Why exactly do some people collect things that others consider to be frivolous and a waste of time and space? Some would say a collector is collecting for investment purposes, the promise of monetary gain. Others believe it is a form of preservation, a physical connection to a memory of past events. Sometimes it is just merely enjoyment, a passion. Then of course there are the pack rats and hoarders, collectors gone wild to the point of having no empty spaces in their homes. Some people understand and some don’t.
My sister is one of those who don’t get it. She is the same one I had mentioned in an earlier post. Do not think I am trying to cast her in a bad light, I love her dearly. We grew up together and were the stereotypical big sis / little sis complete with the sibling rivalry while at the same time sticking up for each other. Just as with any sibling dynamic, sometimes ideas are just totally different. Recently when rummaging through our father’s things as she was helping my mother pack things away, she was totally amazed and at some points even annoyed at the amount of stuff he accumulated over the years. There were even boxes piled in a room, some unopened. My father collected many things, buying swords or figurines and what not from mail order catalogs. The first thought her and her husband came to was not about the man and his hobbies but of how much money our dad “wasted” on stuff he could never hope to make a profit from. Yes, he could have used the money spent on his hobbies to go toward more beneficial things but he was a broken man. Our father was not well, had heart problems since at least the early 1990s possibly earlier and his health got progressively worse making it impossible for him to get a job. Add that to money and family issues and feeling like he had no control over anything in his life, it made him depressed I’m sure. He couldn’t even get out and go fishing, which he loved to do, after he had to move back to Detroit 10 years ago. His crafting and collecting was his outlet, his escape, a way to cope. Not how much money he could get for things. So yeah, made my sister seem colder than me when she automatically thought of money in regards to dad’s collections.
I have a bit of a collection myself of various things. Because of current personal economic climate I cannot indulge as much as I could in my collections as I did 10 years ago, but I still manage to add little by little. Like my dad, I do not collect for monetary gain. Money would be just a bonus. My scifi stuff, the knives, dragons, and a few oddities are my escape. My shot glasses and some other souvenirs from places I’ve visited or got from friends are memory ties. Art stuff because I like well made art. Some stuff is worth money, others I would be lucky to get back what I paid for them, but it’s stuff I enjoy. As long as i don’t get to pack rat status I should be fine 🙂
Keep looking toward the setting sun, for there is where you may find me lurking amongst the shadows.