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What splitting possessions says about you

Mankind at its core is a selfish animal, one that is concerned with consuming things and collecting things. Well, that and having sex with things. Pretty much those are our passions. We like having things and many of us define ourselves by what we have and what we don’t have. Never is that more apparent than any time possessions are split and divided.

How possessions are split says a lot about the parties involved. For instance, splitting payment on a TV or entertainment system with your girlfriend is saying “I hope we stay together forever.” It’s also saying “I am a huge idiot who didn’t learn anything from any of my past failed relationships.” Once you break up, you have to convince her that it’s pretty much your TV; you just let her watch it sometimes. You can try that, but you would probably have better odds of convincing her that you didn’t break up.

“Um, what are you doing here?”

“Watching TV. Why?”

“We broke up. I threw you out.”

“Um… Doesn’t sound familiar. Maybe you dreamed it.”

That probably won’t work, either, but if it does, I think you should also try convincing her that she agreed to never make you watch a chick flick and to massage your neck while feeding you nachos while you watch sports.  If that doesn’t work, a compromise is needed. How you resolve that dispute says a lot about you.

If you tell her to pay you for half of the TV and she can keep it, you’re saying that you’re cheap, which might be why you broke up, but you’re also saying “I don’t understand economics and don’t know that the TV has gone down in value since we bought it.” On the other hand, if you offer to let her have the TV for free, you’re saying “I know we’re going to get back together, so I might as well get on your good side.” It’s a noble effort, but prone to backfiring, and trust me, when you’re sitting alone and depressed at home, you’re going to wish you had a TV to keep you occupied.

“I wish I was a bachelorette”

Splitting up your mutual possessions after a divorce has all of the same problems and much more, because often lawyers are involved. If you get divorced and decide to divide your possessions together without involving lawyers, then you’re saying “I don’t want to be with you anymore, but you’ve been through enough already. I don’t want to punish you further.” However, if you split your possessions through lawyers, what you’re saying is “This is my last chance to screw you over.”

When a loved one dies, whether it’s parents, a spouse, or whoever, their possessions are divided up among the people they left behind. It’s best when the possessions are divided in a will, because that takes the guesswork out of it. The dividing of possessions in a will tells you who was loved and who was just tolerated because they were family.

It’s always interesting when that happens because it finally gives you a chance to prove to your sister that dad did actually love you more.  Conversely, if dad didn’t leave you anything at all, it may indicate “It turns out you aren’t really my son after all.” If he had a life insurance policy that left everything to his wife, that could indicate two things: 1) He loved his wife very much or 2) His wife murdered him.

A worse way to find out

It’s not just life-changing events like death and divorce that causes a splitting and sharing of possessions, though. It happens in our everyday life and when it does, it says a lot about us. For example, splitting an ice cream cone with a girlfriend is cute, but doing so with your dog is creepy. Sharing is also looked at differently across gender and age lines. For example, sharing clothes maybe be okay for girls, but not so for the men.

“Dude, I just love your new Drew Brees jersey. You have to let me wear it to the game.”

“Yeah, man. It would totally look better on you, anyway.”

“It’s because I have broader shoulders.”

Similarly, sharing a car with your parents is fine when you’re a teenager, but if you’re 35 it’s not as acceptable. In many cases that also says “I own a comic shop.” In the same way, sharing an apartment with roommates doesn’t mean much when you’re in college. If you’re in your mid to late-twenties it probably means you’re poor. However, if you’re a 45-year-old man with roommates, it probably means “I’m not ready to admit to anyone that I’m gay.”

Probably the most awkward situation is when you go out to dinner with a “friend,” and by “friend,” I mean a girl that you’re into but not dating, at least not yet. If it’s just the two of you at dinner, whether or not you split the bill means everything. Picking the wrong one can be disastrous. If you both like each other and you split the bill, it makes her think you’re either not interested or cheap. Both could prevent you from reaching your goal. If you pick up the bill and she doesn’t like you, though, it will make her uncomfortable because she thinks you’re trying to get into her pants, probably because you are.

Whatever the reason for dividing or splitting possessions, time and again it is proved that people aren’t really meant to share things. We’re just too selfish. You may say that it is “ours,” but deep down each person thinks it’s “mine.” That’s why I could never be a polygamist. Well, that and it’s hard enough to convince one woman to be with me, let alone two. That’s a different story, however.

  1. October 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I just take on the toddler rules:

    If I like it, it’s mine
    If it is in my hands, it’s mine
    If I can take it from you, it’s mine
    If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine
    If I think it is mine, it is mine
    If it is mine, it should never appear to be yours in anyway
    If I am doing or building anything, all the parts are mine
    If it looks like mine, it is mine
    If you left it at my house it is mine
    If I saw it first, it’s mine
    If I find it, it’s mine
    If you have something and put it down it is automatically mine
    If it is broken, it is yours

    • October 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      The good thing about those rules is that there should be no confusion.

  2. October 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    This sort of thought process flies through my head every time I make a joint purchase (often, because I’m poor, have a roommate in my mid-20’s, and am in a relationship). But hell, I’m an optimist that it will all work out…

    • October 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      Well, it’s never worked out for me so far, but best of luck to you.

  3. October 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I’m married, and absolutely everything is in my name. Easy fix.

  4. October 11, 2012 at 2:09 am

    I like Becca’s rules….I’m goin’ with that too!!!

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