J had taken me to watch Garfield, but when we reached the hall, we were told that the show had been cancelled. I love Garfield, and was really disappointed. So J suggested we go for my second-most favorite activity instead: Shopping.
That day, when I got home, I found a small Garfield soft-toy in my bag, with this note: “Kiddo, I hate to see you disappointed and I will never let it happen again.”
I used to sleep holding it in my arms when J couldn’t be there, and cried holding it when we had a fight. If I was angry with him, seeing it would just melt away my anger.
Me and J broke up 3 years later, but I have never been able to give that Garfield up. It was just too precious, and even against all good sense, I still sometimes sleep holding it when I miss him.
Most of us have our own mementoes that are too precious to be thrown away and yet too painful to be kept. They are a reminder of that Perfect Relationship, which we failed.
Remember the wedding dress Carrie in Sex and The City Movie bundles at the back of her closet because it was too beautiful to be destroyed? She later blames herself for being jilted at at the altar: “I let the wedding get bigger than Big.”
Even if we bury them out of sight, these Ghosts Of Relationships Past haunt us, and only by getting rid of them can we be free and move on. Unfortunately, not many of us have the courage to toss them in the fire.
So, I can only admire the idea of the Museum Of Broken Relationships. The museum, currently on display in Singapore, contains the remnants of love relationships donated by the people in the cities they have visited.
There is the Mobile Phone that the woman received after the break-up so that she wouldn’t be able to call him anymore;
The Under-knee Prosthetic Limb that is all that survives of the love between a war veteran and a social worker;
The Murano Glass Horse that was meant to be a symbol of eternal love for his wife but now is just a painful reminder of their 20 year marriage.
I think I am going to add to their exhibits soon. And I hope some of you can do the same too.