“Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room, and he took every present!”
– Dr. Seuss – “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Even the Who Hash? Yes, Cindy Lou Who, even the Who Hash. In this scene, made famous in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” the nasty Grinch takes everything from the family’s house, right down to the last can of Who Hash. He wipes the place clean. Before he commits this evil deed he spends lots of time scheming about how he plans to do it and he visualizes how good it will make him feel to do it and how bad it will make the other person feel. He takes great joy in the planning and the pain he will inflict.
I wish I could say this happens only in cartoon movies, but unfortunately I’ve seen this happen in relation to divorce. When I used to work on the litigation side of things there were several times I’d get a distraught call from a client who came home to discover they had been “Who Hashed.” Everything was gone. Can you imagine coming home to find that your house has been cleaned out right down to the shower heads and the food in your freezer? By your spouse, nonetheless? The client was understandably bewildered. How could this happen? Why would someone take everything? Certainly no ONE person needs ALL the towels, draperies or sofas and chairs (or shower heads!)?! What happened to the idea of dividing possessions? They are in shock, angered and in pain. Often they need to quickly provision their home again (at great expense) so that they and their children can continue to live in the home. How could the other party be so selfish, they wonder. Like the Grinch, this is an action that took a lot of planning, and while we can never really know their motivation, it certainly wasn’t intended to be a peaceful, cooperative or healing act. And, as you can imagine, this only causes to escalate tensions in a litigated divorce. It is unlikely there will be any civil relations or healing interactions after this level of betrayal. There’s really no coming back from being “Who Hashed.”
How can mediation help?
During mediation we discuss a large variety of topics, and ‘personal property’ – or, as I like to call it, ‘your stuff’ – is something I always bring up. The manner in which you divide ‘your stuff’ is important, so let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about what ‘your stuff’ means to you, and what you’re going to need as you transition into your new lives. Let’s talk about all the options for dividing ‘your stuff’ so you can make your own decisions and everyone gets what they want and need and no one gets “Who Hashed.” Let’s make that process peaceful, cooperative and healing. And maybe everyone’s heart will grow three sizes that day!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.