Collecting, or, An Existential Crisis

Someone once pointed out to me that like 47%* of blog posts start with “So.”  It’s like you’re coming in in the middle.  As in, “So there we were, me and 25 soaking wet Japanese architects in my apartment… and I’m out of brie!”

So I try not to start my posts with So. Even though I am pretty sure it’s common because it is amazingly convenient and feels right?

Right, right, crisis, right…

So I’m reviewing this nice seafoam green color, shortly after I’ve consigned a couple of polishes to the Hall of Shame and/or swap-landia. And I think, well, it’s a nice polish I guess, looks like liquid paper, but… should I add it to the Swap tag? I mean, when am I going to reach for a seafoam green? When I rewear my 80s-styled 10th grade prom dress (hah)? Why should I own this?

Then (oh no slope) I think… when am I going to reach for many of these?  Most of these?  I have (total guess) probably a thousand bottles of nail polish.  Probably 90%+ of those aren’t something where I’m going to be like, “Oh! This totally matches my graduation gown!” or whatever.  I don’t do nail art really,** and how often is a friend going to say, “Ooo, can you paint my nails midlevel-seafoam-but-not-too-green?”†

And this very quickly comes down to: why do I need these?

I don’t.

I buy nail polish for clear reasons:
   (1) it makes me happy after a shitty day
   (2) for that, they are small and easy to store and cheap and calorie free
   (3) my husband doesn’t mind (see 2)

But why do I keep them?

Ultimately, I suppose, this is the truth of the dilemma.  Why collect?  I will never reach for my seafoam polish because I need it and nothing is like it — or at least, on average, that’s true for the vast majority of my little bottles.  I’m not a professional cosmetics artist who needs breadth. I’m not even someone who can paint anything on her nails at any time (see upcoming rant again).  Project Wear-It has really made me consider: why is this in my house.

My only answer: because I’m a collector. And what that means, ultimately, is that owning all of these things makes me happy.  In and of itself.  Having a zillion little glass bottles makes me feel like an alchemist.  Or a wizard!  I’ve actually written fiction about it.

So. I’m not (just) a polish nut; I’m a collector. It’s a decent collectible (see 2 above), so… okay?

This raises a few more questions for me, including some frequently visited ones about video games…††  but ultimately, see 1, 2, and 3 above. So I will keep it because I have it, and it makes me happy, and there’s no harm.

And, if I ever get to go to an n*10-year reunion prom… I’ll be ready. 😛
* (this number is completely made up)
** (Sticking your hands inside robots all day tends to discourage nails that aren’t teeny weeny nubbins)
(spoiler: not often)
†† (huuuuge dork)

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