The Ghost of Romance Past


Just leave this stuff behind you. (this might have been found on somebody’s car…maybe)

Exorcise the demons that hold you back.

By Paget Pizitz

After the cold reception I had gotten the year before when I arrived at a party dressed as Phil Donahue, I decided it was time to give in to the sexy side of Halloween. It was the roaring 2000s, and I was single, living in our nation’s capitol. I thought through everything, from silver over-the-knee boots to the metallic liquid-foil boxer briefs I borrowed from my 100-pound gay friend Phillip, pronounced “fee-leep.” I looked every part of a sexy astronaut.  Sultry nurses, slutty bumble bees and sexy pirates everywhere had eyes green with envy. The one element to this costume I had neglected to think through was the ratio between the size of my head and the previously owned NASA astronaut child’s helmet I had purchased online for $11. About 30 minutes into the party, I had a panic attack in a stranger’s bathroom trying to pry the helmet from my swelling, sweaty noggin. As a rash broke out on my neck, my friend Stephen and his boyfriend Micah began cracking the helmet in half with a hammer they found in the tool closet. With hives on my neck and my makeup smudged and smeared, I changed into a bathrobe and transformed my costume from provocative cosmonaut to Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This exhausting chronicle from my past leads me here: Happy Halloween, whether you dress as a sexy lady bug, a luscious Nordic Viking or Maury Povich.

My favorite Tegan and Sara song goes a little something like, I was walking with a ghost. No matter which way you go, no matter which way you stay, you’re out of my mind, out of my mind. This Canadian-born lesbian pop duo were pretty spot on. If you are living with the ghost of a relationship past, it’s time you called Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd for some paranormal extermination. Holding onto a past relationship is certain to sabotage your romantic future. If the ghost of a former love still haunts you, it’s essential that you take steps to move on so you don’t self destruct your current relationship or a potential new one. Dr. Terri Orbuch says the four steps to exorcize your ex are to discard haunted objects, purge unresolved anger, properly place blame and identify your unhealthy pattern.

This is not a bad “boyfriend ghost.” It’s confusing, I know, but you’ll understand surely if it occurs.

Negative emotions, regardless of their origin, are contagious. Your intent may not be to project those negative emotions onto your current relationship, but it is likely you will. Perhaps you find

yourself constantly comparing a former love and a current one. The current person will probably always fall short because your mind is still focused on the past. Don’t romanticize that old relationship. Remember it ended for a reason. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want an apparition in my house, and I’m pretty sure Louis the cat doesn’t either.

I’ll make an exception to this rule if Patrick Swayze saunters in behind me while I’m molding wet clay with my hands. Then all bets are off.

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