Collections Are Dangerous!


By Virginia Chisholm

Years ago, Imelda Marcos (born July 2, 1929), wife of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, gained world-wide attention for her infamous collection of some three thousand pairs of shoes.  The Sydney Morning Herald reported on July 25, 2013, that Darlene Flynn, 58, had conquered the Guinness World Records by proving that she owned 16,400 pairs of shoes!

Do we all pause and ask ourselves, “Who cares?” and “WHY?

I care.  Why do I care?  Well, first, I am a “victim” of collections, and collections are dangerous!

Recently, the foundation of our home began falling apart.  I figured out why.  It was the fault of my husband Claudio’s golf ball collection, of course!  He had slowly collected over 8,500 balls, weighing close to a ton.  He had stored the majority of them in his office, as well as all over our house.  Then one day—just enough stress on our foundation made it go CRACK!  Cracks spread.  I was sure it was THE GOLF BALLS!

“Those golf balls have to go,” I protested without success.

“My golf balls, nooooooo!” Claudio refused.  We finally compromised.  My darling worked all day to haul out his collection and filled our old shed with his  golf balls.  But then, there was no room for his lawn mower nor his garden tools.  After purchasing a new shed for real needs, we had to have our foundation repaired.  Collections are not only dangerous, but also expensive!

With free space in my house, at last, I couldn’t believe how a collection could have so slowly engulfed us!

Claudio’s disclaimer was innocent.  He explained, “When I golf, I keep losing balls.  Being mathematical, I see patterns, so I thought, ‘I can’t be the only one who does this.’ So I began scouting out lost balls.”

He was obviously correct.  I began discovering piles of muddy golf balls in my sink after every golf outing.

Claudio “casually” mentions his passion/hobby to everyone–friends, relatives, colleagues, golfers, total strangers, and so on.  People give him balls as gifts for birthday, Father’s Day, or Christmas.

Claudio catalogues his finds, keeps precise records on a spreadsheet, and dedicates hours on his collection. What can I say?  The collection has acquired sentimental value for him.  That is WHY.

One more plus.  My crafty husband has discovered an ultimate use for the collection–to threaten our kids, warning them, “Be cool, or guess who will inherit the golf ball collection!”

At one point, early on in the cycle of collection, I gave up and decided to join in the enthusiasm.  I secretly applied to Guinness Book of Records to see if I could help my hubby to immortalize his efforts.  Sadly, I received news that the then current Guinness winner owned 105,000 balls!

We have recently received news that the Guinness record holder has passed away.  I dread the day that Claudio might say, “Be cool, or I will buy up that big Guinness collection!”   Now can you see why I believe that COLLECTIONS ARE DANGEROUS?


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