There was a collectibles crime committed in my cottage a few months back and the only person I have to blame is myself.
I had filled my 50th Anniversary Shag Fantasyland mug with hot water and a bag of Twinning’s English Breakfast tea. When I returned a few minutes later, the mug was almost empty. It took me a good 30 seconds to sleuth out the subtly disastrous crack on the side of the mug that had caused my brew to steep out, covering the kitchen countertop, walls and floor with a flood of tea-filled tears.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but I broke my Fantasyland Shag mug over three months ago and I still look for it every time I open the cupboard.
Four mugs on the shelf just isn’t right. There should be five. The lands of Tomorrow, Adventure, Frontier and Main Street don my morning mugs, but it’s the missing land of Fantasy that my tea-filled soul longs for.
This is my tension: I am a collector that loves to consume. I want all five mugs, but I also want to use them. I’ve got a head for collecting, a heart for consuming and the tension of living between the two.
Years ago, someone changed my collecting ways by telling me that if you don’t use perfume, it ends up going bad. No matter the cost or the quality, perfume always goes bad, so you better use it.
From that point on, nothing has been safe with me. Regardless of the level of collectability, it will come out of the box and be used to the point where one day it gets dropped, stepped on, kicked, run over, drowned, or in the case of my mug, spontaneous combustion.
Every time a package is opened, I know I run the risk of wishing its contents a painful adieu down the road. And while the unwrapping continues, the loss of a silly ceramic thing like a mug, still stings at the end of my Disney day.
The Shag mug is just one of many good friends that have been lost in the war of collecting and consuming, but as the years pass, I’m learning to live in that tension.The good news is that I haven’t purchased the Shag set on eBay and the “Buy It Now” price tag of $125 will most likely ensure that I never will.
Mugs will come and go, and maybe one day I’ll stop taking things out of the package. But as Stinky Pete would attest to, life just isn’t fun inside of a box. So with that in mind, my tension as a consuming collector will continue, but so will my enjoyment of many great Disney treasures.