Multiple Choice: Misery loves…

A) Company

B) A second life as an installation in a touring museum exhibit!!!

That’s right, don’t be so quick to throw out those old mementos and relics that only serve to remind you of the broken heart you’ve suffered (or caused).

Come to think of it, Who is quick to throw this stuff out? A lot of people save this stuff: old photos, old gifts, old stuffed animals won at the state fair. Some save them for the happy or bittersweet memories they conjure. Some save them as a badge to remind themselves of the pain they’ve survived and learned from. And others never throw anything away and their homes look like the inside of a junk drawer.

I had one such of these relics. But of course, I love a good ceremony. So years ago I had my way with my memento.

It was a letter I wrote to a certain someone, about 15 years ago. I never sent it. I’m not sure I ever meant to send it. Sometimes I just write a letter to gather my thoughts, and then just keep it. It was a sort of “I love you this isn’t working why can’t we make it work blah blah blah” letter. Not a breakup. But not a lot of hope left in them there words either. But then… the guy beat me to the punch. And I didn’t protest. I knew it was the right thing to do. So we split and he moved to LA and I got my own flat (still here — GOD BLESS RENT CONTROL) but refused to give him my new address & phone numbers because though, on occasion, I may cave and dabble in martyrdom; ultimately, It Ain’t Me, Babe.

I kept the letter. It got old. My life changed. I moved on. I moved. Moving means shedding belongings — at least when you live in the Tiny-Apartment-World that is San Francisco. I was also getting rid of a mirror. Say, there’s an idea.

I saw it. Didn’t know if it would work, but I saw it. Shards Of A Broken Loveletter. So I glued it to the back of the mirror… then shattered the motherfucker. Whipped out my X-acto knife to finish the job, put the shards of broken mirror/loveletter in this glass column, to sort-of give it that natural history “preserved specimen” presentation… And that was it. It’s lost all emotional impact for me. I just thought it looked cool, so I kept it.

So if you are going to hang¬† onto your badges of heartache, why not reinvent them? Got T-shirt with a logo on it (maybe from the first show he/she took you to)? Stretch it over a canvas and presto! A new dartboard! Seriously, go out and get some darts — that would be awesome if I ever saw that in someone’s home! Maybe you can even make them functional? Decopage your garbage can (or toilet seat)¬† with old pictures of or associated with him/her? I don’t know, get creative! Have fun!

But back to my object. When I saw that the Museum of Broken Relationships (based in Croatia) was on tour and stopping in San Francisco, I thought “why not?” It deserves a good home. I never dreamed they’d get back to me within 2 hours. But… hey, it was just hours after President Barack Hussein Obama (God, my four favorite words right now) was sworn into office. I just fell head over heels in love with 2009 on that day. And most fittingly, the museum makes its San Francisco debut on St. Valentines’s (reception from 7 – 10pm) day at Root Division, an arts & education non-profit organization that does some amazing work here in San Francisco.

Feel free to bring a date.