Monday, May 10, 2010

The Boyfriend Box

Today's guest post comes our way courtesy of The Hoarder. I have totally unnecessarily kept stuff from ex-BFs too (e.g., for a while I was on a kick of keeping the first flower any guy ever gave me), so I can feel your pain, babe.

Read on and weigh in on what The Hoarder should do with her boyfriend box(es)!


I'm the type of girl who keeps everything - EVERYTHING. From tickets to sporting events, to old tee shirts from college (and high school), to wine corks from first dates. Just the other day, I found myself five and a half years after meeting the man I thought I was going to marry, and wondering what to do with his "boyfriend box".

We dated for 3 and a half years, so he not only has one box, but three - THREE! They have the stupidest things in them like his chapstick, multiple bar and restaurant receipts, movie tickets, sports tickets, printed e-mails, birthday cards, a room key to the Ritz (ooh la la) get the gist. They're filled with junk that was at one time or another symbolic to me and our relationship. I would be embarrassed to show anyone what is really in the boxes, but here's a peek at one... (yes, there is an unopened condom in there - no idea why).

These boxes have been untouched since we broke up two years ago (I did not go through it to take the pic. - promise!). I feel like if I go through the boxes, it will bring back memories - good memories - and will make me miss him. And I feel like if I just throw the boxes and their contents away, I am throwing away a part of me, too.

Even the stupid box itself has meaning to it. In that box came a pair of (waaay too small) Victoria's Secret pajamas - the very first gift he ever gave me. There is still a piece of the Spongebob wrapping paper lurking somewhere in the box (don't even ask!), and the card he gave me with it. See, just talking about the good memories makes me miss him (yuck). I just have to remember that he is a lying, cheating bastard and I deserve better - waaay better!

Of course I have moved on and dated other people (and no, I did not start "boyfriend boxes" for them). I just feel torn. Do I go through them and risk missing him? Do I throw them away untouched? Do I let them be and not do anything with them for now? I'm hoping that I will eventually move in with another boy down the road. Will he think it's weird that I am still hanging onto things from past relationships? I become attached to things and have trouble parting ways with things that were once significant.

Does anyone else have a "boyfriend box"? If so, what did you do with it once you broke up?


Mel said...

I have one of these. It's still underneath my bed in my (still unsold) condo. It will NOT be moved to the apartment that my current boyfriend and I share.

In fact, I think it's about time to destroy it. I threw away a similar box from my high school boyfriend of six years upon moving in with my ex-fiance. And I don't regret it. I come across a few random items every now and again, which is just weird now.

Anjana.X said...

Not so much a "boyfriend box", but I have a large 'hoard' of items which were symbolic to me also - train tickets, movie tickets, a rose petal from the first rose he gave me (yep even a wine cork.) .. and so on.

I really don't know what to do with them :( like you I don't want to throw them away.. these are memories for a year and a bit of my life!

I would say go through them..have some time reminiscing, but not so much that you'll begin to miss him. Then maybe put the box in your loft? Somewhere that's out of sight and out of mind. :)

Unknown said...

It's called "baggage" for a reason. You don't need a box of stuff taking up space! You will always have memories of past relationships in your heart and mind. Burn the Box!!!

rachaelgking said...

I don't have a box, persay, but there's definitely old pictures mixed in my photoboxes. And there they shall stay, but, eh... I don't really see a reason to get rid of them. I don't want to erase the past, it made us who we are today, yanno?

MG said...

So this really takes place a few years back as I haven't really been in a real relationship since, but could happen again; I don't have an (E)X-BOX, but as my ex-gf was all about buying me clothes, especially as a graduated college so i'd look nice, she wouldn't be judged when we were out together for (allowing herself) to date a slob, that whole deal.
And it was always nice stuff from Express and Banana Republic and occasionally Urban OUtfitters (long before it was available in places like Crocker Park and was still only in actually urban locations)

So after break-up I go through various emotional permutations; on a day where I was bitter I would happily put on the BR cuff-link shirt knowing I was looking good for the young ladies of Nashville on her dime cuz fuck her and then on other days when I felt guilty about the stuff I'd done wrong to end up breaking up to begin with, the thought of it or even having access to such clothing i didnt buy made me feel real bush-league.

In the end I never threw any away because the boiling points seemed to fade and it become a non-issue. i also figured if i did it there'd be no going back and stopped wearing all of it just due to changes in fashion. I somtimes see the one brightly colored shirt shining in the back of my closet and as it'sd been so long, i feel basically nothing seeing it (although my poor immigrant up-bringing has a slight pang of not wearing it due only to modern fashion when it's still really well-kept).

