I collect things. Sunglasses, jewelry, plates, shawls, purses, blank journals, all of my children’s art work, blankets, scarves, ways my mother-in-law has offended me, other people’s abandoned grocery lists, old keys.
I am unsure of the origin of my collecting tendencies and I am unaware of the meaning behind it all. It really is just that, a collection, a group of similar items that are enjoyed for possessing and viewing. This is the case for many of my items collected. I don’t even use a purse. But, I have about 60 purses, all very unique. I wear the same pair of sunglasses, but have about 16 pairs. Recently a colleague chuckled as she spotted what she thought was a fruit bowl filled with fruit on my desk, in fact filled with sunglasses. I use the same 15 plates in my cupboard, but have several different sets, all very interesting. I have currently run out of space for dishes, and can no longer add to that collection. I also can no longer get blankets, as I’ve run out of space for this as well.
I do wear jewelry and scarves, so these are not entirely collection pieces; I have taken over the entire 5-drawer dresser in the bedroom to contain my jewelry, scarves, and sunglasses.
My collection of ways my mother in law has offended me? Well, part of that is stored in my subconscious, inaccessible by my memory. The accessible part, I’ve made a list of them in my iPhone notes.
With one child in second grade and the other in kindergarten, the schoolwork is already starting to gather. The kitchen counter gets over run with it. Then, I divide it into two different large containers I have for each, blue for the younger and red for the older one. But, what can I throw away? It is all so sacred. Abe Lincoln, drawn tall and thin, pressed heavy with the black crayon by the kindergartener, a penny glued as the face below the top hat. A 15-question spelling test, 100% and “Super” written in red pen across the top and a sticker on it. This is a culmination of the second grader’s daily studying. No cramming last minute for him. The kindergartener’s careful coloring with realistic colors. With so much detail, I am left wondering how he got the little triangle of a beak on the bird to be so vibrantly orange with just a crayon. How did he get such a blunt crayon to fill such a small space so neatly? And, again, how could I discard any of this?
So, my dish and blanket collection is settled, for now. And, each of my other collections keeps growing, albeit at a much slower pace more recently. Each time a pair of sunglasses or a journal catches my eye; I ponder the meaning of it all. And, it is good to know that I can pick up a journal that I have collected along the way, and ponder my collecting, in writing, within its pages.