Dear Mistress Maeve,
I'm a 32-year-old woman, and I've been dating my girlfriend for a little over a year. We just moved in together, and I'm finding myself a little perplexed by something she calls her "memory chest." It's a smallish chest that holds all her old diaries and birthday cards, which is fine - but it holds relationship mementos, too.
We live in a small city and state. I know all her exes and see them regularly at gay functions. Do I really have to live with their old jewelry, concert tickets and panties under my bed? (Yes, there's even a pair of panties in the "memory chest.")
Moving in with your mate is a big step and often presents unforeseen challenges - like the introduction of a "memory chest." However, in this case, the problem is less about the inanimate objects in the chest and more about your jealousy.
Just because your girl keeps remembrances of relationships past doesn't mean she's stepping out on you or pining after her exes. Furthermore, keepsakes from past experiences can be a healthy reminder of love lessons learned - which can benefit you. As for the panties, do you know the story behind them (or, should I say, in them)? Talk to her about the items in the chest: If you take away some of their mystery, they may become less threatening to you. Remember, every one of them represents an experience that has made her who she is today - the woman you love.
That said, it's not out of line for you to ask for a compromise. If you are truly uncomfortable with these souvenirs' being stored under your bed, suggest that the chest be kept in a hall closet or other neutral space.
Above all else, remember that while her memory chest is cold and lonely under the bed, you're the one warm and cozy in it with your lady.
Wishing you memorable chests,