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How Does One Catch The Collecting Bug?

By Sharon Stajda

I have a good friend who collects everything.

I pondered on the why of it? Beth seems very normal in every other respect. But what make it so hard for her to turn away from so many things she has over the years come to collect?

One day while shopping with Beth, we stopped for a bit of lunch. Ha! - The perfect opportunity to get into the why's of her collecting bug?

When asked what started her collecting, she seemed to be very comfortable with the subject, even zealous to help me out with my curiosity.

"My grandmother started me on the road to collecting. On my 20th birthday she gave me a wonderful antique tea set which she herself had owned. I loved it as a child, and have many happy memories of sitting down to tea parties with Grandma."

Beth went on to tell me shortly after she had received this gift from her grandmother, she found another antique tea set at a garage sale. "At such a price I could not pass the set up." Beth then purchased a lovely antique china cabinet to house her treasures. She had space, so why not add a couple more tea cups and saucers? Hence, now she had graduated to collecting tea cups and saucers.

She went on to justify collecting two more wonderful antique pieces of furniture to house more tea cups and saucers. Yes, now she was collecting antique furniture. The antique furniture led to her redecorating her home. "My more modern furniture just didn't cut it."

By now she had fully come down with the collecting bug. A new avenue was now open to her as she needed many items to complete her newly decorated home. Bedding to doorstops, you name it.

Beth's collecting bug had become a hobby; a pastime she enjoyed. She loved the hunt, and finding just the right deal. She went on to say that "although it was fun to visit the antique Shops, antiques are becoming spares, and there's too few to choose from." Hence the Internet, where she claims to spend as much as 6 hours a day surfing antique sites, and searching out wonderful bargains.

She did have one regret: "Years ago, before Internet shopping, it was a bit more fun. Plus, I was out there shopping, getting much needed exercise, and I got to meet so many interesting people, people that became friends. Now so many of my purchases are made online. I blame the Internet for the added 10 pounds I put on in the last few years."

Aside from this regret, she admits that the Internet has opened a whole new world for antique collectors; there is a limitless inventory to choose from and you can literally take your search all over the world. Naturally, I wondered if she has room for all of her found treasures. I mean, there is only so much room in a given home.

I asked Beth, do you think collectors ever get overloaded with stuff, does a collector ever sell their much desired treasures? She informed me that "they do, that's why EBay is so successful."

When asked if she would ever part with any of her treasures? "Oh yea, I sell on several Internet sites. I mean I have to make room for more. When you find better things, you sell past treasures in order to make room for new ones."

I then inquired if collectors will collect anything, to which she replied: "I have seen some odd collectibles. Such as slave grave markers, TVs, you name it. Yes, I think collectors will collect just about anything."

I still haven't come to any solid conclusion on the whys one comes down with the collecting bug? But I have a theory.

It is possible that one might collect items that remind them of pleasurable times. Then it snowballs into trying to collect items that one might think will bring them pleasure.

Well, after lunch, I did some damage in Dillards shoe department. I wonder if my new red shoes will bring me pleasure or just end up at the back of my closet collecting dust? Or, will they too become the apple of a collector's eye?

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