Last week, Daily Arts joined forces with Focus Features to
bring the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
writing contest. While the entries poured in, Daily staffers
collected and judged each one with the utmost objectivity. It is
our great pleasure to present the winner of this prestigious
honor.

 

I’ve been wishing for a while that I could erase memories
of a particular past relationship. It was that typical
dysfunctional love/hate thing most people have had at one time in
their lives — details are unnecessary. I should have known
long ago that the relationship was doomed … just based on
the presents he gave me.

My first present — a bag of stuffed animals and baby toys,
all pink. Now, as an 18-year-old girl, I had hoped for something
more sophisticated … or at least age-appropriate. But the
gift itself wasn’t the biggest problem; it was the fact that
his mom had picked it out for me. She must have thought her son was
dating a toddler.

Second present — tickets to Wrestlemania (or some related
event) at the Palace. Nothing says loving like sweaty man-on-man
action. Actually, I ended up enjoying it — but more because
of Goldberg’s bulging biceps and small, small costume than
because of my company.

Third present, Valentine’s Day, sophomore year — a
poem written on a poster board (again, pink). Sounds sort of cute
and romantic, right? No. In fact, the poem barely referred to me.
It was instead a heart-wrenching tale about life in his fraternity
house. Like I needed to be reminded of his drunk frat brothers lip
synching to Shakira’s “Wherever, Whenever”
(frightening), bums greeting me in the morning when I left his room
to go pee (more frightening) and frat brothers who compared notches
on their bedposts, literally (just offensive).

The best present I ever received was fittingly right near the
end of our time together. He came over very excited. “I put a
lot of effort into this” he said. It was a box with a large
springing object fashioned on top. “What is this?” I
asked.

“What do you think? It’s a penis.” Oh yes, he
made a large paper penis and strapped it to the top of the box,
outfitted for its protection with a paper condom. If that
wasn’t bad enough, the inside of the box had little penis
shaped pieces of paper strewn throughout, and the gift was a single
knit hat — appropriately, it looked like a condom. I guess it
was a themed gift.

The penis extravaganza helped me realize that perhaps we were in
different places in our lives. I was looking for more than he could
offer, and I should have known by the presents. While I
wasn’t asking for anything fancy like Burberry or bling
— a paper penis surely does NOT last forever.

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