Although I never lived up in Portland, my Dad's house there still is home to a great deal of my memorabilia -- high school and college yearbooks, childhood books, programs from plays I was in over the years. Also, in a drawer, are two shoeboxes, each filled with mementos of a romantic relationship. One of these boxes contains what are, to this day, the most romantic love letters I have ever received. It was very important for me to keep them, but also important for me to have them out of my apartment. I read an interesting article today called Zapping Old Flames Into Digital Ash -- now that most correspondence is done digitally, people end up with emails, digital photos, and voicemails that chronicle any given relationship. Especially in an online dating scenario, saved emails can be as significant as those letters I keep in a shoebox (which were pre-internet, by the way). The article describes how purging the digital record of a relationship can be theraputic. Personally, I haven't really gone as far as to purge all emails and photos of someone, but I have cleaned out a slew of email messages from a few dating scenarios over the years. None of these have been particularly significant relationships, however. I would imagine that, in a situation where I was seriously invested emotionally with someone and it didn't work out, that I'd like to do something similar to a digital shoebox -- maybe burn everything onto a CD and file it away somewhere. I even printed out a bunch of emails from a particularly traumatic breakup a while back and put them into the appropriate shoebox. But regardless of my method of saving -- I'd never erase them permanently. Each relationship is part of who I am, and zapping it into cyber-oblivion is not the answer for me.
What about you? Do you keep digital or non-digital records of your past relationships? Inquiring minds want to know . . .