Originally Posted: 2006-01-20 5:33pm
RANT: The Rules of Breaking Up
There seems to have been some confusion regarding division of property and space since we have broken up. YOU, hereafter referred to as the Dumper, do not retain the same rights to such things as ME, hereafter referred to as the Dumpee. Clearly the Dumpee has been wronged (except in certain situations, see Section 1(b) below), and thus retains more rights than the Dumper. To clarify, I have assembled a crack legal team to outline this document, so that you will quit being a complete and total prick. Actually, not all of these things apply to us, but for the sake of friends, family, and members of the general public who have also been Dumped, I’ve included other situations.
This document applies only to those relationships that involved terms such as “boyfriend” and “girlfriend,” not couples who have taken that long argumentative road-trip that ends in the State of Matrimony. Caveats have been made for engagement, as most rules still apply.
Section 1: Terms of Separation (hereafter termed the Breakup)
(a) The rights of the Dumpee shall be directly proportional to the severity and immaturity of the methods of Separation used by the Dumper. For example, a Dumper (hereafter termed a Good Dumper) who breaks up with Dumpee face-to-face, in person, in a private place, and outlines issues which the Dumpee was aware of, and in fact is not too surprised at, with said discussion ending in a tearful hug cherished by both parties, and perhaps an incident of Goodbye Sex, shall not be severely punished. However, a Dumper (hereafter termed a Bad Dumper) who breaks up with a Dumpee in an especially cowardly way, such as over the phone, through email, or by having a friend tell the Dumpee, shall experience extensive limitations on rights after the Breakup. Most severely punished shall be those Dumpers (hereafter termed Assholes) who repeatedly Breakup and then Beg Forgiveness, and Dumpers who have Cheated.
(b) Exceptions to the Dumper/Dumpee division of rights are as follows: Dumpees who provoke the Breakup by avoiding the Dumper until such time as the Dumper feels forced to end the relationship. Dumpees who intentionally get caught Cheating and are shortly afterward, Dumped. These Dumpees shall be considered as Dumpers for the purposes of this document.
Section 2: Division of Property and Space
(a) Material Property
(1) If the Dumper is a Good Dumper, all material property that Dumper brought to the relationship shall be returned to the Dumper. Likewise, all property the Dumpee possessed before the relationship shall be returned to the Dumpee.
(2) If the Dumper is a Bad Dumper, or an Asshole, Dumpee has the right to destroy or sell any property left for any period of time in the Dumpee’s possession. This includes, but is not limited to, furniture, electronics, kitchen wares, clothing, CDs, and cars. Dumpee is aware that destruction of items holds a possibility of legal ramifications and continuous retaliation, and destroys Dumper’s property then at their discretion.
(1) Dumpee retains all rights to gifts he or she received during the relationship, especially expensive ones. In the case of a Good Dumper, Dumpee can determine whether return of these gifts is acceptable. If the Dumper was female, and the Dumpee was male, and said parties were engaged, and said engagement ended in a Good Breakup, the engagement ring should be returned to the Dumpee. If the Dumpee does not want the ring, the Dumper can sell it on Craigslist and split the profits with the Dumpee. Bad Dumpers and Assholes retain no rights to jewelry or cars.
(2) Dumpee can, if feeling spiteful, box up all gifts received from the Dumper and return them to Dumper with a tear-stained letter. Dumper should feel sufficiently bad, and should not, under any circumstances, maintain possession of these gifts in order to give them to future Girlfriends/Boyfriends. Said gifts should be sold and Dumper is then welcome to use the money to take a vacation to Tahoe and hopefully, break their leg skiing.
(c) Exchange of Property
(1) If the couple was living together, and the Dumper has moved out, the Dumper should send a friend to pick up his or her belongings. The exception is a Good Dumper, who may be on sufficiently good terms with Dumpee to come back and retrieve their own things. If this is the case, it should still be done while the Dumpee is Not Home. Bad Dumpers and Assholes forfeit their belongings, as outlined in Section 2: (a)2.
(2) If the couple was living together, and the Dumpee has moved out, the Dumpee will send a friend to pick up his or her belongings at an appointed date and time. Said friend will not be late and will not linger. Said friend may make a few rude remarks to the Dumper, but such remarks should be brief and to the point. Again, if the Dumper is a Good Dumper, the Dumpee can pick up their own belongings when the Dumper is Not Home.
(3) If the couple did not live together, exchange of property should be done in public at an appointed date and time. Both parties shall be on time and shall not linger. Again, rude remarks shall be brief.
(4) Items not claimed by the Dumper within one calendar month after the Breakup are the property of the Dumpee, unless exchange of property arrangements were made prior to the end of that month. Likewise is true for items not claimed by the Dumpee.
(5) Items that “Cannot Be Found” by either party shall be considered a lost cause after one month. If it was really that important, you shouldn’t have let that idiot have it.
(d) Big Ticket Items
(1) If the relationship included the purchase of a car, a house, a prize-winning show dog, or other such item of which you now both have dual legal ownership, you are in Deep Shit. Maybe you should have thought about making that kind of investment together before you pissed your whole life away? Wait until you’re married, dumbass.
