The Hope Chest, part one

John J. Nazarian
December 6, 2007

hope chest

Alright, listen up girlfriend, I am going to tell you about the “Hope Chest!” Yes dear, the Hope Chest…and I hope you won’t need to use it, BUT…you will more likely than not!

When I was growing up, the traditional “Hope Chest” was literally a chest or trunk — filled with clothes, silverware, linen, that kind of thing — kept by a young woman in anticipation of the marriage she hoped would happen one day. My sister had one, and still has it. It was a big box with a lid, and she used to put little tchotchkes in it. When she and her boyfriend, who became her husband, went some place and got some souvenir — a teddy bear, a photo, some special gift for their house — that would go into the “Hope Chest.” Cards and letters, and photos of all the places that they visited. My sister and husband stayed married until the day he died. But don’t get your hopes up ladies…chances are this will not likely happen to you!

All of the “evidence” you have while dating and going places, when all the promises are being made to get into your drawers and all the rest, can be VERY important! The day may come when he swears that he promised you nothing. No place to live, no car to drive, and the kid, he claims that’s not his either!

Sure, everything is beautiful in the beginning, when the two of you are starry-eyed and in love, and full of hope that this beautiful thing will last forever. But you need to be prepared in case it does not last — because statistically, chances are it won’t! Here are two snapshots from a relationship to illustrate the value of the Hope Chest:

love note#1: You are a newlywed (or newly in love). He recently sent you flowers, with a card that says, “oh darling Nancy, I’m going to take care of you for the rest of your life. I love you eternally,” or some other sweet crap that dribbles from his lips. This is all GREAT STUFF for when it all comes crashing down. Girlfriend! You put that card in the Hope Chest, and hope that you won’t need it! But if you do? You got it!

Soon, you are parked in front of of a candlelight dinner you’ve prepared so lovingly, but everything is not quite so beautiful. You are eating your escargots by yourself…and that special gravy you made for his roast beef is now a congealed pile of grease, all because he had to stay late at the office! Youre sad, but not overly so. You look at that card he sent you, maybe a dried up flower petal or two, and as you remember what a nice feeling that was, all is forgiven. After all, these things happen, right?

love letters#2: Now let’s fast-forward — a few months, a year or two, whatever. Now, you’re not sad — you are pissed. In fact you are leaving this bag of crap. You have realized that he wasn’t working late — he was with someone else! (If I had a hundred dollars for every time I have heard the “office” routine, I would have two Rolls Royces!) While you were staring at your cold escargots, he was looking for some hot clams, if you catch my drift. Now you will really be glad you have all of those little notes and letters…and it won’t be for the loving and tender moments! It will show the court proof of what he promised, and is denying that he ever said: that he was going to take care of you!

Make sure you document the times when he makes even outrageous promises, and who was present when he said that he would take you away and buy you that “island!” Ha! So along with the anger, you will have a little smile crossing your face, because you have the proof and you caught the bastard!

One very famous boxer lost a big round when the newly dumped “love of his life” showed up with all of the letters and promises, and a diary of every time they “did the deed”…now they also had a couple of kids! But that Hope Chest stuff — the letters and the cards and all the promises made in the company of others all came back to bite him in the trunks — oops, wallet — she even went for PALIMONY, and won that too! And OH! I almost forgot, it was me who put the whole thing together, and what a job I did…her lawyers and the plan were all classic Nazarian and Associates!

No matter the socio-economic level you are from, all of these guys pull the same shit! All the time, every day! Document and keep everything!

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