This is what he found, and this is how I felt.
I caught a boyfriend snooping through my dresser drawers once.
He was the second person I’d ever dated, and in my dresser drawers, he found a collection of photos of the first person I’d ever dated. Boyfriend numero dos wasn’t pleased to discover all those pictures of boyfriend numero uno.
I am sure I would have felt the exact same way, but that’s no excuse for snooping.
Snooping is a violation of trust.
I don’t know why I kept the photos. They were the kind that was printed on actual photo paper from some Kodak booth or kiosk. Maybe there was an instant Polaroid picture or two. There was definitely an old expired license in there.
My boyfriend yanked open the drawer, rummaged around beneath my panties and brassieres, and pulled out the handful of glossy photographs. His face clouded over.
“Where the hell did you get these?” he exclaimed in a voice tinged with anger.
He asked me who the guy was, but I said nothing. I thought maybe he’d figure it out on his own and knew better than to think I was ever going to be that girl who gives my boyfriend access to all my ex-photos. My personal belongings were supposed to be off-limits to him anyhow.
It’s a matter of respect.
I watched in horror as he fumed over the handful of photos. As far as I was concerned, I had done nothing wrong. I hadn’t even looked at those pictures of my ex in months.
My boyfriend tore the pictures into pieces and tossed them into my wastepaper basket. When his attempts at destroying my ex-boyfriend’s expired driver’s license failed, he took out his cigarette lighter and held it to the plastic until it crinkled, curled, and melted.
Then he burned all the photographs while I watched.
I felt violated. It wasn’t about the pictures. They meant nothing to me, although I’d probably still have them tucked into that same dresser drawer today if my boyfriend hadn’t gone snooping through my stuff.
None of the pics was inappropriate, and I wasn’t in any of them. It was just a stack of old photos with dogeared edges my previous boyfriend had been kind enough to share from his personal collection.
To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to have kept all of those pictures. They were snapshots from a bygone era. None of the photos had any real artistic merit, and some were downright unflattering.
My ex-boyfriend was shirtless in most of the photos because he was covered in tattoos and liked to show them off. So he was always shirtless if the temperature allowed. Except for his driver’s license, I don’t think he was wearing a shirt in any of the photos. That’s just the way he rolled.
That’s probably what set my snooping boyfriend off. Every time the flames died down in my bedroom wastepaper basket, he reapplied his cigarette lighter to the edges of the photographs until they caught fire again.
The driver’s license proved to be the most difficult to incinerate.
Nothing good ever comes from invading your partner’s privacy. So what resulted from my boyfriend’s snooping? He sulked moodily for the rest of the day, and I’ve held a grudge for decades.
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