Collections horrify me, a little, sometimes. I’m not entirely sure why. But if I had to guess, I’d say it’s because of what they imply. Questions of what, (sometimes) how, and why always why are always implied. The kind that tend to zero in on matters of taste, identity and (especially) pleasure and in its many, many connotations.
(Loneliness is probably in there too).
Thimbles or belt buckles, Fabergé eggs or skin flakes, the answers vary but the questions remain the same.
Why? Why? Why?
I have tendencies that lead me to collect but I try not to collect, despite myself. I don’t always succeed. Being broke helps less than you may think, but it helps. Sliver lining.
Sometimes, though, collections are thrust upon you. They just happen.
I am having a collection thrust upon me happening.
It started with this:
This is what a dog’s life looks like. If he’s doing it right.
It – he – is a wirehaired dachshund (as far as I can tell and just to simplify everything already). Then slowly, almost imperceptibly, came more. And then they came at intervals: Christmases, birthdays especially.
Not pictured: the one-foot chocolate dachshund that Stephen’s mother gave us one Easter, every birthday card from the last seven years with a dachshund on it (in other words, almost all of them), and the book I got for Christmas about the lady detective agency that had a picture of a dachshund on the back cover.
Perhaps eventually it will become a tradition. A bon-a-fide ritual coming at me from the outside, needing really only my tacit permission in order to do what it is doing to me.
Am I complaining? Not exactly. But the next time I move, I’ll wonder, you know. I’ll wonder about these all these little dogs and whether I have truly become a One of Those people:
- A Dog Lady
- A Dachshund Enthusiast
- A Doxie Lover
- The Weiner Dog Girl
- Der Hund Frau auf der Straße!
- The Hot Dog Queen
I’ll admit it is shaping up to be a quite handsome collection. Beyond that, what to say about it, my/The Collection? Does it give me a sense of pride or any kind of satisfaction?
Actually, I’m kind of flattered, which is probably closest to the truth.
 In particular I’d be a dachshund enthusiast, but more generally this would make me a “breed person”. Not just a dog lady but a one of those people who for whatever reason(s) attach or devote themselves (sometimes entirely) to certain breeds of dogs, nicknames (i.e. “Doxie”, “American Gentlemen”, “Merry Cocker”) and all. At a dog show I attended one time, there was this contingent of retried people who were all West Highland Terrier enthusiasts whose aim, as far as I could tell, was to psych out the competition with their incessant cheers and catcalls (HA!). Actually, thanks to them, I’m kind of put-off “Westies” having conflated the two in my head. The bastards.