Down in my basement storage are three plastic grocery bags filled with matchbooks. I have enough matchbooks to last…forever.
The collection began very innocently.
In third grade, we were supposed to bring in a collection to show the class. I brought Mom’s lack shadow box with seashells that were Mm’s from her childhood. You see, I didn’t really have any collections. But during this time, I saw my friend Stacy’s matchbook collection and thought it was pretty cool. I happened to mention it to my Grandma Is and the wheels began to turn. Grandma was actually excited that I was going to be a collector. And…she could help! She and Grandpa Ron would go on regular trips around the US. As smokers, they regularly picked up matches from restraints, gas stations, and hotels along the way.
One Christmas I even received a gain matchbook for displaying my collection. When you opened the cover, you attached the matchbooks to the stiff paper “matches” inside.
Now, it was just fun having a collection. But I was never really enthralled with the content or details of the matchbooks.
I must have told Grandma when I became disinterested. She then took it upon herself to begin collecting little decorative silver spoons for me from each state she visited. I still remember the light in her eyes and excitement in her voice when she gifted me a new special spoon for my collection…”Oh, thank you grandma. I love it. It’s really interesting!” I’m sure I said–no sarcasm…really.
For a while, you could have probably assumed that I collected books or perennial flowers. I’ve had periods where I’ve been obsessed with stained glass windows, spring steal garden chairs, or rusty metal garden “junk”.
But without Grandma’s help, I’ve never quite achieved the quantity or diversity of my matchbook collection.
And that is probably a good thing.