What do you do with your sex toys after a breakup? This was just one of the many questions I had when my partner and I recently split.
Neither of us can use them again, obviously, not only because we’ve both promised to never love again, but also because if for some crazy reason we did ever get it on with someone else, well, no one wants a pair of second-hand nipple tassels, do they?
I’ve never been through a proper split before, so I’m new to the practicalities (not to mention the emotional grief) of a breakup. The last time I had my heart crushed was when I was 18, but that was just unrequited love with my best friend (yes, I’m that lesbian stereotype). So although that heartache was intense, it wasn’t anything like my current breakup, because my ex and I have made an entire life together. My school best friend and I had barely made a daisy chain.
So, apart from re-listening to Adele and actually understanding what it is she’s singing about, what the hell do you do in a breakup?
Do we do the lesbian thing and stay best friends? When should I leave her family Whatsapp group? And who gets to keep the drill?
We’re not married (Covid cancelled our wedding, so we don’t have to go through a proper divorce), we don’t have any human children (just two guinea pig children who despise us and everything we stand for), but we do have a house full of stuff.
So, with our bravest faces on we went through each room in our house and separated every single thing we owned. And it was fine, until we started to separate the important stuff, things like the TV, who gets that? Well, if she gets the TV then I get the Dyson… And who gets to keep the yucca that we both spent years carefully tending to with special organic plant food?
When it came to the guinea pigs, we were at a stalemate; I’m more attentive to them, but she’s also pretty fond of them. I feed them more but she thinks I’m feeding them to death.
Well, there was only one way to sort it, rock, paper, scissors… (There’s a lesbian joke in there somewhere). I won. Best of 3? I won again. Best of 5? Fine, I’ll keep the bastards.
The day that we were to move out arrived, everything had been separated, Whatsapp groups had been left, profile pictures were changed and our new lives were waiting. The trivial things that we had busied ourselves with were no longer there to distract us from the sadness of the situation. As we drove away in our own cars to our lives without each other a new set of questions appeared.
What do I do during those dark evenings when everything seems too overwhelming? What do I do when I have a problem with my new neighbours? I don’t have anyone to send around and sort it out anymore, I’ll have to resort to becoming an adult and writing passive-aggressive notes asking them to shut the hell up. And what happens if there’s an apocalypse?
We have spent many car rides planning our exact course of action if and when the zombies attack, but what happens now? Is our joint plan still in place or do I need to create a new one? What, on my own? That’ll never work, we all know that the idiot who tries to go it alone dies first, strength in numbers and all that. I can just about survive my period every month, let alone a zombie apocalypse.
But it’s not just zombies we’d planned for, oh no, we had a structured procedure for every possible disaster; tsunamis, nuclear attacks, cybergeddon. The lot. I guess having to create a series of new SOS emergency plans will help fill up those lonely nights.
So, what did I lose in the breakup? Well apart from the relationship that I will always treasure, I lost half my wardrobe (being in a same-sex relationship really does have its benefits), I lost the good saucepans (she got the Tefal set, I got the “home essentials” crap), however, I also lost that god-awful painting that her mother bought us for Christmas, so, every cloud…
What did I gain from the breakup? Weight (I keep forgetting that I’m not cooking for two anymore, so I’ve been eating double the dinners), I also got to keep the good friends and the shared gym membership that neither of us ever used.
As first breakups go I guess it could’ve been a lot worse, there was no messy divorce, no human children and we were both really sweet and lovely to each other. Yes, she got to keep the fancy BBQ and Disney+ account, but I got to keep Netflix and her designer flannel shirt that she hasn’t noticed I’ve taken.
Aside from the actual separating the hard part is done, our lives and belongings are now our own and I can’t wait until someday in the future when we’ll sit outside a bar together laughing about that time we went through our toolbox and separated all of the screwdrivers and alan keys.
It’s the future part of the breakup that I have to look forward to now, things like when my ex gets a new girlfriend and I have to stalk the hell out of her on Facebook. Or when I see a member of her family in the street and I have a split second to decide whether to say hello or pretend I haven’t seen them, even though I changed their child’s nappies and borrowed their pants once (the adult’s not the kid’s).
Breakups truly suck. But at least I got to keep the drill.