Confessions of a Consuming Collector

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.

Kristen

Mousetalgia Kristen may be best known for her color commentary, but she also brings her inquiring mind and insatiable appetite for new and exciting Disney-related experiences to the podcast. In addition to her on-the-scene reports, Kristen is also the Mousetalgia house musician, and often records various themes and tunes for the show on her accordion (or her concertina, her piano, her banjo, or some other various rhythm instrument she finds laying around her home), putting her degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to good use. After having spent a season in sub-Saharan Africa as a professional storyteller reporting on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Kristen has a special insight into the value of humor and perspective, and Kristen brings this joie de vivre to Mousetalgia. As a member of D23, the Cartoon Art Museum, and the Walt Disney Family Museum, Kristen rarely misses an opportunity to report on West Coast-based Disney happenings.

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