So by now we’ve all heard about this Heartbreak Museum situation, yes? If not, here’s the gist: it’s a place where you’d go if you wanted to vicariously live through a painful experience you’ve probably had yourself. Why? Because we are a nation of obsessive autobiographers.
Which started me thinking about how terrible some museums are–and how useful all of them could potentially be. There is a certain population of inanimate objects which is best kept behind glass, frozen in time, and preserved at a certain temperature. It also got me thinking about how many other life moments might be similarly be put on display. So without further adieu, and for your reading pleasure, some candidates for The Ministry of Unnecessary Museums:
1. THE MUSEUM OF FIRST PERIODS
After-school specials played on loop in the exhibition rooms. Antiquated human anatomy charts–the kind they used to terrify you in Sex Ed., from which you emerged with an even patchier understanding your inner workings than before. A wall lined with maxi pads–and one with endless jars of first tampons preserved in formaldehyde.
2. ‘I LEFT MY JOB’- THE MUSEUM
Email correspondences, or before that, paper trails detailing the misery of a job tolerated too long–or outlining a natural suspense leading to the final boil-over. Broken desks and smashed fax machines (a la Office Space) on display.
3. THE TELEGRAM MUSEUM
Remember that episode of Mad Men? ‘The faintest ink is better than the best memory?’ Though personally I preferred Peggy’s ‘You Can’t Frame a Phone Call’ slogan–it sort of rolled off the tongue. In any case, telegrams are fascinating things–if only as a study, a sort of precursor to the internet language we use now.
4. THE REVENGE GALLERY
A sprawling white-walled gallery where people can come to anonymously write (in red ink) their stories of pettiest revenge. The rooms would be divided into revenge type categories sorted by the temerity of the crime and the relationship to the victim like a game of Clue: i.e: