or washing machine, come to that). I could take the big bastard swanky widescreen digital effort we have here, with its video and dvd player. But if I do that - especially given that I watch teevee about three times a year - I'm taking something that Tybalt is hugely more invested in, and staking a territorial claim on it.
Kinda: You want it? Come get it... sorta thing.
There's a medium sized portable teevee and video in a cupboard that's not being used. I could easily take that, and p'raps buy myself a cheap dvd player. (What? Mix and match with the other one? They're different colours for gawdssakes. I am gay, you know.)
But if I took the portable, I'm saying: I don't want the teevee I paid half of a thousand knicker for. You have it. I haven't given you enough ridiculously ostentatious gifts over the years to match the sanity you've already taken without thanks or forgiveness. Here, have some more.
That just wouldn't do.
Added to this who-gets-the-good-piece debate, there's other stuff too emotionally loaded to slice up, a la King Solomon - a stupidly expensive chest of drawers which took Tybalt forever to put together and is worth around #500. She did so over a weekend when I was defiantly out racing around and getting blotto with pals she didn't like and had 'forbidden' me to see. Yet she doesn't want it - it reminds her of the agonising irritation of painstakingly putting it together, on her own. I love the thing, even though I always felt it was assembled as some sort of reproach to me. Yes please, I'll take that one, thanks. The other, ugly, chest of drawers was #30 secondhand from a junk shop in Holloway Road. So what does Tybalt get that's worth as much moulah as the poncey drawers?
JatB suggested that rather than feeling aggrieved that I have to take the (goddamn bloody sodding blinking bloody) cats, we take one each. Now there's a lawyer's mind... Split them up? Not going to happen. Who'd have the naughty one? Who gets the puker? Some things can't be split fairly.

Without a bed in my new Temporary Abode, the problem of who gets what becomes more immediate for me. Inevitably I wondered - possessively - about the king size bed here that's too big (lack of snuggles - always a bad sign in a relationship), and has suddenly plunging midnight wooden slats which wake you up by tumbling you earthwards at innopportune moments. No way will the flat look like the yuppie show home we've been trying to simulate without a big bed in it.
I do also have two cheap single beds in the spare room which stack. Thought about taking the smaller one from underneath. The bedrooms here would still contain beds, but at least I wouldn't be sleeping on the floor in my new Temporary Abode. I'm going to feel dislocated enough without severe sleep deprivation on top.
However I was defeated somewhat by the prospect of lugging a mattress down six flights of stairs, across a freezing dank and dirty yard and fitting it into my fairly big (but not a bloody tardis) car. Unlikely.
Unlikely in a Del Boy Trotter shaking his head, clucking his tongue and sucking his breath in sharply impossible way.
My dad offered to come up and help move it. Blimey - I don't want to see my dad having a heart attack hefting bloody stupid mattresses up and down the stairs just because I was dumb enough to get dumped by Tybalt.
And there again, I'm five foot ten, this is a five foot eleven single bed. Given the heat seeking cat-missiles, as well as room for pillow leverage, I'd spend more of my time hanging off the edge of the too short mattress while the moggies enjoy the fruits of my duvet than I spent comfortably asleep.
Profligate that I am, I avoided the entire issue by purchasing a cheap as piss (but not as wet) double bed from Argos, deliverable next Monday afternoon (I'm going to sneak out of work and hope the bribes I'm preparing for the customers will shut them up about it). That means one night sleeping rough on the manky floor, and then I'll own five beds, total. Ag.
I suppose it will match the three hoovers. (Start running a hotel?)

Perhaps in a way arbitrary divisions would be as fair as anything else I considered?
See, I thought perhaps if I got the contents of both bedrooms, including computers, and Tybalt got the contents of the living room and kitchen, it might be roughly equal value. But even without a bed to sleep on, I can see there's fuck all point in having four beds.
Next avenue of enquiry had me dividing every room into North and South, with one person getting each room's southerly contents. The South side turned out to be vastly more wealthy than the North (you'd have thought a Lancastrian childhood would have prepared me for that...), so there's no way I'm even suggesting that one.

I want what I want, and I don't want to be mean, or to lose out on what I can't have. This week's question for me is: How do we do this? Especially how do we apportion ownership of the things from our lives together without it feeling like a C section?
How do we make this omelette with these here eggs?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:26 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 January 2004 5:58 PM GMT
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Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 7:21 PM GMT

Name: Kat
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It sounds as if there is plenty to be divided between the two of you. If there are already four beds, why buy another? There are two TV's. One is larger than the other but you said yourself you seldom watch. Take the small one and the computer, blah, blah.

This is and will be do-able and you know as well as I do that it won't be entirely fair even if you managed dollar for dollar to split everything up.

