It is one of those labels that popular America liked to stick on people. “They are collectors!” And a lot of places dream up images of lonely guys sitting in a large room filled with some huge amount of something and people will sit and label them as “losers” because they are not “normal”. And there must be something wrong with them.
I don’t know how much sarcasm can be translated into me writing that, but yeah I don’t believe that for a second.
It’s something you don’t really hear about on Television or the internet since those people in control of all that viewer money don’t think it’s a story worth telling. Of course, I am neither of those things. A lesson some people learn in life is that what is “popular” is not always right or what needs to be read. Someday some of these people in Television will understand.
Being a collector often is not a choice. Like many aspects of life, no one just wakes up one day and goes “I want to collect things!” and even less think it will get them anywhere other than settling needs that live in your head. Sometimes that lets you go on to better things. But most of the time it is something we are all told to fear, hide, and do something else with their lives.
Collecting isn’t about specific things either. There are car and horse collectors, people who collecting time-honored items that are well respected. Some people collect music. The collections run the gambit and all kinds of things. My deal is G.I. Joe figures. They are sometimes called “The Real American Hero” figures from the 80s and 90s but it is more than that for a long time.
Almost always someone’s collection started with something positive they experienced in life. I don’t have 500 or so of these guys because they are easy to find on eBay or anything like that. I started buying these little guys when my previous fan obsession, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe dried up and was going out of business (for the time being anyway) I loved the cartoons and I got these guys as gifts, Birthdays, Christmases, and a whole bunch of other good times in my life over the years. And there in lies the desire for wanting more. It’s the good times and memories that a collector is thinking about. The good feelings that got when they started realizing something brought happiness to their life. It also can be trying to relive good memories and chasing the feelings that may or may not have been there. It is a rough reality and sometimes people do not know it exists and that there isn’t much to do about it. That can be hardest of all.
Sure, some people do go to extremes. You’ll find collectors on shows about Harding and things like that. That can be a fandom that has gone out of control and someone will be there to get some money from these people’s misfortune. Someone with a medical degree may be needed more than friends or relatives in those extremes. Even those you might think have things “under control” may not have the best grasp of a situation. But people outside the fandom don’t know the kind of attachment can be made. It goes beyond a physical item and makes up a part of life. Having to step in and change that is no easy thing. Even if it’s “For their own good.” Sometimes that has to be questioned as well. Thinking like that depends more on who’s perspective you are seeing them from more than the person themselves.
But on the other hand is that person. Just because they “collect” does not inherently make them “bad” or “sick” despite what television or media tells you. Some need the help, and a lot of them don’t. It is their life and if they are not hurting themselves or the ones around them then what is the problem?
Sometimes it is better to just let people do their own thing. Even take part in portions of the hobby you may learn something or even new respect from someone in the know.
Collecting sometimes can go off the deep end, but in MANY more cases, it can lead to good feelings and good times.