What Are the Best Places to Hide Stuff From Live-in Boyfriends?

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Photo: Corbis

Moving in together! According to some, it's an uninterrupted slumber party featuring the best of both your furniture and half the rent. Such bliss. Such savings. But where do you put all your secret stuff? This New York Times Home & Garden report on the hidden lives of live-in significant others and spouses offers myriad suggestions: inside a breaker box, in Tupperware on high shelves, in the wall cavity behind a loose piece of moulding, behind framed pictures on the walls. That last one is an especially good place for your apocalypse-scenario cash/emergency party fund, we hear.

As for what people are hiding, if the Times is to be believed, women are mostly hiding junk food and chocolate — out of a mix of shame for eating it and the fear that their significant other will eat it first. Men are mostly hiding their porn, as they should, but not because it’s bad or disrespectful or threatening. They just have embarrassingly poor taste in porn.

“There were pictures from the Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sex tape — how dated is that?” said Stacey, who did not want her last name used to protect the identity of the former boyfriend. “I tore it all up and put it right back where it was hidden, just to see if he would say anything.”

Cut staffers and their significant others were more uniform in the things they hid: extravagant clothing purchases and weed. Both relied on spylike tactics to render things hidden in plain site. One reported disguising weed as unappetizing leftovers with tinfoil; another couldn’t locate her boyfriend's stash. One Cut boyfriend hides new, expensive athletic gear in a duffel bag — where it presumably goes unwashed — while Cut women hid the tags of expensive clothing purchases in the bottom of the trash, as opposed to the clothes themselves. (“I’ve had this for years. I can’t believe you don’t remember.”) Letters from old flames go in the pages of books, preferably the least appealing ones; one Cut staffer uses a biography of Catherine the Great.

Of course, hiding the emotionally consequential stuff — evidence of past (or current!) relationships, that fantasy screenplay — is becoming an increasingly digital concern. Locked folders and photo-hiding apps can arouse suspicion — the kids today consider passwords of any kind a barrier to intimacy. Divorce lawyer Randall M. Kellser told the Times of a client with a promising but expensive work-around: a duplicate of his iPad exclusively for conducting an affair. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if he hadn’t synced to the home computer. Second bag, meet second phone.