I reckon my discriminate fixation for acquiring collections of possessions began during childhood. Although my parents didn’t spoil or mollycoddle me, they indulged my obsession to accrue the objects of my affection as long as I adhered to the creed “a place for everything, and everything in its place”.
Since I brought home a Nancy Drew mystery every week from the Ann & Hope department store, my bookcase shelves were packed solid! Whenever I became bedridden with bouts of the measles, chickenpox, or influenza, my dad would come home from work with two ‘Archie Comics’ to alleviate my boredom. My fascination with Riverdale’s fictional teens upped the ante of collecting more comic books, every dog-eared copy packed snugly inside my toy chest.
One Christmas, my dad gifted me a miniature, cut glass peacock. Enamored with its delicacy and intricate design, I needed more! I eventually arranged the menagerie on a vanity tray placed on my bureau. Rings were my thing too—especially those with large fake rubies. Gumball machine bling and my coveted Coates Field jewelry-counter dazzlers mingled inside the depth of my trinket box.
At warped speed, I collected vinyl! My 33-rpm albums resided in a wooden crate. I crammed my 45-rpm singles inside storage cases with handles.
The teaching profession encouraged me to hoard all sorts of materials—including various butcher bones to cast in Plaster of Paris to simulate a paleontological dig for my third graders. I recall going out on a limb by hitting the local appliance stores, asking for large boxes which could be used as classroom dividers. The students decorated them by gluing wallpaper samples, torn asunder from yet another foraging folly to gather wallpaper binders.
For a time, I had my own craft business, mandating massive amounts of diverse hoarding: twig wreaths, dried and silk flowers, Spanish moss, ribbon, fabric, doll accessories, fiberfill, wood, acrylic paints, etc. Everything found its proper place on several shelving units in my basement.
Relegated to the past, with all of the above relics purged or perished, I still treasure my vast fragrance collection of glass goddesses. An autobiographical influence for my debut novel, this olfactory obsession was commemorated in an unsolicited interview for TIME Magazine (March 17, 2008). Jeninne Lee-St. John sums it up nicely in her article, “Scents and Sensitivity”:
“Eva Pasco, who loosely based her novel ‘Underlying Notes’ on her fragrance addiction, has boxes and trunks and specially made cabinets all over her house for her perfume collection. She calls herself a “fragrance floozy,” but she’s no eccentric kook.” http://tinyurl.com/jpcnlwf
An aesthetic by-product from procuring any fragrance set or bar of scented soap is the box! Loath to part with any, I reuse most for their storage capacity and arrange many in attractive displays throughout my abode.
Far from the squalid images conjured by extreme hoarding, “hoarder culture” is the acquired taste for distinguishing the difference between junk and junque, and artfully exhibiting those sacred specimens.
Eva Pasco’s Websites:
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco
Eva’s Novels at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Eva-Pasco/e/B00HWMLHL0