The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

OCD or a healthy hobby?

I sometimes feel different. That is, alien, not of this world. You see, I have had hardly any obsessions in my life. I discount a few times, of course, that might be seen as obsessive behavior... surfing when I was 18 and 19, golf the first time around, a fascination with photography that lasted almost a year... but these were minor and could be easily set aside. I am talking about real obsessions.

You know the people. They build things like the Watts Towers in Los Angeles or have an entire monastery moved, stone by stone, from Spain to Dade County, Florida . They collect figurines of some animal or other objects and place them all over their entire house. I won't get into Hearst Castle

These are the extremes, however. Most collectors are less obsessive but they are just as real. My mother had this tiny obsession with rabbits. Not live ones, fortunately, but figurines. So we had these tiny glass and ceramic rabbits here and there and everywhere while I was growing up. My father tolerated this. He wasn't obsessed with things. No, he was much more stable. Until I found he owned 7 power drills, 5 hand augers, and almost every hand tool imaginable. At least they weren't on the shelves sharing space with the rabbits. Just collecting dust in his work shop and on his "office" shelves.

When I was dating (oh, so many years ago), I would escort a young lady home to her apartment and she would show me around. Invariably, there would be stuffed animals galore, or little pillows everywhere, or a constant color in the decor, or some other evidence of obsession. More than a few of these young women seemed to collect lovers as well, though few kept more than one at a time. I suppose men are guilty of this also or there would be no little black book industry.

I am different. I have never had a collection of anything. As a surfer, I only had one surfboard at a time. I did not surf every single day. I will only admit to having a few surf posters in my bedroom and being modestly proud of my mahogany tan. When I got into golf, I never owned more than two sets of golf clubs (now I have three which makes me nervous) at a time. I do not have golf trophies and posters and such all over the house... as some I know do. During my photographer phase, I only put up about 4 of my photographs on my wall.

I never have been able to rattle off sports trivia, baseball stats, the history of the Super Bowl, music entertains me but does not drag me around the country to see the concerts of some band. I never owned more than two fishing rods and reels at a time. I do not have a collection of guns (which may put my neighbors at ease). I never got hooked on the X-Files. Though I will admit to watching all the Star Trek series.

What makes us do this? Like crows, we tend to gather shiny objects. And, unlike the crow, we want to share that obsession with others.

And why don't I have that trait? Or does blogging count?

8 comments: said...

Great post! My obsession I guess is my dog...a live one. I know what you are talking about, though. I have had friends that collected things, too...elephants, etc. They were everywhere you looked! I didn't get that gene either, I suppose.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Blogging counts...

I have pondered this question. I am a great collector, and the blog is another collectors outlet.


HektikLyfe said...

We search for comfort in the routine.

The Logistician said...

Another area Douglas in which we are similar. Kept some old stamps from around the world as a kid, and that's about it. I have a collection of virtually nothing; oops, except books. I never throw a book away.

The Jules said...

I can totally relate to this Douglas. I have recently purchased my 3rd ukulele, and must suffer the torments of ridicule from friends and family, but I'd hardly say it's excessive. I'd understand if I had dozens.

It's probably more common than we think, not having that sort of oddness, but you don't tend to get noticed for the things you don't have, unless it's a nose.

Butler and Bagman said...

Blogging counts.

Alan said...

Douglas, interesting. I seem to have 6 month interests. But I am always fascinated with my brother who becomes infatuated and indoctrinated in a lifestyle. Over the years I have seen him become obsessed with being a "hippie", a survivalist, a punk rockers. He also collects funeralia. He even owns and displays a human skeleton, which is quite legal surprisingly. And he collects old Halloween and monster movie memorabilia, a houseful of it displayed as in a museum. His collection has been featured in a book a Harvard professor wrote on collectiing.

Me, stuff just kind of comes and goes.

Have a great day Douglas.


Michael said...

I am young, so I guess my many intense obsessions are just a Phase.

I would say that blogging/writing counts as one of your obsessions. You do it daily, you do it communally, you do it well. There is a greater percentage of adults out there that don't do these things.

mical <--- the coolest Word Verification possible