You know what blows, moving. Actually, what blows more than moving…packing and what blows more than packing… packing away memories from a life you no longer have. Constantly being faced with the decision of keeping, tossing or making future me deal with it. Usually I err on the side of future me because I feel like that girl probably has her shit together.
Each item has a story. It isn’t as simple as packing the towels or the dishes rather it is thinking about the fact that C would bring home random crap everyday. I would tell him over and over again that we didn’t need this stuff yet he continued to bring it home. I mean we have a Twinkie maker, a dog treat maker, a mini hamburger press, a beach mat, a plastic bag organizer and the list goes on and on. I know now that him bringing home all this crap was his way of showing me that he loved me and wanted to contribute to our life. At the time though, all I could think was “where the hell are we going to put all this shit!”
Side note: If you have not read the 5 Love Languages I highly suggest doing so. It gives so much insight into what you may need from your partner to feel loved (I am a person that needs physical touch and words of affirmation) and what your partner may need from you (C was definitely a gift receiver).
To date I have packed every single item in our house (with help from my friends). C has yet to pack anything and while that may sound bitter, I am actually not mad. In fact, I am jealous. I am not only jealous of the fact that he doesn’t have to pack, which we have already established sucks, but I am jealous of the fact that he gets to avoid the pain and sadness of deciding what should be kept and what should be tossed.
Yes I have text him throughout this process and asked him what he wanted, but honestly I didn’t care what he answered, I was going to do what I wanted. More than anything the purpose of these texts is so he knows that I am sad, struggling and hate doing the decision making alone. Also it is the packing of the craziest things that get the tears and the texts flowing.
For example, packing our collection of spoons was one of the most heartbreaking things I had to pack. (No, that isn’t a picture of our collection at the top of the page, it is just from Google. I mean I wish it was mine, but alas no.) We were dorks and collected spoons – best one we had was a plastic spoon my brother-in-law got for us from a Wendy’s in Nebraska. It wasn’t like we displayed these spoons so people who came over would notice that they were missing, rather each spoon had a memory. Our first trip to New York, our life in Utah, our trip to Canada with my family, our honeymoon in Hawaii, the list goes on and on. It is this shit that tears my heart apart and makes it so I can barely get out of bed the next morning. And, as understanding as my boss is, I don’t think she would accept I miss my spoon collection as an excuse for not coming to work.
As I have been packing up the house we had shared for the last 9 years I have been faced with these heart wrenching moments on a regular basis. While the spoon collection was miserable to face (he got it), it wasn’t the worst of the worst. Two other items have been harder – one that everyone should understand and the other that people will never get unless they know the story behind it.
First the understandable, the wedding and engagement pictures. What the hell do you do with these? I mean we spent a lot of money on them and we were both so happy, plus I look hella good. I don’t want to throw them out because it is like throwing out our life together and that is not something I am ready to do. I loved, and continue to love C, this will never change, despite everyone wanting me to hate him. Yes we had very unhealthy items to our life, but he knew me better than anyone else did and vice versa. So tossing out our pictures is too much for me to even comprehend. It is in these pictures that I can see the pure love we had. I honestly believe that our engagement and wedding pictures show the authenticity of our relationship. When I look at them, I see the hard shit we went through along with the good times. Everything that made us, us. I see how happy he made me, how he could make me laugh like no one else could (he would tell me that I had my dad’s laugh when I was really happy which is this wonderfully high-pitch laugh that exudes pure joy). I also see the love he had of my quirks like me singing made up songs to our dogs every day or hand dancing in the car. Our love may have not lasted until death do us part, but it lasted longer than either of us had ever experienced. It is with all of this “baggage” that I have no idea what the heck to do with our pictures and so I pack them and make the girl who has her shit together (aka future me) deal with it.
The second item is a large diamond ring paperweight. This item is almost as hard to pack as my wedding ring was. It would appear to be a gaudy paperweight to most people, yet for me it was my first engagement ring.
C always knew that I wanted to be married and was obsessed with the idea of it. I bugged him about it for years and would always tease him that I wanted his ring to be engraved with the words “third time’s a charm” because I would be his third marriage. Yes I am aware that many of you may be screaming at your computer screen “RED FLAG”. Yet, I didn’t see it this way, I saw it as no one knew C as well as I did and my love and understanding would “save him” and “fix him”. While I may suffer with self-confidence issues, I was pretty convinced that my love could save!
The paperweight came into our life about 2 years after we moved to Denver so like 4 years into our relationship. We were getting ready to go to Disney World with my family and it was the first big family trip that C and his son would be going on with my family. I was super nervous about this yet very excited. My family can be a little overwhelming at times and C is an only child so I wasn’t sure how he would react with his son there too. I was convinced that this would be the trip that C proposed to me. I mean seriously, Disney World, under the fireworks with my family and his son, it was perfect timing. It was about a month before our trip when C came home with a present for me, again not uncommon. I was sitting on the couch in grungy sweatpants and a hoodie, my standard relaxing outfit, and he told me that he got me something and knew I would be very excited about it. As I was sitting on the couch, he got down on one knee with a very large velvet box in hand and proceeded to tell me how I changed his life and I was the best thing that had every happened to him. I sat there stunned that the man I loved was proposing to me out of the blue and not under the lights of Disney World.
After he gave the perfect proposal, he opened the box and displayed a FUCKING DIAMOND RING PAPERWEIGHT. I am sure my face went ghost white as he started to laugh. He told me that he saw it at work and knew I would love it. I looked at him and then at the paperweight and then back at him. While the thought of picking up the heavy ring and throwing it at his head went through my mind I didn’t do it. One, I didn’t want to be on “Snapped” and two, I knew C and I knew while this was just a paperweight everything he had just said was true. So instead of losing my shit on him, I looked at him and started to laugh. I laughed because of the craziness of situation and I laughed because I knew C was so scared of commitment and yet he bought this item, gave an endearing speech and went through all of it to make me smile.
I love my engagement paperweight.
So while I was packing our house, I sent C the picture above and asked the familiar question, which he probably dreads hearing, “do you want this or do you want me to have it”. Again I knew whatever he answered didn’t matter, I would keep this memory. However, I still wanted him to know that while he hasn’t had to pack a single box he doesn’t get to avoid facing the memories and the pain of ending our life together. It only seems fair given that both present me and future me has to handle it. So, yes, I text him here or there – doesn’t seem too vengeful, but hell that may just be the “bitter ex” in me talking.