We didn’t plan it; it just was the day we could all get together. It just so happened to be my late grandfather’s birthday. So it was ironic for my aunt and me to take my grandmother to The Museum of Broken Relationships on a day that would indefinitely remind us all of him. My grandmother and grandfather got divorced after 30 years of marriage. She could arguably be the patron saint of broken relationships. It was not a mutual decision. I am sure that they both loved each other in their own flawed way up until the day he died. We recently found letters that my grandfather sent her. She wrote in-between his declaration of love; words that reminded her of why their relationship did not work. These are now destroyed.
Every relationship that ends leaves pieces that are difficult for many to let go of and some that are downright impossible to keep while starting a new relationship (I’m talking to you; women who keep stuffed teddy bears from exes). People flock to Burning Man to burn things in effigy but if that is not your style, the Museum of Broken Relationships may be the answer.
The Museum is located in Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard. Not only do they display these past trophies of sentimental value, but they take donations and display the collection anonymously. Each display holds its own story. There were collections of mixed tapes, bras, and even an engagement ring. One display (silicone breast implants) is a good reminder to never alter one’s body for someone else. Another of old cologne bottles, a painful reminder that some relationships are broken by death and not a mutual parting. A stuffed Betty Boop doll from a same-sex co-worker who received the gift from a crush. She knew that her crush was heterosexual and an intimate relationship would never work.
So, if you have been holding on to the past and do not know where to start to let go, you can donate your memories to the museum. I have not had any bad breakups. The only thing I consider is a small stuffed dragon that I took when I moved from my mother’s home. My mom and I have never been close. I took the dragon in hopes that one day we could mend and have a meaningful mother and daughter relationships that are the scripts for movies. Alas, I have found that there are so many other relationships that mean more to me because of those willing to work together. My aunts, cousins, friends and anyone who invests time in a relationship. I still have that stuffed dragon, and know I should let it go.
One of the most powerful donations is a tiny piece of paper with the words “Pay attention to me” written on it. It was donated by an artist who’s former girlfriend slipped him the piece of paper but he was too busy to look. It took him two years to find it. In a world of #Selfies, let us strive to love more often, forgive more often, and “pay attention” to those who matter the most.
Click The Museum of Broken Relationships for more information.
Thank you for reading,
-La Vida Verde