What's a Single Girl to Do...with These?

I have several what I refer to as "boyfriend boxes" at my mom's house in Georgia. You know, the places where all your cute couple stuff goes to die after a break-up? The box you try to stuff all the crap you had together but can't quite part with? If only it were so easy to do that with the emotional baggage--box it up and store it in the closet, out of sight, out of mind.

One of the traditional break-up rules is to put away the couple crap. I've removed what I can from my living space that reminds me of the sweet times SCL and I shared. The bigger items--the couch, the table, the apartment itself--obviously have to stay put for the time being. Even though we were together for nearly two years, the box is pretty small. SCL was never one for random gifts or cards; those were for the big days--birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries. I always looked forward to them because he made it a point to write me a sweet card that brought tears to my eyes. Until this Valentine's day when he simply wrote "Thanks for being a best friend." Red flag, anyone?

The box has been packed, (loosely) taped (to accommodate additional items I come across that have earned a place in SCL's boyfriend box), and stored under the bed. I even put my journals from the last two years in there. They weren't all about him, but his name pops up enough that I just didn't want to deal with it. Even if I don't look at the rest of the stuff ever again, those I know I'll want to keep. Before putting the box away, I read through some of his old cards, and I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe how tender his words were, how thoughtful he'd been, how much he seemed to admire and cherish me. What happened to that person? I don't know when he checked out, but that's not the person I was in a relationship with a month ago.

So, the boyfriend box is stuffed, the reality about the bigger things has set in, but what about this?

The sexy lingerie. The lingerie I bought for him, for us. If I remember correctly, I bought this the summer after we started dating. Like a lot of guys, SCL was nervous in a lingerie store (too much pink, lace, and underwire for his taste), but I convinced him to come in and help me pick something out. As far as his tastes in lingerie go, he's pretty traditional--black, lace, silk, classy. When I saw this sexy little set, I knew I had to get it.

So, now what do I do with it? Do I throw it away? Seems like a waste. But wouldn't it be weird to save it for the next guy? Putting it in the boyfriend box seems kind of odd, too. For now, it's just sitting in the back of my underwear drawer, taking up space and occasionally showing up, constantly reminding me of my single girl status.

I miss the intimacy with SCL, and I don't mean just sex. I miss how he knew so many pieces of me, so many parts I never share with anyone else. The problem was he wasn't letting me into those private places of his heart and mind. That always bothered me. My willingness to let him in wasn't reciprocated. He never really trusted me. At first I thought it was just that he was more of a private person, and that I needed to give him more time. But as it turns out, he was never going to let me in. He did have something to hide.

Then, I have to ask, did we ever have true intimacy? I don't think so because it was mostly one-sided. I suppose, then, that I miss the illusion of intimacy with SCL. I miss believing that we really had everything going for us. As it turns out, we didn't.

13 comments:

  1. Have you heard of that website where you can sell stuff from exs? I'm not sure what it's called but they were talking about it on the radio show I listen to in the morning. I don't know why but your boyfriend box reminded me of that!

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  2. No, that's too funny (and not all that surprising). Unfortunately I don't really have anything valuable from SCL (he gave me nice earrings for my birthday two years ago, but I lost one), and I don't think anyone would want to buy my ticket stubs or lovey dovey pictures. :-)

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  3. Sadly, I ended up throwing away a lot of stuff I got from exes. I say it's sad because I'm someone that likes to keep memories and I wish I had kept those things so that one days I could look back and remember the good times.

    I'd say throw the lingerie in the box with everything else. But one day if you have kids remember to HIDE that box, lol.

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  4. I'm pretty bad at getting rid of this kind of stuff. I'm a softie. Maybe you're right--throw the lingerie in there. Not like I'm wearing it anytime soon...

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  5. On Valentine's Day in Seattle, Dan Savage (of the advice column "Savage Love") hosts a Valentine's Day Bash. People get up on stage and share stories of heartbreak. They bring a memento from the failed relationship and Dan destroys it in very creative ways! It's hilarious. He does everything from torching things to smashing them with a sledgehammer to sending someone to the bathroom to pee on it. It's too bad you're not here because that seems like a perfect thing to do with your lingerie.
    -AT

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  6. I love that. I'm considering taking a hammer to his ugly, but beloved Star Trek mug. I hate that piece of shit.

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  7. I'm a serial thrower-awayer and I know I'd be the type to just throw everything away the minute we broke up -- and then later regret it. I would definitely save a few things but maybe those things that cause you happiness and don't bring you pain.

    The lingerie, on the other hand? Keep it, girl! Put it on when you're feeling a little low to remind yourself how sexy you really are. ;) I need to buy some sexy lingerie...although I won't have a need for any for a long, long time. It's nice to put stuff like that on and just feel like a WOMAN! :)

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  8. Yeah, I'm not sure what I'll do with it. For now, it's going in the box. :-P

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  9. I gave the breakup box to my ex in college because I didn't want to see it. I have no idea if he still has it or has thrown it. I think I secretly hoped he would look through it and want to get back together. LOL. As far as the lingerie (weird word not that I look at it) goes, I would wear it while I read my favorite novel in bed. You can be sexy without him. It's a nice set too.

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  10. I know, the ex never does what we want him to do, does he? Maybe I'll take your advice, though it's more for show than for comfort...you know. :-)

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  11. oh *those* boxes. i have bags. i couldn't tell you how long it took to read through stuff. some i'm not sure i could even now - that's strong of you.

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  12. Well, I always have the option to throw it out. I recently read through some of my cards from my college ex. I must've had 100 cards from him! They were so sweet. I want to have that kind of guy again.

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  13. I'm a new reader, and after finding your blog, I've been going back through your archives and catching up on your whole story. First, while I haven't caught up with everything yet, I know that you're now going through this heartbreak again, and my heart goes out to you. I'm sure I'll comment again on more recent posts once I get there. Hang in there.

    But for this post, I have to share. I have been in my current relationship (yes, good loving men who can communicate and WANT to, do exist!) for about 2 years and I have one of these boxes for my other big relationship (I went back to him several times before finally realizing we were never going to work). He was never big on sentimental gifts, like jewelry. But there were a few things in the years we spent together, including one pair of magnificent white sapphire stud earrings. They were in the box. A few weeks ago, I lost one of my go-to CZ (ooh, fancy!) earrings and instantly thought of those sapphires. I thought, "what the hell? They don't have the same meaning anymore!" And I dug that box out. Took out the earrings, didn't waste any more of my time going through anything else in that box, and put it right back where I had been storing it. And I'm wearing those damn earrings, and it feels SO good to know that I'm finally over him and am in a place where I'm ok with wearing that jewelry. To me, it's a badge of honor, for what I survived, emotionally. I deserve to wear them, and I'm glad that I held onto them so that I could have this moment, several years down the road.

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