If we're anything, as a collective unit, here in Southern California, we're a group of open-hearted seekers looking to connect, and grow, via a variety of emotionally transformative experiences.
People from other places may mock this touchy-feely aspect of La La Landia, but let us consider it a strength, a path for us to feel empathy for others. Look to our love of anecdote-based open mic nights, the ones where a performer delves into their painful pasts to reveal embarrassing middle school moments and wedding disasters.
Those open mics are about to get some visual company, in the form of The Museum of Broken Relationships. The institution, which began a decade ago in Croatia by "an artist ex-couple," has held a permanent home in Zagreb for several years. That location will soon be joined by the museum setting up shop in Hollywood.
So what will visitors find on display inside? Several donated items that had gained significance to a duo during a romance, a romance that is no longer in existence.
"Have you ever had a broken heart?" asks the museum's Facebook page, with an entreaty to donate that book or album or painting that still holds too much sway in your life, the one you purchased with your ex-sweetheart.
You'll want to write a few words about the item's history, and why you're passing it along for display. Being "furious" or "witty" or "sad" or "frank" is encouraged by the museum's founders.
Trust, though, that what will go on view in the museum will go beyond the gamut of the typical purchasable stuff of daily life. As anyone who has ever been in a romance knows, the smallest and strangest knick-knacks can hold a lot of psychic weight for a couple, from shiny gum wrappers to the cork from a memorable bottle of wine.
One senses that a desire to let go of the past, and move forward to what's next, may be the order of the day for museum visitors, many or all of whom will have an ended love affair in their personal annals.
The aforementioned empathy comes into play as one strolls by the artifacts, intuiting that others around the world have also gone through much of what the viewer has also experienced along the way: The bummer, or perhaps the relief, of romance that's bid a person sudden adieu.
For more about the project, and what's in the collection, visit the museum's online headquarters.