June 11, 2017
I’m a collector of things, which means I’m also a buyer. But what happens when buying becomes more than adding a sought after item to a thoughtful, curated collection and becomes….. just buying more stuff? Is there a line between being a collector and becoming a hoarder? How do you know when you’ve crossed that line? Can you see the line? Is it marked in your mind’s eye? Is there a warning bell that lets you know when you are approaching the Hoarder Line? Like the flashing lights and clanging bells at railroad crossings? That would come in handy.
I “have a thing” for lots of things…..skeleton keys and padlocks, door knobs and hardware in general. Scales, oh yes, I surely do have scale love. And I suffer from a terminal case of grain sack love. The more the better. I get a bad case of heart eyes over crocks and stoneware bottles. Throw in a love of McCoy Pottery, (the matte white “Floraline”) and an obsession with old clocks, vintage radios and fans, Royal Copley Dog planters and old bottles, and my home could be a museum with me as the curator.
I’ve been getting rid of things I’ve outgrown or anything that no longer supports my style for a couple of years. YEARS! And during that time, I’ve also purchased more things. Mr B routinely asks, “What are you going to do with that?” “Don’t you have X number of those already??” “Oh, I see you’ve purchased something else for the attic.” You know….all the helpful statements and questions that frankly make me a bit angry and defensive. “I know what I’m buying”. (no, I really don’t) “I know exactly how many of “those” I have” (No clue) ……. “I routinely rotate things so my collections don’t become overwhelming” (sounds good in theory but I don’t do it) …..“I have a place for this” (Not without a second house.) …… All those responses that I make to justify whatever it is I want to buy.
Not too long ago I announced I was cutting back on shopping, I actually heard his eyes roll. It sounded a bit like ball bearings clanking around in an empty drum. Not that Mr B’s head is empty or remotely drum shaped….. I didn’t even have to look, but I was surprised he could still see to drive….. what with the eyeballs rolled all the way back in his head. I was serious. He was scoffing. This took place in the car when we were going to pick up the commode I recently wrote about.
Mr B loaded the commode in the back of the car and said he was going to “browse” the Play It Again Sports store located a couple of doors down from the antique shop, meaning he would speed walk through the store and be out the door within a minute, purchased item in hand. An item I might add, from HIS shopping list….. which he had researched the pros and cons and price checked. He was gone for only a few minutes and during that time, I decided I couldn’t live without a WWII phone, a sewing machine drawer, a mirror, a feedsack pillow and a large vintage bowl. WHAT???? I have a problem.
On a recent trip to Tennessee to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend, Mr B said the rest of the trip was mine, we could do anything I wanted to do. I had a glorious week in the mountains. We enjoyed Nashville of course, because I’m a Honky Tonk Woman. And we both love music. Then there are all those antique malls and a town with a section of shops that I MUST visit each time we go. And one of us loves those. I had a list of several items I needed (relative term) to finish a display or fill a space (we have no empty space at the Brown abode). Did I buy any of those items? NOOOOO. I bought other things. Things I HAD TO HAVE. Little things. Inexpensive things. Things I had no use or space for. Things that I didn’t even like after I got them home. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I obviously looked at the things, I apparently thought I wanted or needed them, so why was there even ONE THING I decided after plunking down my cash that I didn’t really need, want or…..even like??? I require an intervention.
I have to face the ugly truth. I have a shopping problem. Actually I have an IMPULSE SHOPPING problem. When the impulse registers in my brain that I need, want, must have that key, vase, sack, scale, pot, crock, bottle or clock I simply cannot resist it. But this it! I have acknowledged my problem. I am going to stop with the shopping…. I’m calling a shopping moratorium…Except my Granddaughter is coming for a visit and she has a love of vintage cameras and “stuff.” We enjoy junking together. I cannot deny her that pleasure…..right?
Create the home you see in your heart. Surround yourself with things you love, things that make you smile. Love the home you’re in no matter where you live, it’s your sanctuary.