Sunday, February 17, 2008


I’m always interested in the things people choose to collect. I found a couple of new items this week, things that would never have occurred to me.

I went for another remedial tap lesson to my patient instructor Roberta’s home. As I was Buffalo-ing across her family room floor, I happened to notice all the many different cufflinks under the glass of the coffee table. It turns out her husband Bob, an ex-Marine, has collected over 300 pairs, each one entirely unique. I wonder if he raids his coffee table if they are invited to a black-tie affair.

Just today we were invited to brunch at the home of a couple who lived all over the world with the Foreign Service. In addition to a house full of extremely interesting things, they collect limited edition books. I had never seen anything like these books. They are type-set in the old-fashioned way. Color is often applied to illustrations with a brush. These books are works of art, usually signed with an edition number. We looked at an exquisite copy of Candide. I can’t imagine the worth of over 100 such books. But if this is any indication, I hope they are well insured.

I’m sitting here wondering if I have a collection of any kind. I have a lot of books, but nothing of any particular value. I seriously doubt there is a set of cufflinks anywhere in our house. I once tried to buy all the Beatles albums, but gave up when I realized how many there were.

There is something sort of nice about having a collection. People would always know something they could buy for you as a gift. You could look for these “things” all over the world.

But right now I don’t really have any desire for more than one of anything but children, friends, and dogs!


Blogger Colette Amelia said...

Collecting is fun but does there come a day when too much is too much? I like to collect rocks, first I was buying polished rocks and my kids thought I was I am finding them in their natural state equally beautiful and pick them up and with the intention that they will be reminders of great hikes or walks...but I forget anyway and the rocks remain.

But does one pay moving costs to move rocks?

12:29 PM  
Blogger kimy said...

I like your collection - "children, friends, and dogs!"

I have a similar collection but instead of just dogs my collection includes several other animal species!! and like ca, I am also quite fond of rocks (from their natural habitat - have rocks from all over - only problem I never catalog so they just live in bowls or baskets nestled with other rocks.

I'm always fascinated with people's collections (and what they choose to collect!) I love exploring them and also explains why I'm such a natural history museum buff!

hope you are having a good long weekend (if it is a long weekend for you)- one word for mine - gusto!!

1:07 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I often wonder what motivates people to collect stuff (mind you, I collect books).

I did collect stamps for a while. I even tried collecting money, but, in general, I don't find the passion for it (except books, although maybe that is more about me not able to get rid of them).

4:41 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I have several collections of "stuff" and they tend to fall into two categories: 1. things that evoke memories for me (like my gelato spoon collection from my time in Italy) and 2. tools of some sort (like my rubber stamp collection :massive: or my potatohead collection ::slowly becoming equally massive::.

As much as I hate to admit it, we are owned by the things we own. I have made a concerted effort to spread some of the things that have collected themselves at my house, but other ones keep showing up. I have decided to take a more "in the moment" view of things and enjoy owning the things I own and sending the other stuff out into the universe.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I wonder if someone else would notice our collections more than we notice them ourselves. I don't think I collect anything. Platters, maybe. I just keep buying them.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Colette -- I can imagine a rock collection would be a good reminder of places you want to remember. You pay to move those things that matter to you, including ROCKS!

Kimy -- I must say I had totally forgotten it was a holiday until I started out to my 7:00 meditation group and realized there was no one on the highway! When you're retired, there is always the lingering question of whether you don't get any more holidays or every day is a holiday.

Richard -- Aha! Now I understand your comment about buying more books and building more shelves.

Kelly -- You are definitely a collector, probably the only one I know who collects gelato spoons!

Kristin -- Platters?! What kind? How do you find room?

11:02 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I collect a lot of things: old fancy tea cups (especially the ones with solid handles that are flowers or butterflies), salt and pepper shakers, teddy bears, cats stuff like figurines (I even have my one and only Royal Doulton, a cat!)mugs, etc.,old spoons, lots of earrings and rings, inukshuks,rocks from special places, antique furniture...and more I'm sure.

I have a hard time downsizing and I am indeed "owned by my stuff" as someone said already!

8:11 AM  

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