The Men’s Roundtable: The Shoebox

History likes to look back at certain things as achievements. As moments to be celebrated, almost as if they were points on a map that lead on a path to greater enlightenment and advancement.  But it’s kinda funny how if you look at things with a different focus, all it really reveals is more of the saaaaaaammme old shyt.

Bambi-cave-paintingTake cave paintings for example. Linguistic scholars like to point to the tradition of cave paintings as the roots of language. That these crude inscriptions on the walls of the shelters that roaming family groups shared planted the seeds of our storytelling traditions, lighting the way for complex systems of communication that helped propel civilization forward.

When in reality, it was probably something more like:

“Honey, what is this?”
“Oh yeah, that’s a painting I did on the wall.”
“I KNOW THAT, what is it a painting of?”
“Oh, well remember when me and the fellas came back from the hunt with that giant mammoth?”
“I remember telling you to get some dinner on your way home from work.”
tumblr_lowv8jXlVD1qgj47l“Well yeah, tracking that thing down and killing it turned out to be pretty epic. What with all the running and arrows and spear throwing and stuff.”
“Mmm-hmm, So are you gonna do this every time we eat?”
“Well, no — it’s just that like I said, it was a pretty big deal. Coach said I threw the spear almost 300 yards. Scored a couple of hits, too. More than anyone else in the tribe this season..”

We’re all sentimental to an extent, I think. Memories are important to us as a species. And yet there’s something about the way men tend to place value on physical mementos of past victories that seems to take it one step further.  Almost as if we feel some sort of  need to see and touch the proof of our individual histories — despite the fact that we know in our minds that those things actually happened.

Lots of  women treasure keepsakes. But for whatever reason, men tend to make it seem like they need trophies. 

But the question is, how long is too long to celebrate a win?

Dear OHN Roundtable,

Ok got a question fellas… what age or point is it time to get rid of “da shoe box” & all of its contents? Or is it ok to keep it forever in secret? Would you ever share the cards, letters, & pics with your wife, or is that just crazy talk?

Now a few of you ladies out there might be asking yourself at this point, “Wait, what’s da shoe box?” But rest assured, the rest of the readers know exactly what we’re talking about, and are all now like:

“Yes, dear.  Why don’t you tell us all about the shoe box.”

You’d think in this age of social networking and smartphones that “the shoe box” would become the proverbial dinosaur and fade away, but there are some things you just can’t digitize. But that doesn’t mean you should ideally be holding on to them for years, either. Especially if the memories you’re saving is of someone from your past, and you’ve moved onto someone new in the present.

And yet — many you know all too well what it means when a man has five pairs of Jordans and six orange boxes that say Nike on the side.

We put this question to the OHN men’s roundtable and opened the floor to discussion. Guys from all over the country weighed in with their opinions, and some even offered advice from similar experiences.

Here are the highlights:


Take it from me. if they find it……. it aint gone be pretty.





Burn it. Burn it with FIRE. 

 It never existed.

 We never had this conversation.



 I forgot all about mine until one day my wife decided to “clean and organize.”  I ended up with a file folder behind our tax documents labeled “His old girlfriends.”

That was 5 years ago and I have yet to hear the end of it!



6a00d83451b8c369e200e550730b348833-800wiWas the old drawls in that file too??? lmao





 Maaaaan .. please believe!!! I had letters, emails, pix, videos.  Holding on to it is not worth the 9th ring of hell. Just think about how you would feel if you stumbled on to her Dicklopedia..




 Unless your wife is interested in sharing — I’d burn it once I got married. Keeping something like that, is almost like saying that I’m reserving my options in case something went wrong or I’m upset – in essence, not trusting that this marriage would last…so, no I wouldn’t keep it.




 My ain’tshitdom says keep them mofos (just not in the house)

But my Goodfellow says get rid of them. Seriously, why keep any of it?




 But what if there is NOOOO thought or hope of returning to any of dem hos and you’re just keeping them for reflection and remembrance? What if the ones that made “da shoe box” really meant something to you? I mean these are ladies that you shared a special bond with in your past. You may consider them lifelong friends who you only acknowledge when/if your paths cross. Are we wrong & bad cause we’re visual beings? Most dudes only keep stuff from the ones that were special (or at least that one wit da faaattt a**!)



But it’s not like we’re the only ones. You know females still have ALL of their love letters and cards! They just do a better job of hiding their ish at they momma’s house!




 Yeah, but that’s probably where the difference is. It’s one thing to have some memories of old flames from when you’re young in the place you grew up. But it’s quite another to bring a collection of your greatest hits into a new relationship and act like it’s no big deal.

That’s why most of us probably feel the need to hide it.



 Which is it’s own can of worms. Half the time I think it’s the trying to hide it that makes it worse!





