the ghost of sartorially-challenged boyfriends past

i polished off every item on my to-do list over the weekend (an occasion that happens maybe once or twice a year) & now i am at loose ends. my to-do list of course started over again on monday morning with all my weekly tasks, but it’s kind of weird not to have anything huge looming on the productivity horizon. except for moving, i guess. jared & i are moving into our new house in six & a half weeks, so eventually my to-do list will be consumed with runs to the liquor store to pick up empty boxes, packing, & marshaling folks to help us move. & then i’ll be overwhelmed with unpacking, recycling said liquor store boxes, & possibly painting the new house.

i’ve decided to go through every room in the apartment one by one & do a purge of all the crap i don’t want to move again. i cleaned out my office last week. i got rid of about three-quarters of the contents of my desk: crumpled up scrap paper, pens that were out of ink, rusty menacing 1″ pins, the police report from when my pocketbook was stolen a few years ago, elderly leases, old nubs of broken pastels, fraying spools of thread that break in my sewing machine…this week i will tackle the bathroom & discard all the nearly-empty bottles of shampoo & hand soap laying around. i am really dreading the process of organizing the bedroom, which will necessitate going through my clothes & facing some tough realities about the likelihood of me ever again being a size eight, & the kitchen, which will probably involve me trying to recycle all the old jam jars that jared so loves to drink water from.

i guess i need a new project, since i obviously don’t handle having adequate amounts of responsibility well. apparently i thrive best when i have too much responsibility. after i cleared my to-do list, i slept for like twenty hours, which is a pretty clear-cut sign of depression. the first time i ever got really depressed as an adult, i slept for about twenty hours a day every day for six months. during the four hours i was awake, i mostly just ate rice krispies treats & played computer solitaire. i also watched a lot of “boy meets world” (which may have been a contributing factor to the depression) & occasionally attended radical cheerleader practices. so now when i start sleeping a lot & wondering if i’d feel better if i indulged in a ben savage television vehicle, i know i have to take steps to better my life situation…stat.

as an aside, i once dated a dude whose dad was an ER doctor & whose mom was a paramedic. whenever i said something like, “i need some pizza, stat!” he would get really upset & tell me that it was insulting to medical professionals to throw the word “stat” around for no reason. this is the same dude whose grandfather made his fortune owning & operating a screen door factory. in delaware. of course. beginning at an early age, i had been convinced for no good reason that delaware’s only export was screen doors, & this dude totally proved that assumption to be true. he had this big framed photo in his bedroom of his grandpa & one of the screen door factory employees chilling on the factory floor. one of the men in the photo was elderly, with wispy white hair & linen pants belted around his chest & huge black-framed nerd glasses. the other dude was youthful & wearing an extravagantly embroidered purple waistcoat & a huge burgundy velvet hat with orange & yellow feathers in it. he’d topped his look with solid gold aviator sunglasses…worn indoors. the first time i saw it, i said, “what the hell is this?” & he said, “a photo of my grandfather & one of his employees,” & i said, “your grandfather was a pimp? who pimped out orville redenbacher?” & the dude cried.

man. i sure don’t know why that relationship didn’t work out. as long as i’m reminiscing, i’ll also mention the time that this dude & i went out for ice cream. he had insisted on wearing this bright red t-shirt featuring an image of bugs bunny slam dunking a basketball. the caption was something like, “you think you’re a wise guy, eh?” i was like, “dude, i am not going out in public with you if you’re wearing that shirt.” he cried again & said it had been a college graduation gift from his father. yes, the ER doctor. please note that this dude graduated with a degree in physics from a very prestigious & expensive private college. & his dad gave him a BUGS BUNNY T-SHIRT as a graduation present. he said they had some kind of “inside joke” about “wise guys”. undoubtedly something about pretending that they were mafioso or something. anyway, i relented after he turned on the waterworks.

i was wearing a cute flowered dress with a peter pan collar, all bedazzled with pink & blue rhinestones, & a blue cardigan. i looked cute, in that portland-circa-2000 kind of way (because this happened in portland, in the year 2000). we ran into some random girl that i guess my boyfriend had once gone a date with. the boyfriend immediately leapt in front of me & kept maneuvering in front of me when i tried to get around him to introduce myself. eventually the girl left & i was like, “dude! why didn’t you introduce me?” & he was like, “well, i was embarrassed. the blue of your sweater doesn’t exactly match the blue in your dress.” i was like, “YOU ARE WEARING A BUGS BUNNY T-SHIRT & YOU ARE 24 YEARS OLD. YOU CAN’T JUDGE ME.”

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

7 thoughts on “the ghost of sartorially-challenged boyfriends past

    1. nope, that was someone else. & to be fair, he wasn’t drunk. walden pond was just a lot bigger than he thought it was. & he kind of had a lot of issues with suicidal ideation & thought it would be nice to die in walden pond.

  1. If you have any tips in getting rid of the jam jars without angering the partner please let me know. I am looking to do the same thing with Classico spaghetti sauce jars that Joe insists on saving each time we use one. We already have a plethora of nice drinking glasses gifted by my mother and various pint glasses we’ve collected as well.

    1. sneak them into the recycling while he’s at work. or just have a frank talk with him about how you already have lots of nice glasses that were actual made for drinking stuff. & point out how nearly-impossible it is to actual give jam & spaghetti jars a thorough cleaning. (this argument won’t be as compelling if you have a dishwasher.)

      1. even with a dishwasher those jars still reek of garlic. tell your partner to stop being such a hippie. if there is no other way, make some kind of soup or other liquid and gift the jars away with it.

  2. of course. beginning at an early age, i had been convinced for no good reason that delaware’s only export was screen doors, & this dude totally proved that assumption to be true.

    This, like most things, has a Simpsons reference: “The Simpsons are going to Delaware!” “I want to see Wilmington!” “I want to visit a screen door factory!”

    I’ve actually grown to love decluttering since we moved to Maryland. Having to take two trips with the giant moving truck was a real wake-up call. Eventually I would like to be able to fit all our worldly belongings in a small U-Haul: probably won’t ever happen, but something to strive for. We’re probably moving in three months and I can’t wait to see how few boxes I can get everything into.

    Why would he drink from a jam jar if you have glasses? That just seems needlessly complicated.

    1. we don’t actually have (m)any glasses. i think we might have one pint glass. but we have lots of mugs, which are suitable for drinking water. he says he prefers to save them for drinking coffee or tea though. mostly i’m like, hey, if we wants to drink water out of an old kimchi jar, who’s he hurting? but he saves these strawberry jam jars that are shaped like dexahedrons, so they have a gazillion little corners. i don’t mind rinsing water out of them, but when he drinks orange juice or milk out of them & lets the residue dry in the corners, it’s like the bane of my existence.

      i think we managed to fit everything we own into the second-to-smallest uhaul when we moved to kansas. it might have been the smallest one (that isn’t a van). it was kind of surprising to realize that we really don’t have as much stuff as i think we do. but i am constantly striving to downsize anyway.

      i wonder if that “simpsons” episode is why i have always though delaware’s only industry was screen doors.

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