I used to collect the most ridiculous things. Thankfully, I jettisoned the rock collection when I was younger, so the heavy lifting is out of the way, but there were other wacky collections that I can’t explain.
In elementary school, I was all about mice: the miniature and rather realistic looking fuzzy mice that came with outfits. Then, as was the rage, I coveted the tiny ceramic animals that could be found at every touristy gift shop, collecting a spectrum of animals from kittens to my prized walrus that I kept even after one of its tusks broke off. Poor thing.
In middle school, I went through a tropical phase and collected anything sporting a palm tree or flamingo, including a decorative green, blow-up palm tree I kept by my bed and a pink flamingo pen that was my go-to writing instrument.
In college, don’t ask me why, I collected Ben & Jerry’s containers. The pints of goodness were a novelty at the time, and with every call to Blue Jeans Pizza in Worcester—the one place that also delivered Ben & Jerry’s—the empties stacked up like the remnants of an innocent keg party. Oh, New York Superfudge Chunk, you were delicious, but sans ice cream, you were just cardboard.
Each collection replaced the last as I got older, and all that remains is one of those precious ceramic animals: a deer that I keep on my desk at work. I have no idea why.
I still save all my tickets to movies and events though, so there’s a hefty tin of paper memories that I really don’t want to part with, though I’ve never been moved to sift through them and reminisce. But then, everybody keeps movie tickets, don’t they?
Collecting can be a quaint diversion that brings comfort and satisfaction with each find; even friends love to contribute by buying you a commemorative spoon from their trip to Arkansas or a stuffed animal for your teddy bear collection. But ultimately, collections are an obsessive hobby that leave you with a lot of things to dust.