At the same time this chapter of your life has ended and new and wonderful experiences are on the horizon - look towards that. This stuff is just stuff. Take what matters to you and if you truly want something stake your claim. Otherwise let it go.

Hugs, sugarlump.

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 7:36 PM GMT

Name: Queen Goddess
Home Page:

Sell it all!! You have eBay over there? Do you have time to put it on eBay? If not have a yard sale and just split the profits.

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 7:51 PM GMT

Name: Legomen
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Crikey!! You ask some stinkers don't you? I side with Kat, keep it simple and straightforward and anything that causes angst just walk away from so that the memories don't bite later. I'm not much help really. All my relationship breakdowns have ended with me and a small sports bag getting slung out of a door with my ankles higher than my shoulders (fortunately they've all been ground floor doors)

Oooohhh..there is, of course, a version of Supermarket sweep?
Someone times you and you both have 30 seconds to run around slapping different coloured stickers marked 'yours' and 'hers' on things? OK, maybe not.....might be better than North and South though...Keep the chin up

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 8:12 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Well it made me laugh, but I don't want to give her any excuse to be violent, even if it's elbowing out of the way, thanks!
Yeah, previously I've walked out without anything, lost all my photos, things n stuff, so I was feeling a little aggrieved. She hasn't, so it'd be a worthy, character building experience for her, right?
Actually, I doubt she wants much of it, I'm mostly worried her entrepreneurial zest would show up again, and she'd demand payment for anything she can't be buggered carrying away, as usual.

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 8:14 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Yeah. I know what you mean. F'r instance, I think I should get the hi -fi, cos I love it, I use it, I need a hi-fi, whereas she only liked it cos of the walnut panelling. But I'm a bit worried that this doesn't sound such a good reason to someone who hates your guts. And boy, does she hate my guts right now.

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 8:19 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

That might well be what we do. I'll sell up first and see if the new owner wants any of it. Trouble with yard sales is the English tendency to rain until late April....

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 8:19 PM GMT

Name: tess
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Jeez, I've been through this recently enough to empathise. I fought to keep stupid things just cos he really wanted them. I really wish I had been more rational, but when you've been hurt and everything else was taken out of my hands it was nice to be able to put up a bit of a fight. Wasn't worth it in the long run, I ended up binning a lot of the stuff, some of the furniture I sold back to him two years later (hehe!)but it felt good at the time.

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 8:23 PM GMT

Name: Legomen
Home Page:

I wasn't thinking of Takeshi's Castle but I see where you're coming from.

Actually mate, you'd be better off not second guessing and just go for the things you want. If it's something she wants too then talk about it and maybe compromise on one thing to get another. If she wants payment, then offer half as you shared it.

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 8:28 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

I guess. I'm just really really sore about her money grabbing attitude to the whole split. A big part of my pride doesn't want to watch someone make a fast profit out of taking me for a loser.

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 10:20 PM GMT

Name: e
Home Page:

If I were in your shoes, I'd just give the lot away to the Salvation Army and start afresh. Things are never worth getting into conflicts over. Even if other people are gaining profit from you walking away from it, what have they really gained? Plus you will have nothing tangible to remind you of her.

Tuesday, 27 January 2004 - 11:36 PM GMT

Name: Nursie
Home Page:

You don't want any of the shite, sweetie, trust me. Get rid of it all. If you take even some of it, it may very well negate any of the positive things about moving out. This life is over, those things are dead. Move on fresh.

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 2:22 AM GMT

Name: Nicole
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I agree with that one poster. Sell it all on Ebay!! At least you could make some money off this thing. :D

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 2:38 AM GMT

Name: winnie
Home Page:

Oh dear. You do have a problem. Have you considered reverse psychology? The more you act like you want it, the more she will want it. So act like you could give a flying rats ass, and maybe the importance of the thing will decrease in her eyes.
Or like some of the other posts said, Walk away because it ain't worth it. I know because I have done this before(the walking away thing) and he had nothing to hold over my head. It really felt cleansing. Peace.

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 6:02 AM GMT

Name: ThePimpress
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i don't mean to be redundant.. but i don't see how dividing this stuff up isn't going to be weird to start off with. as far as the TV bit that's easy if you don't watch much, let ex have the big one. but that doesn't really sound like your problem (over-all) it seemed more towards the end of your post that.. you are dividing up the stuff you got together was the hard part.

you want what you want. so i suppose you have to approach the dividing as business like as possible. but i should imagine no matter what, it's going to be shite anyways. just be prepared for that.

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 8:12 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Yeah. I know what people mean, but I spent #15K on this stuff, and yeah, I do want reminders of my previous life, a little. If it's nearly a decade of previous life. I can do without mementoes and photographs, sure, but entire room fulls of large furnishings, nahhh, I want them.

