Are you a hoarder or a chucker? A keeper or a reaper? Here’s my stance…
‘Merch’ is an honorary title bestowed upon myself by two friends in acknowledgement of my love of merchandise. I don’t even need to buy lots – I just like looking at it. It’s the only form of shopping that I can tolerate.
T-shirts, hats, pencils, tea-towels, postcards, key-rings, and my absolute favourite – miniature castles and figurines. You know – like those models of the Eiffel Tower or the Egyptian Pyramids. I once had a small-scale Collosseum that I’d bought in Rome on our honeymoon. Only a year or so into our marriage did I realise that the miniature monument had mysteriously vanished. My wife said she hadn’t seen it lately… but I had my suspicions…
If I had my way, I’d have a whole room full of bits and bobs I’d picked up on my travels. At the moment, this shrine of memories is restricted to a large kitchen appliance. Our fridge is a museum of magnets, purchased near and far from tourist sites and holiday destinations. It was a marital compromise made with my wife, when she realised in the early days of our home-sharing that I had this penchant for what she mercilessly calls “mass-produced tat”.
It is funny how one thing can be termed two different things, depending on perspective.
Take the buying and keeping of merchandise; I call it ‘collecting’, whereas my wife calls it ‘hoarding’. A bit like my support of Andy Murray – as an Englishman myself, I claim Murray as British when he wins, and Scottish when he loses.
So if you’re reading this and you’re a ‘collector’ like me; stand strong, defend your art, reject the label that others might try to stick on you of being a ‘hoarder’. They’re just jealous, because they have no emotional response when they throw stuff away. They don’t understand the important threads of ‘mass-produced tat’, old train and cinema tickets, and the cheap digital watch you had as a teenager, in the weaving of life’s rich tapestry.
See you at the merch-stand – I’ll be by the fridge magnets.