Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Angst of Collecting Things

A while back, I made peace with my inner John Lennon and stopped collecting "things."
Toys, Comic Books, you name it...

There were various reasons:
To save money...
Because of limited storage space...
Because they made me tense...

"How could they make you tense, Kevin?"

Well, I'll give you an example:
(NOTE: I apologize if I have already blogged about this. I previously wrote a draft but am fairly certain I deleted it before ever posting it).

On Thursday July 30, 2009, my friend Kerry and I went to a Blue Rocks baseball game. They are the Kansas City Royals minor league team located in Wilmington, DE. On this particular night, the Blue Rocks were holding a promotion in which they gave away Bobble heads of Vice President (and Delaware's #1 resident) Joe Biden. We got to the game early, but unfortunately, we didn't realize every registered voter would be in line before us to get this keepsake. With a limit of 1,000 Bobble heads, they were out of "Amtrak" Joe before we got one. 

I recently saw a listing of the Bobble head from the night sold on Ebay for a reasonable $24.99. Not a terrible price if it's a must have for your collection.

The fact that I shed the obsession of collecting things helped me enjoy events I went to.

I no longer had to worry about getting to said event 3 hours early.
I no longer had to worry, once at said event, that my newly acquired trinket might be damaged in some way.
I no longer had to worry about not enjoying said event, because my mind was completely preoccupied with my newly acquired trinket and it's well being.

Fast forward to 2016.

My daughter recently revealed a fondness for Pez dispensers. Sure, at 2 and a half, she's probably more interested in the tiny pieces of block sugar than a dispenser of Daffy Duck, but it hasn't kept me from buying her everyone I see.

I feel no pressure to buy them. If a store doesn't have what I'm looking for, I'm not overly concerned. I figure, "Well, I'll find it eventually..or I won't and she won't care."

We even gave her ALL of the dispensers I'd bought for Julie over the years (that was my go to gift when we first started dating...or a cactus when I was a prick - that's a different story). Julie and I talked about this before giving them to her...I don't want you to think I re gifted presents I had originally bought for my wife (but let's be honest, she could careless about the block of sugar OR Daffy Duck).

The only dispensers I haven't given her are my Elvis Pez dispensers, but those babies may be worth some money!

What I'm saying is...there's a good chance I am encouraging the same "collecting" behaviors in my daughter that I fought so hard to overcome. And though I've kicked the habit, sometimes it rears it's ugly head...

Thursday July 21, 2016 (what is it with Thursdays in July?)

The Philadelphia Phillies are hosting their Star Wars night.
I organized a huge group of ComedySportz players to see the game.

This was an exciting night for various reasons, but not least of which was I'd get to see my buddy Jon, who was in town from Indiana, and finally meet his lovely bride.
My mom took Kit (and her Pez dispensers) while Julie and I went to the game.
About an hour before I left work, my buddy Shaun (a ComedySportz player, who bought his seat aside from the rest of the players) asked if I was getting a Phillie Phanatic Bobble head.
This sounds great:

The Bobble head is SOLD OUT?
Well of course I'd get one. If they're "give aways." We'd ALL get one!
"You need a special ticket," Shaun said.
"What the fuck is this Willy Wonka 'Special Ticket' bullshit?" I asked my computer screen.
(Shaun and I were talking over G-chat).
Apparently, this is the new thing at sporting events. You have to buy a "Special Ticket" that gets you the "give away."

First thing: YES, those "Special Tickets" are more expensive than "regular" tickets.
Thus making it less of a "Give Away" and more of a "Give Me Your Fucking Money If You Want This Thing."

Second thing: WHAT THE HELL?!?
How the hell is this a thing? I have to have a special ticket WHICH I have to pay extra money for? What ever happened to getting to the game early as an incentive to root my team on from the first pitch?
(Obviously their playing isn't enough of an incentive these days - Phillies are 56-63 as of this writing)

I worked retail for 15 years.
(If you're a frequent reader, you've heard me talk/complain about that many times before)
On Black Friday, door busters were used to get people to come shop early, which also allowed you to staff your store appropriately.
If someone called and said, "Can you put aside a copy of Napoleon Dynamite on DVD for $5.00, I'll be in to pick it up in 3 hours." We'd simply tell them, "Sorry, I can't do that as the sale ends at 9:00 a.m." As opposed to FUCK YOU ASSHOLE, I'VE BEEN UP SINCE 4:30 THIS MORNING!

"I'll just stroll into the game around the 4th inning, and pick up my Bobble head." This is not a fan! Truthfully, this is neither a fan of The Phillies nor Star Wars. Phillies fans are there for the announcement of the starting line up. And Star Wars fans line up DAYS before things like this to make sure they get them.

What's worse is that one of the Phillie Phanatic Bobbleheads is listed on Ebay right now for $159.00! AND it's the last one in a set of 9 that the seller is bilking people for. This isn't someone who is a fan of the Phillies or Star Wars, this is someone who is a fan of money. Where's the fandom in that?

DAMMIT! See how quickly I fall back into it?

My hope is my daughter will collect things like Pez dispensers because she enjoys it, not because she hopes to cash in one day. The best way I can encourage it is to give her my Elvis Pez dispensers when I get home. But I might keep the "Vegas" Elvis one...just in case.

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