THIS MONTH: Collections


“Honey, have you seen my flip-flops?”

I thought for a moment; should I run down the list of two hundred and twenty six flip-flops I have seen laying around the house, or should I simply ask which ones?  One question is going to have little or no lasting repercussions.  The other will start a war.

“Which ones?” I ask.

“What do you mean by that!?”

And away we go…

Collections are a way of life.  We all have them and it is a natural phenomena.  Men and women both do it, albeit in different categories and degrees.  Some things men like to collect are: guns, left socks, baseball cards, hats, phone numbers, tools, more guns, fishing lures, dust, booger-…never mind, dryer lint, scabs, weight, various brands of beer cans, toenails, whatever will fit in the catch-all bucket, magazines, used tires, and mermaids.  We may not have any mermaids, but that doesn’t mean we won’t collect them when we find them.

Women, on the other hand, have a much more diverse list of collectibles, and are much more defensive about them.  Mind you this is a scientific study done by several unidentifiable sources, and therefore the author can’t be held responsible for any inaccuracies, or future grievances.

Let’s start with the basics; purses.

The purse was originally invented to carry useful items. Now it is a dual purpose man-humiliator. There is now a purse for every occasion, and a color for every situation.

Say you’re going to Wal-Mart.  Men should pay attention to the color of purse they will be holding.  I’m not saying I don’t like pink, or rhinestones, but not when it’s my sweaty hand holding it outside the ladies dressing room.

Outdoor events usually call for a gigantic canvas purse, smothered in flowers and topped with massive shoulder straps, like you would find on a rucksack used for long range recon patrols.  I absolutely refuse to carry such a monstrosity; very far.  

There’s the going to dinner purse, which isn’t big enough to hold an after dinner mint, much less enough money to buy dinner.  Such a purse takes the mystery out of who’s buying.

Then there’s the everyday purse.  This is generally a low key affair, filled with everything one would need to survive a holocaust.  It may have: a tooth brush, file, clippers, lighter, torch, feminine products, make-up, library card, tape measure, paper clips, flashlight(dead batteries), extra batteries(wrong size), sunglasses, address book, granola bar, coupons, gum, pens, nail polish, bear spray, husband’s manhood(although these don’t take up much room), alarm clock, tape, birthday card, (your) chap-stick, pennies, nickels, dimes, paper clips, thermometer, pencil, aspirin, compass, scissors, stocking cap, M&M’s(both kinds), recipe book and phone.

Moving right along, the next thing on our list is, shoes.  My wife has enough shoes to shod half the state.  On the other hand, I have two pairs.  I do have several pairs of boots. There’s my hunting boots, workout boots, work boots, snow boots, not so cold snow boots, way to cold snow boots, going out to eat boots, going shopping boots, over-boots, rubber boots, over the boots boot warmers, and muck boots.  However, I only have two pairs of shoes. My better half has the rest.

I’m not the kind of person that tends to blow things out of proportion, but last time I spilled a glass of water, it ran toward her shoe closet.  In and effort to keep the house from sinking, I thought I would lighten the load.

I asked my wife as I held up a pair of shoes that hadn’t moved in years.  “Can I throw these away?”

“No.” she said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I need them, these others hurt my feet.” She said.

I looked at the collection of mummified spider carcasses on and in the shoes.  “When’s the last time you wore them?”

“It hasn’t been that long.”

“They haven’t moved since Reagan was president.” I said.

“Neither have you, now put them down.”

There also seems to be some confusion about the value of my collections.  While hers are off limits and not to be fooled with; mine are junk.  Take my box collection.  Every man knows how handy a box is and certainly how hard it is to find one the right size.  I often come home and find things in my boxes that don’t belong.  

Then there’s my tape measure collection. It consists of one. However, I have purchased about twenty of them.  I get my hand slapped like a kid in a candy store, whenever I reach for one at the hardware store.

My wife is always asking “Where’s the tape measure?” in an effort to annihilate my collection.

My flashlight collection isn’t really a collection either, but more of a sick game of where’s Waldo.  If they could turn themselves on at night our house would light up like Las Vegas… and I might have more of them.

“Honey, have you seen my flashlight?” I asked.

“No, which one?” she said, knowing I only have one left.

“The one I keep on the shelf, so I know where it is.” I said.

“I used it last week.” She said.

“For what?”

“I was hanging a picture and couldn’t find the hammer.” She said.

I needed a Rolaid, “You used my flashlight as a hammer?  Where is it now pumpkin?”

“I put it back on the shelf.” She said

I looked at the ghostly ring of dust, which told of a flashlight once living there.  It was time to move on.

Although these collections are all valuable and cause some inconvenience, they can’t hold a candle to the turmoil the magazine collection in the bathroom causes.

Why are there magazines in the bathroom?  Because it’s the only room she won’t dare walk in and disturb me.  There are multiple reasons for this, but mostly because the sounds coming from the other side of the door give the impression there is a grizzly bear inside, pushing on a stump.

I drink my coffee and peruse the pages of Cabela’s and Field & Stream and others.  But like any good library, the wealth of information requires that I keep the magazine in case of future need.  Hence, there is a rather large collection.

She doesn’t like moving them when she cleans, so she removes them from time to time.  This is a lot like going to the beach in a tuxedo.  Sure you can do it, but it just doesn’t feel right.

All in all, the collections we have mean something to us, but not to each other.  I think her flip-flops are in the bottom of the hall closet, but since I don’t have a flashlight, we both will have to suffer.