Dear Dategirl, I threw out my husband’s favorite T-shirt, and he’s

Dear Dategirl,

I threw out my husband’s favorite T-shirt, and he’s furious. It was threadbare and one of the armpits was ripped out, but he sometimes wore it to play basketball. At one time it had a band’s name on it (Negative Approach), but you couldn’t read it at all anymore. It was embarrassing to see him wear it, and so last weekend when I was doing some cleaning, I just tossed it. I know that on some level it was wrong, but it was just a rag! I confess that part of the reason I hated it was that his ex-wife had given it to him while they were still in high school. But if it had been a nice Burberry shirt or something valuable like that, I wouldn’t have put it in the garbage. How can I make him see my point? And how can I get him to forgive me?

—Suzy Homemaker

Sorry, toots. Your man has every right to be pissed. You didn’t just throw out a ratty old T-shirt, you tossed a part of your husband’s past. I wish he would’ve written me, because I would’ve told him to divorce your insecure ass. Well, maybe not divorce, but please understand that you were completely—COMPLETELY—in the wrong here.

You’re also wrong in thinking that a Burberry shirt is better than a Negative Approach T-shirt, no matter how tattered. One desperate month I eBayed the first Negative Approach single and paid my rent with the proceeds. And while I admit that Christopher Bailey has done some marvelous things for the brand otherwise famous for their dreary raincoats and fug tan plaids, his designs can’t compare to your man’s warm memories of a time when his mohawk stood 11 inches high and his knees didn’t buckle if he dove off a stage.

You don’t mention how old either of you are, but if you’re seriously still rankled over some gift from an ex, you need to grow the fuck up. It’s not like it was an engraved cock ring or an inflatable doll with her face on it. Besides, every ex before you (and make no mistake—keep up this crap and you may yet join their club) has worked to turn him into the basketball-playing recovering punk-rocker you presumably love today. Imagine if he’d been a virgin when you’d met? Would you prefer that scenario? Someone who learned everything they knew about sex via porno flicks and awkward conversations with his parents and friends?

And if he’d never before lived with a woman, how would he know that a futon is not a bed and that the cat litter doesn’t change itself? They did you a favor, all these exes.

I’ve never been one to dramatically toss all gifts and photos once a man left my life—what’s the point? I even have a picture of me and my college boyfriend hanging in the apartment I share with the Big Greek—not because I miss him (sorry, Dave!), but because I look fucking hot in that photo and I’ll never be that cute again.

My advice: Apologize profusely. Admit you made a huge mistake and you won’t ever do it again. And if you really want to get on his good side, I have a Misfits T-shirt I’ll sell you.

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