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Monday, May 1, 2017

Museum of Broken Relationships

Wow! It's May! Does that mean all of this rain is going to come to an end?

So, I just got back last week from another trip to Las Vegas and Southern California. I had the opportunity to attend the International Travel Goods Show, which is sponsored by the Travel Goods Association. I went to support a friend who just launched a luxury, travel toiletry case, called Luxepak. While there, I met some of the exhibitors and will get to review some of their products on my blog, in the near future for you. :)

I also saw Celine Dion. Oh my gosh! She was amazing. It was surreal watching her perform. 

While I was in California, I went to a museum that a friend of mine had mentioned. It's called the Museum of Broken Relationships. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I explored for almost three hours and wanted to share my experience with you. This museum is dedicated to relationships that didn't work out. People donate objects, along with a description of some sort to be displayed. 

The Museum of Broken Relationships


It is composed of objects donated anonymously by members of the public from all over the world. Each exhibit is an object (some of them ordinary, some of them extraordinary) and a story, which together recount a watershed event in someone's life. 

The exhibits reflect the full range of human emotions. Some are sad; but many are amusing and hopeful and remind us that people change, grow, and recover. Love relationships may end; relationships with family members, business partners, cities, religions, and even with our former selves may end. But we learn and move on. The dislocation of a broken relationship may be isolating, but the experience is universal. No one is alone in this. 

Most people have kept some object, memento or souvenir that, because of its meaning, they do not want to throw away. The museum is always accepting donations. Giving it to the Museum provides a donor with an opportunity to tell their story anonymously and share it with others. The reason for doing so may range from their therapeutic relief to simple closure to the desire to tell their story.

Welcome to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles, a city of dreams - many realized and many not - which often leave broken relationships in their wake. 


Here are some of the pieces I saw in the museum :

Wedding Dress In A Jar : 7 Years - San Francisco, United States

After seven years together, five of them married, my husband told me that he felt stuck and that he "probably" didn't love me anymore. Getting married had been his idea. He had to sell me on it. When I finally came around to the idea, we planned a small ceremony near the ocean on the island where we were living. I wore a nontraditional silk dress that was covered in flowers. It seemed festive and I thought I could wear it to other events in the future. I never did wear it again but I cherished it all the years we were married. He's been gone a year and I haven't really known what to do with the dress. Every option has felt wrong. I hate throwing perfectly functional items in landfills but would hate to see someone walking around in my once beautiful but now sadness infused dress. I don't particularly enjoy looking at it either. So I have crammed it in this old dill pickle jar. Mostly for space reasons but any sort of appropriate pickle metaphors can also be invoked.

His Flip Flops: 2007-2015 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

We dated for eight years. He told my sister he was going to propose in December and by February he realized he did not love me anymore. I was broken for almost a year and walking with his flip flops so I would not feel abandoned. Now I know it's over and I am ready to move on and start walking on my own.

Used Up Tube of Toothpaste: September 2014 To Spring 2015 - Los Angeles, California

In the time it took me to go through one tube of toothpaste, I slowly stopped grieving over X.

When I first started sleeping over, I noticed he would set up my toothbrush before we went to bed. Each night there was a neat strip of toothpaste on two brushes, side by side. It was one small thing, of many that made me fall so deeply in love with him, in spite of the fact that  I was perpetually one foot in, one foot out and ready to run.

He was always using a specific brand of toothpaste and when he withdrew from my life, never fully expressing that he was leaving me, I looked for him everywhere. I bought the same brand of toothpaste and felt heartbroken, twice, three times a day.

But the heart heals. When I squeezed the last amount of toothpaste from the very top of the tube, I realized I no longer felt gutted by his absence. But, I still haven't managed to throw the tube away. I think about him in some form every day. I recognize now that my loss was partly my own fault which is, perhaps, an even more bitter pill to swallow.

So if you ever see this and recognize that it's me, please give me a call. I want to know that you're well.

Texas License Plate: 2007 To 2010 - Dallas, Texas

I followed a boy to Texas.
The middle of the country.
I detest that state, and the state it put me in.
Finally one day I drove west on I-10 until I hit the sand
I left.
With a license plate.

"But what bound us broke me."
"Always hidden from public view."
"Secure me, shape me."
"Like the 'love' (?) you gave me."

Tiffany Necklace: May 5, 2013 to September 6, 2015 - San Diego, California

I still remember the first day we met, the first place we traveled to, the first time I held your hand, and the first time I kissed you. I also remember the first quarrel we had, the first break up, the first time I made you heartbroken. This was the first gift I got you with my first payroll of a new job. Now I only wish that I am the last guy who will ever hurt your feelings, and what I did was my last mistake to a girl who so deeply loved me. May your life be full of love and joy, and I will learn to be a better version of myself.

Promise Ring: 2006 To 2009 - Pineville, Kentucky

We were just two kids who couldn't keep a promise.

Souvenir Boomerang: August 2005 to September 2008 - Northern California

The most devastating heartbreak I've ever had was not of a romantic nature. It was a friendship, and it destroyed me in ways I am still discovering today. 

You robbed me of four years of my life. My pictures and memories from that time are ruined because you are in them.

The world was to revolve around you, and whenever I attempted to stand up for myself, you'd turn around and berate me for hours about how selfish I was being, treating you so horribly.

The best part was when you'd deny everything tooth and nail. Thank you for teaching me what gaslighting is, by the way. I will never forgive you. I won't claim to be a perfect person, but there is no justification for someone to treat another person as cruelly as you did me. I am legitimately in awe that you have anyone in your life that considers you worthy of companionship.

