The TV show American Pickers is basically about obsessions. Most of the episodes are about a couple of Le Claire Iowa men going to “pick” people’s collections. Many have thousands of square feet of barns, outbuildings, and old houses stuffed with things they have purchased throughout their lives.
They dig things out from massive piles and ask if it is for sale? More often than not the answer is “no, I don’t want to sell that”. The item is likely something that they threw into a barn 30 years ago and hasn’t seen the light of day since then! So, why does it have such a pull on them? The answer, of course, is that their “collecting” is really an obsession.
When I was younger I heard stories of people who grew up during the Great Depression in the 1930s and had obsessions about throwing things away. They simply couldn’t do it. Most of the “It’s not for sale” group are no more than a few years from their death but still can’t get themselves to let go of anything. Some of their children in this TV series are begging their parents to sell as they don’t want to have to deal with the piles and piles after they are gone.
Now on to a personal note. As a 70-some-year-old, I don’t have very many collections.
- I have had a lot of personal computers during the last forty years, too many to actually count now, but only three still reside in my presence. The rest were scrapped soon after they became obsolete, which is about four years in time. 😉
- I do have a collection of about 40 small metal cars on the shelves behind me where books used to reside. I don’t know why I started to collect them but since they, for the most part, cost no more than a couple of bucks apiece they can be easily discarded.
- I also have a wall of pictures and a few shelves of vacation memorabilia.
- Ok, I also have about 20,000 pictures taken over the last fifty years. The early years were paper photos that have been digitized and are now on an external hard drive attached to my computer. I am in the process of moving them to the “cloud” but since I have such a slow Internet speed that could take years to accomplish.
- Of course, my biggest collection is probably my 4,000 or so posts on my various blogs. The word count of that collection would rival the Bible in volume.
After making this list I guess I do have quite a few collections. It’s funny how this kind of stuff can sneak up on a person. But at least my collections are contained by a 10 x 12 study. No intervention needed 🙂