Time Will Tell 8/31/14: How collectors deal with the desire to acquire

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Gypsy’s Two Cents: Ahh,  a simple life … eat, sleep, play. Play requires a toy collection, and I hide them everywhere. I hear “squeak” in the middle of the night and know my blind dad found one. Customers find one, recognize its value and quickly ask, “is this for sale?” I respond, “sorry, not for sale,” but humans only hear a growl.

I suppose it can be dog toys, but collecting can be addictive. So many interests and options. Art, jewelry, Lionel trains, Depression glass, rock ‘n’ roll, pottery — the list goes on and on.

No matter what your interest, collecting can be loads of fun.

We all go places mentally that are not a very good use of our time. Our desire to acquire takes time and money, though for many it’s time or money. Both can be difficult to manage.

Time spent can be searching or researching, driving, or that wasteful state of day dreaming. If totaled up, I suspect the time spent adding to a collection would surprise us all.

Typically, collectors will pay more for items than dealers at shops, auctions or markets. When time and money is available, the collector is like a dog with a bone. Satisfying that desire always brings a smile. 

One way to control the desire is to create a list. Mental lists are quickly and easily modified by giving in to impulse buying. Written lists and the discipline to stick with them can assist with the many temptations.

Of course, you could always leave the list in your pocket. I personally have collected very little through the years: 150 vintage tennis racquet, Bev Doolittle art, a few old radios and I love games in tennis. Do potato chips and ice cream count?

This month’s story by Cindy DeVries: “Collecting is a joy, but when one’s done with a collection, it doesn’t mean you have to stop. One just moves on to something new.

“Case in point: One year for Christmas, my sister-in-law asked the family for our favorite recipes, but they had to be handwritten. One can find recipes in books, magazines and of course the internet, but handwritten recipes are a dying art form, especially when written in cursive.

“I have since gone through Grandma’s and Mom’s recipes and pulled out the handwritten ones, and now I’m always on the lookout for handwritten recipes. But you see, it’s not my fault — it’s my sister-in-law’s!

Steve Barnes owns and, along with his shop dog Gypsy, operates Olde Inverness Antiques.