And I have to comment on the hilarity that this last relic I have of our "friendship" is a boomerang! An object that gets thrown far away, only to swing around and come right back. Fitting, right? I lost count of how many times you pushed me yo the edge, and every time, you'd manipulate me to come running right back, so you could start all over again. I can't tell you how free I felt when I finally stopped coming back. 

You fuc*king bit*h.

Garfield Plush Toy: 1982 to 1996 - Newbury, Vermont

My eldest daughter of three was age 14 when I initiated a divorce with her father 20 years ago. She broke off our relationship then and I have tried to mend it every year since, fruitlessly. She adored Garfield as a child and I have kept this stuffed Garfield figure of hers with me through three movies of many hundreds of miles from the Midwest to my current location in Vermont - always keeping it out on display.

I am now giving up trying to reestablish a relationship with her and so I am sending her Garfield to you. The sight of it always made me think of her and feel sad. 

Yard Sale Mirror: October 1985 to June 1994 - Los Angeles & Chicago

Craigslist Ad:
Gorgeous Antique Mirror
Carved wood frame in beautiful roses motif
Heavy and solid, very good vintage condition
Can be hung or leaned against a wall
Great for over a fireplace or dresser or as a full length mirror
32 1/2" x 46 1/2"
$100 Reduced $75 REDUCED! $50 OBO Or Best Offer

key words: shabby chic, mid century,antique, vintage, Anthropologie, Hollywood Regency, vintage,  I want to go Danish Modern instead, my boyfriend never appreciated me for who I really am, he is famous now and I am not, I'm not bitter at all, please take this mirror it's too nice for me to just give away or leave on this curb, I don't want seven more years of bad luck if it breaks when I leave it on the curb, this mirror is heavy and old fashioned, this mirror is not my style and no longer works for me kind of like the sad heavy memory of that relationship that didn't work out, please take this mirror, I have tried so many times to get rid of this mirror, it's the only one piece of baggage I am having a really hard time getting rid of, I wonder if it's haunted with someone's soul because it has been really hard to get rid of, I even gave it to my neighbor once who gave it back to me when he went through a similar sad break up when his girlfriend left him after getting hired to write on a television series, I'm lying I asked for it back from him before he moved out, perhaps this mirror is the reason I am still single living with two cats, maybe there is money in the frame and that could be incentive for you to take this mirror I don't know I haven't checked but it's worth a try, please relieve me of the pain of the past and give me $75 for this mirror.

HEAVY! Please be willing to carry it down one flight of stairs because I just don't have the strength to carry the weight of the baggage of my past relationship. 

I suggest you have a car big enough to hold the size of the pair of my break up and bring a friend to help you because I simply cannot give anymore effort to this.

Notes left behind...

My favorite part of the museum, was that there was a private corner,  where you can write a "love confession," if you will. It was such a freeing experience. After writing my own, in this big book full of notes, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and let it go

They have a variety of interesting items in their gift shop. I ended up with a tote bag that says, "I miss overeating with you," a shirt with the museum's name on it, and a heart chakra crystal for protection. 

Moral of the story...If you are in LA, check this place out!! 
(Shout out to Alexis who works at the museum for taking the pictures of me and for being a super friendly!) 

Question of the week: What have you found to be helpful after a breakup? 

Have a wonderful first of May! 

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment below or feel free to email me at TheZenFashionista@Gmail.Com 

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Until next time,



  1. I am really interested in visiting this museum now. I hadn't heard of it before now, but how interesting.

  2. My favorite blog yet! Thank you! Had no idea thus place existed! You are a great writer Lauren! ❤️

  3. I'm in Ohio, and it's rained and rained for weeks! So tired of it. I've always wanted to visit California. That museum looks so interesting and unique. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow that is pretty interesting. I've never seen anything like it.

  5. I would love to go visit that museum seems interesting and a place to free the soul!

    PS Its going to be 80 degrees at my house in Cali today : )

  6. That museum sounds really interesting. I'd enjoy walking through it.

    I also love Celine Dion!

  7. Now this is my kind of museum! I really loved the story about the souvenir boomerang, that was heart breakingly honest and full of emotion!

  8. I have never heard of the Museum of Broken Relationships before. I would love to go and see it in person. I am hoping to be in the area this summer.

  9. It's such an interesting idea. I will have to check it out when I get the chance as I live in the area.

  10. ive heard about this but still havent gone. thanks for sharing. makes me wanna go even more now!

    XOXO // Check out my latest post if you like ;)

  11. Very fun and interesting museum. Would love to check it out.

  12. I would love to check that out! Looks like you had a blast! It looks like a very interesting museum.

  13. Looks like an interesting museum. Would love to check this out if I ever have an opportunity. Thanks for this.

  14. Thanks for sharing your journey.. that's an interesting concept.

  15. What a cool place to visit! I can only imagine how many things are donated to the museum.

  16. This museum looks very cool! It must be a good time to take a visit this museum. The caps Make America Break up again looks kinda funny haha - Never to be true though.

  17. Wow, some serious baggage and emotions in that museum! I think I read everything there, I forgot you'd mentioned Celine Dion! Some, like the mum, are so sad.

  18. Interesting trip! It's nice that you got to support a friend and saw Celine. That museum is also worth the visit. It would be nice to read the stories.

  19. Awesome trip! I would have loved to watch Celine Dion. It's great that you got to tour that museum as well. The stories are such a good read.

  20. Wow I had no idea this museum existed but totally cool and would love to see it myself! You're such a supportive friend!

  21. Wedding dress in a jar? HAHA. That museum sounds like a lot of fun, must have been interesting seeing all the different items.

  22. That's such a cool museum and concept. Vegas is always a good time and so jealous I would love to see Celine Dion perform!

    XO, MJ

  23. Wow. This museum is quite different. I've never heard of it, but if I ever go to California, I would love to visit. I hope you enjoyed your time!

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