Even with how we stand today, there are things that still remind me of you. It doesn't matter who broke up with who, how it ended, or why it ended. I still remember your favorite Gatorade flavor, and every time I am in the little Gatorade section of the grocery store, I can’t help but think of you when I see your flavor. I don’t mean to look for it, but with my luck, and how the universe works, your favorite flavor of Gatorade will be the one at my eye level. Inescapable.
You may not realize these things start standing out to you while in the relationship. They are just things you remember about the person. Favorite hat, watch, candy, etc. But once you recognize them, it’s hard for them to become unnoticeable. Things that never mattered before.
They’re little things. A water bottle. All of a sudden a water bottle isn't just a water bottle. It's his water bottle. If for some reason you saw a lineup of hundreds of water bottles, his will stand out, instantly, unavoidably. And it's suddenly so much different than all the other reusable water bottles that have ever existed. It's as if whatever he's touched gives off its own aura.
That bracelet. Those shoes. Even mannerisms and sayings. They're all his. Standing out from the rest. Fantastic when you're with that person. Torture immediately after you break up. Eventually becoming acceptable and matter of fact.
Are we subconsciously associating items with memories to hold onto those memories? Perhaps it started off accidental, remembering certain items we associate with someone. But am I making sure I don’t forget for the sake of holding onto the memory of when we were happy together?
It is different than the idea that you haven't moved on. There’s guys I have gladly broken up with, yet I am still reminded of when I see a certain pair of Vans or the same air freshener in a car.
I am lead to wonder what makes my ex’s think of me? Does that one Calvin Harris song I had on repeat all summer remind him of me when he hears it now? Does he think of me if he sees red cowboy boots, and does it remind him of that concert we went to? Will that certain shade of pink remind him of that dress I wore to this formal? My best friend will always think of me when she sees a fringe purse, because I love fringe and it reminds her of the fringe purse I used for two years straight. But what will all of my favorite ex boyfriends remember?
Sure, some obvious triggers would be certain restaurants we may have gone to. Yeah, they have a nice menu and hypothetically would be fun to bring friends to, but only makes it feel like reliving a memory you don’t necessarily want to replay.
Perhaps we get too attached to memories. Yet, I think it’s better than denying the relationship ever happened and that the two of you were at one time incredibly happy together.
In one of my classes I learned that if I tell you to think of a chair, you don't think of one specific chair, rather a mushed together abstract concept of what a chair is; a seat to sit on, legs to stand on, a back to lean against. You don't specifically think of that Starbucks chair, the chair in your freshman dorm room, or the comfy chair at your grandparent’s house. I don't remember the point my professor was making by telling the class this, or if it is necessarily true, yet this idea stuck with me. If I ask you to think of gum, does your mind think of gum in general or does it wander to that gum he always used to have on him? That gum he was kind of oddly obsessed with? That gum he would always get whenever the two of you would run to 7 Eleven? Perhaps it wasn’t your first thought, but after a few seconds, it’s hard to deny that it didn't cross your mind.
It fascinates me that we will never know what our triggers are for other people. The relationship sure didn't last, but here I am stuck with the memories of your favorite things.
You do you.