It’s Over. And I’m Taking the Bounty…

Posted on February 24, 2009

Over and Out

Over and Out

When did taking the contact solution become the solution to mending a broken heart?
When did even division of the bulk toothpaste you purchased together, make separating any easier?

Some months ago, my sister-in-law left my brother-in-law.
I mean “left” in the truest sense of the word. She wrote a note, took half the money from the bank account, 6 rolls of toilet paper from the “Economy Size” package they’d purchased at Costco the week before, and called it a day on their 15-month marriage.

When I heard the story, the thing that struck me as the most bizarre was not the “taking half of the money.”
If you are silly enough to have a joint bank account with your Other in the first place, I think it’s wise to take half on your way out the door and risk having to give some back later should the court demand it, than fight for months just to get what was yours all along.
So the money thing, I was fine with.

In terms of the note, I thought it was moderately heinous and disrespectful, but if things were as deteriorated as I understood them to be, perhaps she felt it was the only way. Plus, she was 19 when they married. Emotional maturity hasn’t exactly peaked at this point.

The thing that struck me as peculiar was actually the toilet paper. I understand that breaking up is hard and, you know, expensive, but really? The paper products??? You took exactly half of everything that wasn’t nailed down; you can’t relax on the Charmin?

Still, I chalked it up to a “mid-west thing” and hadn’t given it much thought since.

Until the other day.
I sit with Lady Earth, (I swear I’d have given her a better name if I’d known that I’d be speaking of her situation so often) discussing her big move.
Yes, she is, in fact, moving out of the apartment she and Gentleman Earth shared, putting her things in storage and skipping town for awhile.
But she isn’t gone yet and she is currently mid-crisis on the “what to take” debate.
Or as she cleverly puts it, the “Mean Vs. Mine Conundrum.”
Their arrangement had been that he paid a bit more in rent, but she took care of the groceries and household purchases, to compensate.
So now, she feels entitled to what is “hers.”
She speaks of the hand soap in the kitchen that is ¾ full and the unopened shampoo that she just bought. She says they obviously fall into the “Mine” category. She concedes that leaving the half full contact solution in case he is out when he returns home from his 6-week shoot is the right thing to do.
Because, apparently dry contacts are just “Mean.”
She asks me my thoughts on taking the Salt.
I tell her that she should certainly take my opinions with only a grain of it, but that I think the whole debate is a huge song and dance around the reality. And the reality is that this is sad. And that she never wanted this to get here. She wanted to save their relationship. And she’s now hoping that he’ll walk into their place after having been gone for so long and the weight of his choice will hit him in the gut and he’ll realize he has no option but to beg her back.
I remind her that “anger” is a far easier emotion than “pain and sadness,” and that if he’s angry because he has no condiments, “sadness” is going to be trumped and the “begging back” will be far less likely.
Not that I think that it’s highly likely anyway, but I stop myself before I get there.

I do point out that she is leaving and has no need for spices or cleaning products anyway.
Perhaps, if she was immediately getting a new apartment and would have imminent need for household items, the dish detergent debate would feel more valid, but at this point it just feels trivial.

I suppose I have my gypsy blood to thank, but I’ve personally never wanted any THING after a break-up.

I could never be bothered.
I’ve always just wanted out. Clean. Neat.
With as little blood spatter and the lowest body count as possible.
I’ve had awareness that no amount of mouthwash or Q-Tips would repair the hurt of lost love.

Which is not to say I’m above the fray.

To the contrary, I can be petty as hell; I’ll just surrender the tissue before I start hanging out with your best friend.

“I prefer women with a past. They’re always so demmed amusing to talk to.”
Oscar Wilde

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