Presents from Exes: Ghosts of Relationships Past or ‘Just Stuff’?

Okay, it seems that four days off work sort of get my creative juice flowing 😀 Unfortunately not the very productive kind like painting, writing poems or work on a creative project. I just came up with a meme, and now, this post. Some background story as a prologue: I recently ended a relationship (if I can call it that way) with a guy, almost a month after he left for his overseas posting. I won’t divulge irrelevant details surrounding the circumstances, because: 1) they are irrelevant, and 2) the wound is still new and sore 😀

Anyway, when things were good and he was leaving, I bought him some stuff. One of them was quite valuable, in terms of $$$, the other was inexpensive but held a sentimental value. In restrospect, I am actually a kind human being and an even more generous girlfriend since I usually gave stuff to my exes!! Hahahaha… The good thing is I am not that sentimental that I remember every single present I gave to every single ex! I just vaguely remember mailing some stuff to Australia with FedEx (which was expensive thus etched in my memory) 8 years ago. And of course, these presents I gave to the last ex recently.

This last ex just moved in his new apartment and he posted some pictures on socmed. As I looked at the pictures, I was unwittingly searching the whereabouts of the stuff I gave him. I could not find any. Of course there are a lot of explanations. They may hid from plain sight, sit in a drawer or closet, or put somewhere else e.g. his office. Or thrown away. Or given to someone else. Admittedly, I am tempted to ask him what he does with them. My sanity prevails, though. Knowing the answer will not solve anything or give me any consolation. What for?

This whole thing got me thinking; are presents from your ex just stuff or some cursed items you need to get rid off?

He got me stuff too and I still retain them because they are useful to me, albeit decorative for some. I never placed some special sentimental value on those things. Okay, maybe some times. Like when I needed a nail clipper and remembered he gave me one and I kept it in my bag all the time. And when I was hungry and found I still had one last chocolate from him in the fridge. You got the idea ^___^

Among the first things I received from my first boyfriend was a pair of gold earrings for my birthday. I didn’t like them since I think they were old-fashioned (much like my notion of him that time) so I gave them to my mom. Now, like it or not, I remember him everytime I see them on my mom. He also gave me his favorite stone (that time batu akik was not cool as it is now). I gave it to my dad. I know, I know… what a horrible human being I was hahahaha… I remember he returned stuff I gave him via postman. I should have probably done the same. But I was the one who broke up with him and I didn’t want to break his heart further by returning his stuff since he never asked for them. Still, maybe I should have done it.

When I was staying in a boarding house in Jogja, I remember one of my house mates broke up with her boyfriend and he asked for his things back (and vice versa). That was unsightly, at best, and humiliating, at worst, with us peeping and wondering what was going on.

I also know a friend who keeps stuff from her ex and, who I think, secretly has problem moving on.

In this material world where fashion and trend change more quickly than you can spell “ex boyfriend”, are those stuff your ex gave you just stuff you can easily put on garage sale, or hold sentimental value that you keep dearly (or adversely smash them to pieces to help you move on)? Are we supposed to keep/wear them? Think of jewelry, or worst example, wedding ring. Are they teaching us a lesson of love, or holding us back from finding a new love?