Calling Collector’s Anonymous – Friday Follies

I admit it. I’m a follower.

I love Twitter and on Friday, I do Friday Follows. Not only do I recommend follows for lots of folks of great talent, I recommend lovers of fun and frivolity. After all, it is a social network, and for me, being social is all about having fun.

From Friday Follows came the idea for Friday Follies. You may “follow” right into these… or… not. In the context of being social, however, comes sharing, and I’m not above making fun of myself and sharing my “foil-ables.” As you will discover, I have my share. (pun intended)

I’m not just a follower… I am also a collector. I thought I’d tell you a little about that… see if you connect. (double ‘n’ instead of double ‘l’ — there’s a little collectible for you)

When most people picture “collector” in their head, they tend to see a collection of objects of great (or at least above average) value. Like a garage full of classic cars, or a room full of baseball cards, or dolls. Like that.

What I collect is “stuff.” Clothes that I had in high school. Or close. Along with shoes that went out of style and I haven’t worn in at least 10 years. Screws and nuts and bolts that I don’t know what they belong to. But I can’t throw them away because then I’ll have the “aha” moment, and know exactly what they’re from. And I won’t have it anymore. That kind of “stuff.”

My closets are full…way too full. Jeans, shirts, boots, hats, mittens, and gloves (and that’s only the beginning) that either don’t fit or I don’t like well enough to wear. “Stuff” that should go to the church, Good Will or the Salvation Army.

And did I mention books?  I’m a reader.  Eclectic tastes. Therefore… books everywhere!  A room without a book is like a house without a cook… no flavor.  And, yes, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Getting rid of what I’ve collected is agonizing.

I know I have to. I’m running out of room.

We need walking space, and room for everyone else’s “stuff.”

 I’ve done it before –purged “stuff” that is. Not often… nowhere near often enough… but I have done it. And I’m telling you, every time I’ve agonized through the process, one of the “collectibles” I’ve just retired for someone else’s use, I need…the same or very next day!

I’ve tried to determine the cause of this malady.  I’ve come up with a series of underlying causes.  Like not being an only child, and therefore having to endure hand-me-down clothes from my bigger sister causing me to hang on to anything that was new and truly “just” mine.  Like lots of moves across the country, and losing parts of a stove, a dresser, an entertainment center… something with every move.  A spouse who takes my hammer and other tools out to work on a project just when I need them.  Stuff like that. 

What I haven’t found yet is the cure.

We’re pretty much settled now… if such a thing really exists… and I don’t expect to move a lot more.  I can afford new clothes when I want them, and (sometimes) enjoy shopping for something new.  While he’s not perfectly trained yet, my husband is getting better at returning my tools when he’s done with them… and he has quite a few of his own. 

And I still can’t quit collecting.  Whether I’m truly addicted, or have just developed a really bad habit, it’s becoming a part of me.  Like the few extra pounds that I want to drop, I have developed an attachment to collecting.   Like most attachments/addictions, I have periods of denial.  When I tell myself it’s not really that bad, it’s no big deal, and if we can’t get in the front door… well… there’s always the side door. 

Sometimes I picture what it would be like not to collect.  Our house would be so… empty… so alien. 

I don’t know if they have a Collector’s Anonymous… at least not for my kind of collector.  But maybe they do.  I know I have an irrational fear… of being without… something.  

So maybe I’ll find it…”Stuff” Collector’s Anonymous and go see if I can collect some behavior-changing ideas.  More “stuff.”

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