A few weeks ago, I went out to dinner with my parents to celebrate my birthday. After dinner we came home for the Cake and Presents portion of the evening (my favorite part, of course).
I started opening gifts—a new novel, a cute little cardigan for work, a hanging decoration for my apartment—when I reached for what was clearly a jewelry box. My mother had given me a gorgeous necklace—stylish, dressy but not too dressy, and it hits just the right spot on my neck. Then I saw she had also bought coordinating earrings. My first reaction was a huge smile and a big "thank you!" My second reaction was to think, "Finally, I have something to replace the jewelry set Alex gave me!"
For my birthday two years ago, Alex got me a beautiful necklace with matching earrings. Again, it was stylish, dressy but not too dressy, and it hit just the right spot on my neck. From then on, I wore those pieces to every dinner, every event, and every single job interview. Until we broke up, at which point I couldn't even look at them, much less wear them. They've sat in a box at the bottom of my drawer ever since.
These aren't the only tombstones in my Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry Graveyard. I have a couple more pieces from Alex: a necklace he gave me on our very first Christmas together (I wore it almost every day when I studied abroad and had to leave him for four months), as well as a beautiful diamond necklace he gave me for a Valentine's Day that I'll probably never wear again (such a shame!).
I suppose I could have gotten rid of them. But I'm too sentimental and too frugal to throw them away; he never would have taken them back; and selling them on eBay (or the broken-hearted equivalent, www.exboyfriendjewelry.com) just felt wrong. So I kept them because I like them, and because maybe one day I'll be able to look at them—even wear them—again.
As for now, I'm thrilled to have the pieces my mother gave me. Not only are they beautiful and fit my style perfectly, but they mean I can stop scrounging for replacement jewelry every time I dress up (plastic necklaces from H&M hardly qualify as 'nice'). Even better, I can stop pulling Alex's jewelry out of their boxes, considering them for a second, and then burying them back in the drawer because, well, I'm just not ready for that yet.