 Look, I don’t know anyone who has kept theirs, got busted and then said keeping them was worth it. Not a single dude. Leaaaaarn from our mistakes, man!




 I look at it like this — Porn is a** you aint neva gonna get. But old drawls is a** you’ve already enjoyed & can remember details about.




 You want to remember details? Just wait until that box gets found and you have to answer questions about it.





You know how we hate when they bring up old shit? Please believe that if you get busted, that shyt will absolutely never go away — Ever. Not ever……ever…….ever.




 If there is some sentimental non-porno type stuff in the box — MAYBE keep it at your mamma’ house behind that loose brick on the wall for 20 years, then find it accidentally. Otherwise, torch that sh*t. It will be like herpes — after that first major flare-up you will live in terror of the expected unexpected return attacks. It ain’t worth it.


  I’m just saying — if you found a stash of all the dick pics dudes had sent her before you me — most of ya’ll would end it right there or burn the house up with her still in it. So I don’t want to hear nan mufugga talking about heffas will overreact, when we all KNOW how dudes react if put in the same position.




 This one dude I know didn’t keep his at his marital home. At least not until he said he found the perfect spot in the roof.  It was like he was talking mission impossible stuff.

I started really questioning whether or not it was worth keeping after hearing all that.



 I still have all my old pics. Nothing too serious. EYE got nothing to worry about.





 Nothing to worry about!? — Just wait until this post hits the site. Cleaning day ’bout get a loooot more thorough.





 I feel bad for the dudes who only read the FB page and never visit the site. I’ve got a feeling they’re all going to see this and be like:  





Meanwhile my partna over here all like:






 No, no, no — trust me: If you keep the box of stuff, it WILL come back to bite you in the ass. She finds it, you guys argue.. Then you starting thinking things are fine. 5 years down the road while arguing about some random shyt…she yells “Well why don’t you contact one of them hoes in your shoebox and go feed her your lies!”

Might as well hand her a loaded gun, buddy.



  Or you are in trouble about some shyt you should have known better about and it’ll be:

Her: ” You’re sorry!?? Just like your sorry ass should have known better than to have a treasure trove of hoes after all these years!??
You: Damn I forgot to pick up the motrin for you..
Her: Just like you forgot to throw away your Ho-lodex??


 Or or think about this…..You and your girl are laying on the couch and she says: “Hey I’m feeling freaky do you know any chicks that want to get down? Cause I use to play with this chick in college. You know during my bi days.”
You (feeling accomplished): babe if I could get a chick could we bust her down?!
Babe:  told you I was feeling frisky.
You (thinks of hoe box): I think I might no a biatch that is down.
Babe: Oh so you know somebody? How you know somebody that would be down for that? Do you still talk to her? Is she in your FB list? Instagram? Twitter? Is she in your phone?
You (lost): babe what happened you….
Babe: I found the box in the closet stacked with your other Jordans already, who is these nasty bitches?

….So as you can see you’re in a lose-lose situation. NUCCA get rid of that shit lmao.


 If you just GOT to keep it, put that shit in storage or something. Bury that muhfucka. Safety deposit box. Stash box in the car behind the wheel well. Underneath the squeaky floorboard in the attic.

You need to hide that shyt like dope.




 Forget dope, you need to hide that shyt like Anne Frank.





 Forget Anne Frank. Hide it like her diary — cuz if I recall correctly, they found that bitch too.





I think most chicks get so mad about this because they have boxes of letters and photos of their own and they KNOW deep down that a few of them old dudes could still get it for old times sake!

They figure yours just has to be the same kind of situation. 



 Brah, I’m TELLIN’ you: BURN THAT SHYT.   I already know that my wife’s reaction to a box like that would be any good woman’s reaction to a box like that, and we wouldn’t need Facebook to hear about it ‘cuz that shyt will be AAAWWWLLL over the news:
“Our top story, a dude got knocked all the way the fugg out by wife. Steve?”
“Thanks, Bob. According to the Metropolitan police chief, when the dude walked into his home after work, his wife busted him all up in his facial regions and his melon with a baseball bat. Sources close to the scene say that she found a box of his old doin’s and was not pleased that he’d kept trophies of past conquests.”



But that’s just our opinion. What do you think?

Got a situation?  Need a man’s opinion?
Email us at
Subject: Roundtable


NOTE: The Men’s Roundtable is intended to be a discussion of a topic, not a forum for personal attacks or backbiting. Please try to be respectful and open-minded in your comments. As such, this discussion will be monitored by the OHN editorial staff and shut down if things start to get out of hand. Comments that attempt to take this discussion to a overly personal or offensive realm will be subject to users being banned.


