But as an adult, I've never been a collector. I have enough trouble keeping track of and organizing the items in my life I have to have--tax records. A computer. Clothes. I can't imagine curating and managing a collection.
(I do have a large assortment of books--eight large bookshelves worth, in fact. Plus books stacked on tables, on the floor, on my desk... but that's not a collection. That's a requirement. Rather like breathing.)
At some point, I remember hearing someone say that three of anything constitutes a collection. So, I've studiously made sure not to personally gather more than two of anything.
In the photo above, you see THREE bobbleheads.
Uh oh. Looks like I have a collection after all.
Then, a few years ago, I became hooked on Project Runway. (Note, tomorrow is the premier of Season 12! I am so excited!) I'm not a clothes hound, but I love fashion. (That is one reason why Donna, in My One Square Inch of Alaska, is a fashion designer.) So, Project Runway quickly became a favorite show once I discovered it. And I love Tim Gunn's quiet, strong encouragement of every designer on the show.
Christmas-before-last, my kids gave me a Tim Gunn bobblehead. This one talks! Press the button once, and a recording of one of his trademark sayings plays: "Carry on!" Press it again, and hear "Fab-u-lous!" And best of all: "I can't want you to succeed more than you do." Perfect encouragement whenever I'm feeling stuck or nervous about my creative writing.
And then, last week I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at the Thurber House in Columbus as part of the organization's Literary Picnic series. That in itself was a treat! But the creative director of the organization, after giving me and my husband a guided tour of the lovingly restored home (open to the public as a museum), offered a gift from the gift shop. T-shirt? Coffee mug? Or... James Thurber bobblehead?
Of course I chose the James Thurber bobblehead! Not only was his work "fab-u-lous" (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, cover cartoons for the New Yorker, nearly 40 books, Tony Award-winning play A Thurber Carnival, and Emmy-winning TV series based on his book, My World and Welcome To It) but his personal story is inspirational. Although blind in one eye from childhood, and suffering from increasingly poor eyesight through adulthood, Thurber kept creating and writing until the end of his life.
So, now that I have three bobbleheads to remind me to keep following my own true star, I have to admit... I rather like having a collection. And I'm curious just how, why and when the next bobblehead will nod its way into my heart and onto my desk.
I'm also curious... do you have a collection? Particularly one that inspires you? Share your story in the comments section!