Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Classification Guide to Modern Collecting. According to Me.

What is it about a good collection? I'm obsessed. 
I prefer to always be tracking something.
I'm only happy when I'm sniffing a needle from a haystack.

I like to think collecting gives structure to my inherent greed.
It feeds my unruly urge to stalk and hunt and bring home a prize. 

For that reason, I find throw-back Granny collections to be most wallet-friendly. My M.O. is to get all handsy with collections that are 1) thriftable 2) inexpensive 3) easily found, but not too easily. 

(Practicality of the collection is a double-edged sword and is both open to interpretation and immune from explanation.)

Among many others, I've had the vintage sprinkler collection and the thrift-store coffee mug collection. But a ledge can only hold so many sprinklers and a lady can only drink so much coffee. (In the case of this lady, the limit is zero cups per lifetime. I hate coffee, but you don't have to hate me back. I take my tea extra-dark and caffeinated, if that's any consolation.)

For reasons unknown to mankind, I've recently stumbled upon an odd assortment of vintage bath towels. I love them so much. I want to wrap myself up in them and parade around like a woman draped in a fine fur.

The main problem is the fact that they're roughly the size of an extra-large hand towel.
(aka, a normal sized hand towel for the claw hands.)

(Are you a newish reader and you don't know about the claw hands? If so, it means I've dropped the ball and I'm truly sorry. It also means it's time for another trip down claw hand lane.)

Here's an important question: How many items are needed to consider something a collection? I'll offer my input. For a while, I just had that one white, floral towel in the middle of the stack. At that point, I just thought it was a cute towel. The end.

Then, I added the violet/green, slightly threadbare towel. At that point, I started to think I should begin a collection.

So when I stumbled on the green towels (4! Matching!) and the blue Greek-key-esque towel, I noticed them. I made them mine. It was meant to be! Serendipity, even! Voila. A collection was born.

The tipping point for collections is obviously a clear three.
And knowing this opens up a whole world of possibilities.

Based on this strict, numeric criterium, I collect clumpy mascaras, striped shirts, soft cheeses, and hotel shampoos.


There's just no telling where this towel collection will take me. I'm atwitter.

It's already causing me visceral pain to think of all the towels I've passed up over the years out of sheer ignorance of their awesomeness. By Summer's end, I predict I'll be able to knit a "cozy" for the entire house, an amazing, technicolor dream coat of warmth and protection for the season ahead. I also predict I'll have paid a total sum of $22.

So let it be written.

In parting, I'd like to share a quote from one of my recent reads. I saved it because it reminded me so much of the most important parts of my life, but in hindsight, who's to say vintage towels and twenty-five cent coffee cups aren't among them? I took the liberty of modifying the quote accordingly.

"'Your family collection isn't your choice,' her father had said, to quell a tantrum, many years earlier, and without wanting to, she kept discovering what he had meant." - A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra*


What are you collecting right now? What's the strangest collection you've ever happened upon? Can a girl have too many collections? What's the best addition to a collection you've ever had the good fortune of discovering?

Tell me everything.

*Amazon Affiliate link