Friday, June 25, 2010

The Dusty Collection

I have a small art collection, a collection of books that grows no matter how often I cull, a spice and herb collection that has many deceased specimens. I gave my record collection away about five minutes before I learned of the turntable that plugs into a USB port. None of these collections is unusual.

The woman's dusty collection is not so familiar, and I wonder how many of us have or have had such a cache.

I call it the dusty collection because it is made up of sports/game equipment entirely related to a woman's former boyfriends/spouses/partners. Most of it is never used more than once or twice. Bye-bye- boyfriend, bye-bye gear.

Over many, many years, I have had badminton and tennis raquets, balls and shuttlecocks, golf clubs, softball paraphenalia, a rifle, shotgun, and hunting knife, various helmets, and hiking boots. I have dragged some part of the dusty collection between apartments and across the country more than once.

All of that stuff cost a fair chunk of change - I don't even want to add it all up! That's part of hanging onto all of it for a long time. It also is a kind of archive and part of one's identity.

I gave up my dusty collection many years ago, ironically, when I bought a house and finally had enough space to store it all. Perhaps it was an age thing, or maybe having enough distance from all that money spent or a stronger sense of identity.

Now my collection has skates, a bike, swimming goggles (all loves from childhood), and golf clubs. I also kept the hiking boots, as one can never have too many shoes.

If anything in my collection gets dusty these days, it's due mostly to procrastination - both about working out and about dusting!

12 comments:

Judie said...

I do collect art, and books, and I used to collect cruel shoes, until I decided that it was a ridiculous waste of money, since I never wore them, or wore them once for no longer than 30 minutes.
*
My bookshelves were overflowing so I decided to donate some of my collection to Friends of The Library. The total I donated came in at 400! I was shocked!
*
I am embarrassed to admit that one of my weaknesses is cocktail napkins. But they can't be just any cocktail napkins--they have to have some silly (or sage) phrase, and/or picture on them. Whenever I go shopping at a certain store in town, I head straight for the napkins. I was in that store today, and found some I thought I could not live without.
*
That voice! I HATE that voice! It spoils all my fun! You know the one I mean--the one in your head that reminds you that you already have a whole shelf in the kitchen just stacked with an item that you crave, so PUT THAT BACK!
*
Before I discovered cocktail napkins, my passion was poultry. For a while, everyone was giving me chickens, chicks, roosters, etc., to put in my niche above the cabinets. Then one day I discovered that eventually you have to get the ladder, climb to the top rung, and dust every one of those non-essential items or they begin to look grungy. Dusting high places has never appealed to me, and especially dusting things that are non-essential. Bye-bye, chickens!
*
Cocktail napkins don't get dusty, because they are wrapped in cellophane, and tucked away on a cabinet shelf. Even after you open them, you can put what you don't use in a zip-lock bag, all ready for the next time. That "next" time has become a problem, because I don't entertain nearly as much as I used to, and I have a cabinet shelf filled with cocktail napkins that will probably not be used in my lifetime.
*
I thought everyone would just love those cute napkins at parties. But you know what happens? They grab a napkin to put their drinks on, and the cuteness goes unnoticed. I could put out squares of toilet paper instead, and that would work just as well.
*
The only person who seems to appreciate my napkins is my Best Friend Artist. She always laughs and tells me how cute they are. So, to get around the fact that the last thing I needed to buy today was more cocktail napkins, I bought her a couple of packages for her birthday. Of course, it isn't until May, but I just told that voice to shut up because this was different--it wasn't for me. Don't you think that makes it all right?
*
Shhhh! Don't tell her what she's getting! I want it to be a surprise!

ChrisJ said...

Judie,

I hadn't thought of cocktail napkins, but I do have far too many candles. I guess it never ends.

Judie said...

That would be the last thing I would want to collect in Tucson, because they would melt on the way home from the store. I love a good scented candle, and I love creating unusual holders for candles for holidays. I put those ball candles in martini glasses for New Years Eve, and I have wrapped wide-mouth jars in candy canes and stuck in a fat candle for Christmas.

Come to think of it, I do have a collection of unusual candle holders.

I am trying to simplify my life these days, though, so no more collecting! Well, maybe just a few things....

ChrisJ said...

Judie,

Having a few things is good.

Judie said...

It is very dry in Tucson--especially before the monsoon comes (any day now, hopefully) and everyone in town has the same huge collection of DUST on a daily basis.

lifeshighway said...

I have managed to cull my books but I am a pottery collector. I have pottery in every room and ever corner. Each one is different and you can tell their age by the trends of potters and what I found interesting at that time.

ChrisJ said...

Cheri,

I have some awesome pottery that I was given and will always keep. You'd probably recognize the era of the sevevties if you saw it - very hippie, earthy.

Pearl said...

Some books are for my dusty collections, naturally enough. I've done 2 big culls, dropping a few hundred of them. Books from previous career have started being taken to the curb.

Papers are worse tho. Book titles I can justify getting rid of and can replace, but doodled notes I took when I was 14 in classes I don't remember taking apparently are irreplaceable.

ChrisJ said...

Pearl,

I know exactly. I have every paper I wrote in university. It's easier to part with someone else's hard work than part with one's own, I guess.

Judie said...

I have a portfolio of my artwork from 30 years ago that I just cannot seem to part with. Also a lot of clip art that really should go, plus thousands of photos that will probably never be used.

I've been watching the series on hoarders and am afraid that I might have that tendency--at least in my studio. Frightening!

Ciss B said...

Living in a very small house has made it almost impossible to collect very much. But with the same breath I do have small book collection that is very special and I do tend to read through every few years. One of my favorites is a set of Anne or Green Gables that I've had since I was a girl. But I also have two books of poetry from a friend that were published in the late 1800s. :-)

ChrisJ said...

Christi,

I remember reading Anne of Green Gables; I think many little girls of a certain age read that series.