I had a friend who wore matching earrings and necklace with every outfit. Again I’m a hopeless case as I tend to put in a pair of gold hoops and wear them for months. So I’m trying to think—do I have a weakness, something unnecessary that I have to have in large numbers? Well books. I also like pretty sandals. But no more than necessary. I guess I was born sensible.
My husband, on the other hand, is constantly in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. He buys different teas and blends them—a little more Ceylon here, a little more Darjeeling there. Even a dash of Chinese Keemun for the smoky flavor.And to make this tea to perfection he buys teapots. At this moment we have seven teapots in our California house, not to mention at least three in Arizona. (The two silver teapots are stowed away, wrapped in baize, for ceremonial occasions). Not one, apparently, produces the perfect cup of tea yet so we are still on a quest every time we are in England.
So I’m curious, Reds, where is your weakness? What do you collect more of than you need? (I’m sure Hank will say she needs all those black suits and high heeled
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I NEED all those black suits and high heels. (Rhys is ALWAYS right!) But you know what I also have too many of? WAAAAY too many of? Paper bags. Shiny glossy paper shopping bags. It is RIDICULOUS. But I cannot bring my self to throw them away.
Oh, and T-shirts. Here's one--what do you vote, toss or keep? And then I have about a million others for you to vote on. (I'll do a blog about them next time.)
LUCY BURDETTE: Aside from books, which you saw very plainly last week, my weakness has to be shoes. Not fancy shoes, with elegant heels, but sturdy shoes that accept my orthotics. And sandals--mostly Mephisto--because I can walk anywhere in them. I panic if my Asolo clunkers are starting to wear down and I don't have a pair in reserve because these are what keep my chronic plantar fasciitis at bay.
What makes this worse is I don't throw away any of the shoes I used to be able to wear. Here are the ones I wore to my first wedding, back in 1979.
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: We have limited space for stuff, so we tend to live pretty simply. (Well, the kiddo does not live simply — but that's a whole other post...) My husband, however, is a collector of puppets. We have a bunch of Bil Baird originals, as well as puppets from Thailand, Bali, Nigeria, and India. I also love street art/outsider art and have started collecting original Faile (faile.net) and Stucky (http://stuckyart.bigcartel.com/) pieces. They go with the puppets!
In terms of our bar, I love collecting really odd bottles — creme de violette, yellow chartreuse, velvet falernum. Our bar looks like it's set up for a Potions Class at Hogwarts!
RHYS: Potions class at Hogwarts! Love it. So would my grandkids. Potions are a specialty of theirs.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Your mother and I are kindred spirits, Rhys. For me, it's handbags. I cannot resist. I love buttery, elegant leather bags, colorful quilted bags, funky vintage bags. I get them everywhere from high-end boutiques to Goodwill. I'm rigorous about clothing: if I don't wear something within a season, out it goes, but I will keep my purses and satchels and clutches forever, even if I only carry one once a year. Here's a picture of my overloaded vanity, which has become purse central - and keep in mind, I also have them stored above my chest of drawers and on the top shelf of Youngest's closet (if she starts collecting bags too, we'll be in trouble.)
RHYS: Julia, we have a six bedroom house and have now stared things in all the former kids' closets (mainly John's file boxes, but also clothes, craft materials etc).
DEBORAH CROMBIE: My daughter laments that I do not have the shoe gene... Like Lucy, I have developed plantar faciitis--mine is in my left foot. But I have held on to shoes with heels that I cannot wear for years. A couple of weeks ago I girded my loins and gave them all to Goodwill. No handbag thing, either. Like Rhys, I tend to buy one and carry it until it wears out. I might get really wild and have one for summer and one for winter!
Things I do accumulate? Art. There is not a blank wall in my house. I've collected London Transport posters for years, and many are now very collectible. But I CANNOT buy any more. There is no place to put them.
And Rhys knows about the teapot fetish. I just did a rough count in my head.... I have at least a dozen, maybe fifteen. And I have this last year found THE PERFECT TEAPOT. They are made by Emma Bridgewater in the UK (if you are tempted to order one, wait until they do a special with 10 pound shipping to the US. By the time take they off the VAT, your shipping will be free.) So I now have two of them, and salivate over the catalog. Why do I need more teapots???? Why do we need anything that's not absolutely necessary?
Because they're beautiful and it makes me happy to use them and to look at them.
Just don't get me started on tea...
RHYS: So we've shared our strange obsessions. Now it's time to share yours. Who collects way too many of what item?
(And Hank, that NBC shirt from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Wow, that's certainly a collectors item! Worth putting on eBay and then buying more shoes!