Hex is about as wrong as two left feet and there is nothing right about him. Every time we yell at Hex, his rebuttal is always that we are doing so simply because he is Black....yeah..think about that.



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  1. JustSlaus says

    “Forget Anne Frank. Hide it like her diary — cuz if I recall correctly, they found that bitch too.” I have been laughing at this ish for 48 hours now…..

  2. wildwhuck says

    “Forget Anne Frank. Hide it like her diary — cuz if I recall correctly, they found that bitch too.” This right here!! Real tears

  3. iamtmonie says

    Anne Frank.
    News report.

    I DEMAND a podcast with the news report!

    I used to have a briefcase with old letters, cards and pics. I got engaged and he made me burn it. Like a ceremony!!!

    He’s been gone. I regret it. It’s nice to remember you were loved once.


  4. Jonesey says

    I learned about shoe boxes when my first bf showed me his. We looked at it together and he told me the corresponding stories. Which was cute more than anything to me. He’s also still about 70% of my shoe box, which I keep on a shelf in plain sight, because I don’t have or wanted keepsakes of most of the few candidates between him and the current one. Who, in turn, I’m sure has more than one shoe box because he’s a hoarder when it comes to sentimental ish.
    Basically – I’m gonna have my shoe box, he can have his. As long as you don’t make it into a state secret and act like it’s anything more than a collection of fond memories of the PAST – it’s all good.

    • LadyCant says

      A few of the photos are in my renfaire scrapbook. But since the ex’s future engagement is in there also I think I get a pass. *LOL*

  5. LadyCant says

    I’m sure one of my exes had a box….but I didn’t have to worry about it because he showed me photos STILL on his digital cam of his ex (they’d been engaged briefly) of her ass, on the bed, in some yellow stretch lace getup like it was supposed to inspire me to dress like that.

    Nigga…..NIGGA……1) the fvck is you thinking showing me the trick that turned you into the bitter bytchy Betty you are now, and 2) The FVCK do I look like wearing Yellow.Stretch.Lace?!

  6. LadyCant says

    I didn’t have a box……okay, I had a letter and a pic or two. *lol* The only ex I ever stayed friends with. Got rid of that after I got engaged, though.

    If I could have sent the ish I got from the other ex up in flames and made s’mores off that bitch I would have…I ended up giving up the Chrisette Michele tee away……CHRISETTE MICHELE. I was bitter.

  7. CaraQ says

    I had an old box of letters, pictures and trinkets. I got rid of it when I moved in with the mister, but I still had one pic. It was innocent, but he knew who dude was and I NEVER heard the end of it. That pic has “disappeared”… don’t ask no questions. It doesn’t exist. (The OTHER one? That bish never left my mama’s house! I’m sure its in a landfill somewhere with those other letters! lol)

  8. CaraQ says

    I found an ex’s letters from his ex… those letters (and the ones she gave back to him) gave me some food for thought. I had to ask him where did he see us going because I couldn’t be with a guy who couldn’t give me the level of commitment I was giving and that he once gave to someone else. He was honest with me and we parted as friends. But his face when I confessed that I found them…. LOL

    My husband had a file box…. cards, pics, letters…. we were either packing to move or getting settled into where we live now. I just turned around and left him with his box. I think I smirked about that ish for a year whenever he brought up an ex of mine. Hmpf, don’t play.

  9. CaraQ says

    Oh, wait!!! I had an e-mail letter. I pulled it up one day when I was feeling low, me and the mister were on the outs and I just wanted to remember knowing someone thought I was great! I accidently left my e-mail open and he read it. I got a e-mail telling me he read it and would let me go. I was at work and damn near had a panic attack! I was on the phone trying to explain and it was ALL bad. I think he printed a copy…. when we got married, we promised to leave that old sh*t behind!

  10. notconvincedgranny says

    I threw mine out and the mofo went through the garbage and pulled it out, arranged it in chronological order on the kitchen counter and left it there to serve as an indictment, The trial had been held and I was convicted in absentia.

    Yeah. He was mad, not because I tossed it, but because it ever existed. Why yes, as a matter of fact I did bail on dude. If he had seen the nekkid-ass-nekkid portrait that one of my artistic exes had done his entire ocular region would have exploded.

    I don’t regret it. I looked good. Still have all the jewelery.

  11. JustMe81 says

    Meh, I don’t see the big deal about the shoebox. Hell, I have a big plastic tote of stuff from my first marriage that I haven’t opened since I packed it up (ok, maybe I opened it once…but I was drunk…really drunk…scratch that, I never opened it, forget you read that! lol). My old man doesn’t give a damn about that box sitting in the closet because he knows I wouldn’t piss on my ex if he was on fire. And I don’t give a damn about whatever he may have kept from old relationships because it’s really not that serious.