Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer Love, et al

Totally skipped out on the Summer Love Web Special - in fact, I made it a point to go outside and play with the dog when the official time for ordering came. I just have too many darn bills to justify buying her (or is it him?) I also got the sense that there was going to be a lot of drama associated with it, and I just didn’t want to deal.

What I’ve skimmed on Blab and Haynet only confirms that suspicion. "Blah blah blah too expensive, blah blah blah double shoulder, blah blah blah it’s not glossy, blah blah blah I don’t think it’ll sell out." Why must the ghost of Riley haunt every single discussion of every web-based special from now until forever? (Oh, and when does Matte Finish = Regular Run?)

I haven’t been a total ascetic, though. I have bought a few model horsey things recently. Nothing new, expensive or shiny, just interesting historical pieces, fairly priced. (Don’t worry, you’ll get to see them soon. They have to get here, first!)

For example, I did buy the world’s grungiest clinky today at the flea market today. I had passed him by for the past couple of weeks because, frankly, I didn’t want to touch him. He was sticky. Before:

After a liberal application of soap and water, I discover he's actually gloss gray, not matte palomino!

Most Japan clinkies go straight to the sales stash, but I think I’ll let this guy chill in the china cabinet a little while. I think he deserves it.

Speaking of cleaning, I’ve been doing a little more of that in the office. Part of the motivation is the dog, of course: the fewer things I have to fish out of her mouth, the better.

The other motivation? Those darn hoarding shows, again. Specifically, the episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive that happens to feature a member of the model horse hobby community. I haven’t actually seen it yet: my work schedule and my TV watching schedule haven’t been cooperating lately, and The Learning Channel limits access to their programming online. (No, I’m not going to pay for it online, either.)

I am most worried of what might happen if the rest of my family sees it: as I’ve brought up before, there are some hoarding tendencies in my family, but I’m the one that gets accused of it, again and again. ("See! We knew all of you were crazy!")

Anyone who has been to the house, however, knows otherwise: except for the areas where I actually do work, everything is quite tidy and habitable. Moreso now that Evil has developed a taste for gingham and calico. (She also likes frogs and acorns, but that’s not really an issue inside the house.) If you didn’t wander into the bedroom or office or look in the closets, you’d hardly know I had a collection at all.

Mental health is one of those topics we’re just not allowed to talk about in the model horse community. In some ways, justifiably: the stigma of mental illness is still so huge that even insinuating that there might be something amiss with anyone is taboo. Few of us are trained mental health professionals, and the behaviors we see are reflected through the already skewed prism of the hobby.

But we’ve all seen instances where there was clearly something amiss, above and beyond being in the hobby in the first place. Even if we don’t speak of it online, we do speak of it in person. We might annoy each other from time to time, but I don’t think any of us takes any lasting pleasure in watching a member of our community suffering, or spiraling out of control.

I fully acknowledge that I use the hobby as a coping mechanism: my life is better with it, than without it. It also gives me some sense of power, control and mastery, things I don’t have in the "real world."

It'd probably come as a surprise to most of you, however, that if someone offered me a life free of some of the worse things I’ve had to deal with over the past few years, with the price being me abandoning the hobby altogether, I’d pay it. I have lots of other interests that would fill in the empty spaces left behind.

As long as I could donate the research materials to the research facility of my choice: I couldn’t leave you guys completely high and dry, now.

A more cheerful subject next time, I promise. Maybe I'll throw in a puppy picture or two.


Little Black Car said...

Apart from my model horse collection, I always like souvenir figurines. Some of them make *no sense*--I have a lion from a small town in southern Iowa. Maybe their high school mascot was a lion at some point? (It's not now; I checked.) I've also got a Freeman McFarlin donkey knock-offs from Las Vegas (tramp-stamped, no less!) and Mount Rushmore. But there's something sort of quaint about them.

Anonymous said...

I watched the segment of the episode, and frankly I think any grown man with long purple hair has far more issues than a mother who collects models. He needs to grow up and butt out of her business. I did not see the episode in its entirety, but if models are the worst thing in that house she is WAY ahead of the game.