It's also been confirmed from the few phone convos we had as attempted friends that the big-ass artistic mirror thing i bought for her that weights like 100lb is still in her living room so i guess my point is if you burn it, it'll be gone forever. if not, you can hold onto it and ideally you should get to the point where it doesn't mean much seeing it.

I'd say keeping it and becoming un-affected in time is better proof of being over it than getting rid of it, but id also say that if you end up with someone equally serious, get rid of it as soon as you know t's as serious.

Amy Lynn said...

I have a box like that too... I've kept it and I don't see myself throwing it away any time soon. I've only ever had two long term serious relationships in my life. The box is full of items from the first one, which happens to be the boyfriend that I dated throughout highschool. To me, it represents a lot of memories from hs, not just from him. I guess that's my rationale from why I won't get rid of it. I wont ever throw away pictures of us either because he is in almost every picture I have from hs and I love looking at those memories. Whether he is in my life now or not, he was, and he was a big part of it. I have moved on though and I am able to look at those things and remember a time in my life and not necessarily him. It's only as important as you make it out to be. If those items make you sad or bring back bad memories, then get rid of them. Or like Jewels said, put it somewhere out of sight and out of mind until you can look at it in a different mind set. Good luck with your decision!

MG said...

my apologies for the spelling/grammar in my post. I need to either commit to writing a response in word, and spell/typo-check it first, or just not do one at all. Truly embarrassing.


The Hoarder said...

Thanks for all the advice! I still can't decide what to do with it, but it is back in my closet on the top shelf where I can barely reach it. I'm glad I'm not the only one holding onto junk!!

-The Hoarder

P.S. - I would NEVER even dream of getting rid of the 3 David Yurman bracelts I made him buy me for my b-day - I just learned to not associate them with him!! Maybe I can do that with the boxes one day too!

Anonymous said...

MG.....don't be so hard on yourself!

Allison M. said...

I've never kept things from hem. I did purge a bunch of photos with both of us in them but that's about it.

Carley said...

My bed is essentially held up by old shoe boxes that have become memory boxes. A box from high school, a box from college, and a few boxes from boyfriends. Occasionally I purge them, throwing out anything that doesn't make sense to keep anymore. I usually wait a while (sometimes years) and ask myself questions like, "will I want to remember this relationship ten years from now when I'm happily married with a billion kids? How would I feel if I found a box like this in my Mom's closet? Can I appreciate these things independently from the relationship?" I kept pictures from my high school formals, and I'm glad that I did, but I usually throw out pictures with exes in them. These aren't usually bitter breakups but I feel like the romantically tied things, like the romance itself, have no place in my future. I kept a jewelry box from a past relationship because I didn't really associate it with the boy, but gave anniversary jewelry to my little sister. Getting rid of physical things is part of a mental clearing for me. However, everyone is different.

Chuck said...

Honest to effing (this was the actual *F* word but I'm keeping it clean for AAB's blogmom and blogdad) God. I come here to get caught up on the blog and frickin MG is commenting on every frickin post. CMON MG! Get your own blog! In fact, I'll build the damn thing for you! Sheesh.

MG said...

um, that's what you do with a blog you read regularly. It's kinda ya know, showing respect to the author/dignifying that they're blogging to an audience.

That you even noticed I've commented on every post is kind of odd, Chuck, I'm slightly uncomfortable with that sort of attention.


Anonymous said...

I have an ex-husband rubbermaid container. It is put away in a storage shed somewhere. Velvet heart shaped candy box from our first valentines day, afghan my grandma made us for a wedding gift, wedding pictures, etc. Not sure when and what I am ever going to do with it.

Now, boyfriend boxes, forget about it. I am a purger. Throw everything away the minute we are broken up.

Anonymous said...

You're kidding me, right, MG? Noticing you comment on EVERY POST is like noticing that gravity exists -- it's just a fact! In this case, it's just an annoying, self-centered, pretentious, prickish fact. Shut it!

Chuck said...

I dig the last anon commenter... MG, a blind monkey notices your comments on this blog.

MG said...

uh Chuck, technically and grammatically speaking, the noticing being a prickish, self-absorbed, etc. fact in thise case refers to you, the noticer, so your digging the comment/commenter is quite interesting.

That may be un-intentional on the part of cowardly Anon here, but technically...well, I'm just saying.

Anonymous said...

Hi, MG, Cowardly Anon Commenter here. I hate to break it to you, but all the comments -- prickish, self-absorbed, and let's not forget annoying and pretentious -- referred to you, not to Chuck. Is that intentional enough for you?

MG said...

@ Anon,

yes, you INTENDED for that to be the case*, but grammatically that's not what happened.

*and of course I knew that, I'm not an idiot.

Always a Bridesmaid said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa peeps... let's play nice in my sandbox. :)