In "South Pacific," Nellie Forbush says she's "gonna wash that man right outta (her) hair." Shampoo is one way to get rid of the thought of someone. So are scissors, fires and pumpkin stickers.
YASMINE: My ex-husband destroyed our wedding album when he left. He took all the photos of his family and individual pictures of himself. If I was in the picture, he left it in the album. After I discovered what he did, I performed what I call "photo mutilation."
If I could cut him out of the picture neatly, I did just that. If I couldn't cut him out, I methodically put a pumpkin sticker over his face on every picture in the album. There are pumpkin stickers on all of his pictures in the family photo albums as well. I'm sure he would have loved some of the photos he left behind, but he was too busy packing his porn to remember pictures of his past or pictures of his kids.
I also had fun smashing all of our personalized Christmas ornaments. No need to hang those on the tree ever again! It was very therapeutic and necessary to move on and enjoy the holidays after the divorce. I highly recommend it.
I had ordered personalized Christmas cards a few months before he left. They showed Daddy and Mommy rabbits around a Christmas tree with two kid bunnies. I simply put a bold black "X" across the Daddy Rabbit and his name. I wrote an explanation on the inside of the card.
I received a lot of cards that year. Most people thought it was funny, but a few thought I had gone off the deep end and suggested therapy.
DAVID: When my girlfriend broke up with me, I took everything she'd left around my apartment — toiletries, a bathrobe, some books, workout clothes — put them in a garbage bag and threw them down the incinerator. When she asked for them, I told her she could sort through the ashes.
SALLIE: My husband was insanely jealous and resented the cards, notes and love letters I had kept from old boyfriends. He insisted I get rid of them. I thought, "If it will make him happy ... " So I did, but it didn't. He continued to harass me about old boyfriends and constantly accused me of cheating on him with everyone from men I worked with to the newspaper delivery boy!
I finally left him, and I'm so sorry I let him talk me into destroying all those wonderful reminders of my past.
GIGI: We had been living together for six years when he started seeing a much younger woman. He thought I didn't know.
I gathered up all of his most embarrassing items — his Polident denture cleanser, Just for Men hair dye, crotch itch cream, the brochure from the place he had his toupees made and his really disgusting porn collection — and dropped them off at her house with a note saying if they were going to be spending any time together, he was going to be needing these things!
Have you ever performed a "photo mutilation" or done something else to remove an ex from your life? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not."