(e) The Pet
(1) See Section 2: Article (d)1 first. If you still want to deal with the Pet (hereafter termed the Dog), we’ll continue. Dogs that were owned by either party before the commencement of the relationship shall return to their original owners. Dogs acquired during the course of the relationship shall preferably go with the owner who gave them the most care. C’mon, you know there’s one of you who did all the feeding, the training, the walking, the pooper-scooping, the leash-buying and the ball-tossing. The Dog goes with that one. Except in the case where that person is a Bad Dumper or an Asshole, in which case, Dumpee retains possession of the Dog. There shall be no Split Custody, or Visitation Rights involving the Dog. It’s not good for the Dog, and it’s not good for you. If all things regarding the Dog were absolutely equal, then a Poll of Friends may be taken, or a Coin may be Flipped. Decisions made by PoF or CF about the Dog are final. If you did not get the Dog, and you are distraught, wait 2 weeks until your head clears, and then go to the Humane Society and get another one. You will be much happier that way.
(f) The Kid
(1) Sigh. Okay, first see Section 2: Article (d)1. You are an idiot. Haven’t you heard of birth control? Well now it’s not just you in this boat, so a lot of the earlier terms and conditions about Dumpers and Dumpees may not apply. Even if your Breakup involved a Bad Dumper or an Asshole, you will have to be nice, for the Sake of the Kid. This is really outside the range of this document, so go to court and try not to screw up your Kid’s life any more than you already have.
Section 3: The Friends
(a) The Dumpee gets the Friends. Sorry, dems da breaks. If you were smart about picking your relationship, you were dating somebody who was not from your immediate circle of friends, so when you Breakup, you each go cry to your respective group and everything is dandy. Unfortunately, many friends become Booty Calls, which can then become That Girl I’m Sorta Dating, which can then become Your Girlfriend. Relationships over one year also have a high incidence of Combined Friends. Regardless, the Dumpee still gets the Friends! But there are some details/exceptions/conditions associated with the possible future division of Friends, so here they are:
Specifics of Division of Friends
(1) In the case of a Good Dumper, Split Custody is acceptable. Within the first 6 months, a Good Dumper has the right to still hang out with the Friends, but only if the Dumpee is not present. After 6 months, it is acceptable for the Dumper to call the Dumpee and request mutual access to the Friends. If Dumpee is amenable, the two may attend a party or barbeque together with the Friends. The Good Dumper is at all times aware of the Dumpee’s feelings, and will be the first to leave if things get awkward. After one year, expect normal Friend-Dumper-Dumpee interactions to resume. If you got dumped by a Good Dumper and you are all hanging out again after a year and you’re totally cool and you’re not strongly reconsidering getting back together, then Damn. He’s probably gay. That’s cool that you guys are still friends though. Maybe you can shop and stuff.
(2) In the case of a Bad Dumper, Visitation Rights are acceptable, under some circumstances. Bad Dumper only retains Friendship Rights with his or her Best Friend, and then, only at Best Friend’s discretion. Everyone else is fully justified in telling you to piss off. After one year, a Split Custody arrangement may be made, but Bad Dumper is never to be allowed at a party that the Dumpee is attending. This must be enforced strongly by Friends and the Dumpee.
(3) In the case of an Asshole, no rights are retained regarding the Friends. Not even to the Best Friend. You fucked up but good, so now go find yourself a bunch of shallow, selfish people just like yourself, so you can all get drunk and stab each other in the back. This also applies to such Dumpers described in Section 1; Article (b), as those Dumpers who pose as Dumpees are especially despicable.
(b) Relationships with Friends after the Breakup
(1) Under NO circumstances is a Dumper allowed to sleep with any of the Friends after the Breakup. ESPECIALLY the Dumpee’s Best Friend, but truly, there are NO exceptions. Even if she says it’s okay. Even if you guys have a long talk about it and she says it’s fine and she wants you to be happy. You better take a good look at a girl’s Friends before you get Committed, because if you would ever like to possibly sleep with one of those girls, you should not enter into the Relationship. Good Dumpers who break this rule can then be qualified as Bad Dumpers. Sleeping with the Best Friend immediately qualifies you as an Asshole. (Best Friend can also then be Broken Up With, and most of the terms of this document apply.) Remember, Assholes are open to justifiable destruction of property, and are often deserving of a swift kick in the Balls.
Section 4: The Neighborhood
(a) The Dumpee retains all rights to the Neighborhood, including but not limited to, grocery stores, shopping malls, dog parks, coffee shops, bars, hang-outs, strip malls, carwashes, and restaurants. If the Dumper sees the Dumpee in one of these places, the Dumper must immediately leave. The only exception is a Good Dumper who is back on Good Terms with the Dumpee, especially one year or more after the Breakup. See Section 3; Article (a)1 for details.
All terms of this document are not legally binding, but they make a hell of a lot of sense. Don't be an Asshole, and your life will be so much easier.
(In case you didn’t get it, this means I get the stuff, the friends and the hangouts. Quit whining about your freaking sweatshirt and stay the fuck away from me.)
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