Emily S. Whitten: Winter Cleaning
You know how every year when spring rolls around you get that compulsion to turf out, e.g., those sweaters you’ve had since high school (high school, for heaven’s sake! That was an eon ago, back when you thought skater style was rad)? And those old magazines, and maybe a set of silverware someone gave you once but you’ve since replaced with a nicer set?
Well I always get that compulsion after Christmas. Possibly because I don’t have a ton of storage space, and inevitable I’ll return from Christmas break with some awesome thing that I have absolutely no place for. And thus, the turfing out begins.
It always takes me awhile, and I like to blame this on my grandmothers (who I loved dearly, by the way). You could not imagine two more different houses when it came to aesthetic than those of my two sets of grandparents (and while everyone contributes to the home decor, I think my grandmas set the tone the most).
My dad’s parents had a home that was well decorated and homey but only lightly accented with knick-knacks – a jar of marbles here; a stained glass biplane there; that weird spinning perpetual motion thing my grandpa loved. There was a place for everything, and everything was in its place.
My mom’s parents, on the other hand, had a proliferation of collectibles, living side by side somewhat regardless of their categorization and in whatever room they felt like living in. Thus, my grandma’s perfumes hung out with her collection of Taco Bell dogs (she had the whole set at one point) and her beautiful hand-painted items kept company with Babe the talking pig. And so on.
It could be genetic, or it could be that I grew up in a house that combined these aesthetics; but either way, I find I am constantly warring with myself when it comes to home decorating…and especially when it comes to geek collectibles. I want a nice, neat place for everything and everything in its place; but I also want the “everything” to include a display of, e.g. every single Deadpool thing I own and at least some of my Minions (I can’t resist the Minions. They’re so silly!). And that’s how every now and again I look around and realize that suddenly, within my neatly organized habitat, my bookshelves have become so overrun with fun collectibles that I can’t get to my books. And why it takes me forever to do my sorting; because every decision of what to keep or give away is an agonizing debate of, “I must get rid of things to have a nice neat space,” versus, “I must display all twelve variations of Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that I own, and no, I can’t get rid of that Pez dispenser, because then I’d only have eleven Donatellos!” Sigh.
My winter cleaning this year has unearthed a number of geek collectibles I didn’t even remember I had, and made it clear to me that maybe, just maybe, I have a wee bit of a collecting problem. It’s also made me wonder what it is that makes us geeks want to own every collectible for the things we love (and in my case, a lot of cute plush anthropomorphic food, as well). Is it a compulsion? An addiction? A desire to express our love of said things in visible ways? A way to wordlessly connect with fellow geeks through a simple display? Or is it simply the sheer happiness of owning and being able to see and touch the embodiment of things we love?
I don’t know. What I do know is that even though I vowed to myself that I wasn’t going to buy any more Deadpool or other collectibles, my mind also has the perpetual caveat unless they’re really awesome and I can’t live without them embedded in it, and clearly, I can’t live without this: a.k.a. the Hot Toys movie version Deadpool. I mean look at it: it’s a thing of Deadpoolian beauty. I must own it.
I also know that I have a lot of things I ought to be selling on e-Bay, and also, that I need more shelf space.
Until next time, Servo Lectio!