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 9:48 AM GMT

Name: Laura
Home Page:

When my ex and I split up, I ended up with a crowbar (long story). If it's any help, you can borrow it!

Seriously though, this is a @#%$! situation. It will be @#%$! no matter what. I say @#%$! it and fight for what you want. You want to keep your dignity but you don't want to walk away feeling like a doormat either. It's all about the approach. As long as you keep your cool remain business like and strong on the outside, she'll never know what's going on underneath. And it'll probably really get to her too.


Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 9:50 AM GMT

Name: Laura
Home Page:

By the way, what's with the weird anti swearing thing?

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 12:51 PM GMT

Name: Pan
Home Page:

OK - to quote You've Got Mail / The Godfather : Go to the Mattresses. It's not personal, it's business.

1) Leave the big TV - kinda vulgar anyway ;-) - and anything else you absolutely don't want or has no financial value
2) Take everything else
3) Depart and do not give your new address
4) Inform Tybalt to return to the flat and 'Check that everything you want is there' Mention about the big TV and what a sacrifice you are making to let her have it.
5) If she moans about anything not being there say it's yours / you can't recall ever seeing it.
6) Do not let her near your new place - if she can't remember it she can't need it can she?
7) If she really jibs agree to return a few items you've 'discovered' in storage or whatever and make sure she understands this is full and final settlement.
8) eBay everything else you don't absolutely need or simply must have as a keepsake.
9) Spend the cash on a full page national newspaper ad with a big picture of Tybalt and a caption saying something like 'Rubbish Shag'

OK the last one is a bit silly but the rest are good. Basically - keep everything - let her have the absolute minimum to shut her up, and profit from this financially. It's not personal - it's business. Possession is 9/10 of the law as they say. If you don't want her to have all this crap back then just keep it - stop being a reasonable balanced human being for a monent and act mean. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain - self respect, closure and, last but not least, CASH.

I'm feeling unusually angry today - I can't imagine why.

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 4:31 PM GMT

Name: Sie

Take everything that you want, leaving any items that you consider her worthy of possessing. By which I mean that you should be the arbiter of which items she deserves, just make sure they are items that you are sure you want. If you don't look out for yourself it sounds as if she will get the best of you. Your altruism regarding this matter is all well and good but would she regard you in as fair a manner?

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 5:18 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Wow. I have every doubt I'd be able to carry that through, but I'm going to print it out and stick it to the fridge as a reminder of who I could be if I wanted to. Then next time everyone I know decides that I'm The Evil One, based on the fact that she whinges more than me, I can shrug my shoulders and say "so"?

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 5:19 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Yeah, I've noticed it getting to her. I might ask you for that crowbar, but with no prints on it, please.

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 5:24 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa


No @#%$! idea, I didn't @#%$! put it there - it's @#%$! Angelfire @#%$! me about, the @#%$! @#%$! @#%$!. Every now and then it lets the odd @#%$! scrape through, but mostly it jsut @#%$! deletes every other @#%$! word.
If you look at JatB's blog, she can swear as much as she @#%$! likes, and her blog flashes a 'sexual overtones' warning in the @#%$! status bar. Me, I've made this blog as @#%$! X rated as I @#%$! can - hell I did a series of posts called 'Everyone I Ever @#%$!' - so why the @#%$! do they @#%$! censor my @#%$! comments? @#%$!!

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 6:43 PM GMT

Name: someoneSomewhere

She hates you??? Oh that's classic.

E-bay most of it, else do what Pan said. Do it calmly too, it'll make her nuts.

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 8:16 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Yeah, apparently what I've done is insupportable. Don't ask me what it is that I've done - it's patently worse than ripping someone off for the holiday of a lifetime, coming back to dump them unceremoniously, sending them insane, then refusing to sell them their home unless they pay #10K over the accepted going price. Nah, I'm way worse than that.

A worrying thing that keeps happening at the moment is that right before they never speak to me again, previously friends in common tend to make some comment about how if I really think honestly about it, I dumped her, or it had ended years ago. Pfft. If they know that much about it, why don't they @#%$! her?

Sore? Bitter? Vengeful? Moi?

Wednesday, 28 January 2004 - 9:12 PM GMT

Name: Cyn
Home Page:

You've already received loads of useful advice on this, so I'm sending wishes for the quickest, least painful dividing of the spoils.

Just getting it over with will be an enormous relief in this long,
drawn out soul-sucking process.

Thursday, 29 January 2004 - 9:18 AM GMT

Name: laura
Home Page:

@#%$! me that made me laugh

keep smiling

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