27 March 2006

Keepsakes, Memories or Betrayal?

We were just watching an episode of Everyone Loves Raymond. This sitcom often mimics my life, which is a little disconcerting. Ray is sarcastic & witty like my husband; his brother is much like my brother-in-law, whom also lives next door. His parents are a terrifying mixture of my parents and his parents. My in-laws too will soon be living next door.

The episode discusses the meaning behind keeping keepsakes from former flames. In this case, Raymond kept a casette tape with his girlfriends voice on it. As the show unfolds, we find that Debra had placed keepsakes throughout the house. This is where I trip a little bit. Sure, I have keepsakes but they are tucked away securely in a tote in a closet, not displayed in our home. I think that is kind of a, I don't know if betrayal is the right word here...a sin of omission, perhaps.

So, just to check myself I looked around our home and took inventory. I have nothing beyond books from my past life, which includes a marriage. If anything, we still have a few items that were my husband's ex-wife. (A set of canisters that I love!)

I can't imagine having something around that reminded me of someone like that. In fact, Debra even has a picture frame - a rather benign item - but it is in their bedroom. I can't imagine that.

Keepsakes that I have kept are scrapbook kind of things. Things that make me smile or remind me of that time or person. I keep it for my own personal enjoyment (makes it sound like an adult toy! oh my!) I would never think of having it where my husband would see it. Not because I have anything to hide but because why would I put in his face like that?

I made two boxes when I was moving out of our first apartment and into our first house. I called them the icky boxes. I put in anything that my husband had that reminded him, or that he kept, of his ex-wife. I put in anything that was related to my ex-husband. It is up in the closet in case one of us ever gets nostalgic and wishes to visit or past. I am sure some day we will get rid of it entirely. I bet if I mentioned that I had it, my husband would ask to see it and then most likely throw at least half of it away.

Debra, for instance, even kept a leaky ice chest. Why? I mean, I get why but she has married now. Raymond used that! Used it with his kids. It just seems unfaithful.
Secondly what posessed her to TELL him about it in the first place? I can't imagine being that mean to the Mad Genius, even at my bitchiness.

By the way, I understand fully that it is a sitcom. I haven't had a break with reality. This sitcom just so closely resembles my life and I think it resembles many couples’ lives at one point.
I just found it interesting because it is something I would never consider. I just could never let them enter the current version of myself or my relationship. It just seems audacious.

Keepsakes are indeed important. They show you where you have been and who you were or hoped to become.

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