Welcome to The 12 Days of Thatz Not Okay, a special holiday edition of a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Check back tomorrow for our next seasonal installment. As always, please send your questions (max: 200 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Thatz Not Okay."
My girlfriend and I have decided to split up when our lease expires in a few months. We've already bought Christmas presents for each other that we decided to go ahead and give to each other even though we're breaking up.
Here's the thing though: I bought her lingerie and jewelry along with some other items. These seem like things she's not going to want to have around as she moves on from the relationship or after she's met someone else—which I assume means they'll be headed for the dumpster after we split. I'm considering not giving her the items even though I bought them for her. Is that okay?
When you say you are planning to split up when your lease expires in a few months, what you mean is that you have already split up, but are continuing to live (and I guess still have sex?) together. You are no longer boyfriend and girlfriend. You are, at best, roommates with a crackling will-they/won't-they sexual tension that viewers can't get enough of.
It's a tremendous gesture of goodwill that you have decided to go ahead and exchange the gifts you purchased since you have already made clear to one another that, from here till the end of the lease, the other person's only value to you is monetary. It will still be a nice gesture even if you don't give your girlfriend a silk stocking full of sexy trinkets (and one orange) she doesn't know you purchased for her.
Split crotch panties are right up there with envelopes of human hair and those customized "Jason's Girl" cheer shorts they sell on the boardwalk on the list of gifts women do not want to receive from their ex-boyfriends. If your girlfriend wanted to keep receiving gifts of lingerie from you, she wouldn't:
1) be planning to break up with you.
2) have told you she was planning to break up with you.
However, the main reason you shouldn't give your future ex-girlfriend the lingerie you bought her is using material goods to trick her into loving you is no longer a priority. What is a more effective use of capital than wasting it on future ex-girlfriends? Wasting it on future future ex-girlfriends.
Return the lingerie to the store where you purchased it and use your refund to buy dinner for the lovely assistant manager who is called in to void your transaction after you show up without a receipt. (No refunds without a receipt so you'll have to dine on underpants purchased via store credit.) You could also use the funds to purchase an account on Match.com. Or even put them toward the rent you are continuing to split with a woman who spends her days fantasizing about well-dressed strangers she passes in the grocery store.
The jewelry is another story. If it's something expensive (like a beautiful engagement ring) or deeply meaningful (like a locket set with your birthstones and projected dates of death), don't give it to her. If by "jewelry" you mean "gold-tone filigree earrings I bought her at Forever 21," those are probably OK to hand off. She might not care to let you touch her boobs these days, but any time she looks in the mirror, she will think, "Goddamn. Twelve months trapped in the relationship from hell was all worth it to get these gold tone filigree earrings."
Alternatively, you could just tuck all the (questionably appropriate) booty in your closet for the time being. Unless you started Christmas shopping on Valentine's Day ("Our apartment is beautiful and so are you; I can't imagine us ever splitting up"), I'm guessing this decision to break-up was a fairly recent one. "A few months" is a long way away. Perhaps by Epiphany you will both realize that you still do love one another or, at least, having a washer/dryer in-unit.