Anytime that I take a hiatus of any sort from blogging I find that I struggle to get back into the writing groove. It usually takes me a few posts to get my feet back under me, so to speak.
What better way to hone in on my writing than to showcase a few of the packages that I've received during my time away. This will be a long post and I'll probably go into some sort of exegesis on how these cards affected me, simply to get a chance to do some writing.
No offense to anyone I assure you, and pardon my French, but this post will probably come across a little gay.
The first package comes from steveisjewish at The Easy Life. And, yes, for those of you wondering, steveisjewish is his actual first name. I've seen the Birth Certificate.
I can't help it, I love the word "smattering". I don't know if it's real. I don't know the true definition, but, I know that I love it.
When, I hear "yellow" I see Cold Play. When you hear it you might think Big Bird, or crayon, or taxicab. You might just see the letters themselves. It's still just the word yellow.
Regardless of what "smattering" means, when I hear it, I see a large pile of random cards, some with purpose, most without, that spark feelings of nostalgia or happiness. With all of the sets that I'm working towards completing, this would be what I consider a smattering of cards:
steveisjewish, I plan to attack the want lists on your site with a ferociousness. I'll send you an email soon to insure I'm not sending you a bunch of dupes.
The second group of cards took me back to a place that I hadn't been to in quite some time. Oversized cards
From the scan I'm sure these look like your everyday, run of the mill, 80's Topps Cards. But, in reality, they are all of the oversized variety. While I'm unsure of the dimensions, I'm positive that most everyone knows what I'm talking about.
Over the past year I've explained how much I hate odd sized cards, most notably, the miniature parallels you'll find in Goudey and Allen & Ginter, but also those old 80's sets as well. The only thing the minis come in handy for are as trade bait or as an occasional eBay lot in my collection. However, I do make concessions for odd sized cards when it involves Lofton or Manny.
The reasoning behind this is that with odd sized cards you have to modify your storage. Whether you like them or not, if you plan to keep them you have to think outside the box (pun intended) to store them most times. Over sized cards have never been worth the effort for me.
I absolutely hated the big cards when I was a kid. They usually ended up with small pinholes in the top or scotch tape on the corners, affixed to the walls of our bedroom. When the time came to change the layout or when my brother Justin and I grew tired of the player, the over sized cards came off the wall and went straight into the garbage.
When I came back to the hobby in 2007, I found quite a few of these old over sized cards in my collection. An Upper Deck looss collection of Bagwell(?), a mid to late 90's Collector's Choice of The Big Hurt, and a mid 90's Topps Piazza.
Without even thinking about it, the cards went into the trash. They were so badly damaged from years of free floating from shoe box to shoe box that they would never sell on eBay (which was my intent with the entire collection.)
Not to mention, it was second nature to succumb to old habits and trash them. In my wife's eyes, it was bad enough that I was sorting through old Baseball cards like an 8 year old. I wasn't about to try to convince her to let me tape them to the office walls.
I've noticed over the last year that I'm turning into an old man. Every phase of our life is practice for the next. As a child we spend more time grooming ourselves to be a teenager than we do just being a kid. When we're a teenager, we do the same only with our eyes set on adulthood.
As a young adult, I find myself thinking about retirement and 401ks, chiropractor's visits, and how much more time is left on the clock in my head. I realize I drive slower than I used to, that I drink less often, and that I need to keep the doctor on speed dial in case I come down with a bad case of whatever a "Miley Cyrus" is.
But, more than the attempt to be proactive about my future, I've found that I'm a little more tender than I used to be. Ye Olde Waterworks kicks up over life's sentimentalities more often than not. Patience has become more of a virtue and less of just some girl I went to High School with. I can't even remember her face.
And, I've found that I hold on to things tighter than the 20 year old version of jv did. He frivolously threw away things that were to cumbersome to carry. Rather than modify the sum to accommodate the parts, he went with a lean approach and shaved the fat that he felt unnecessary.
The jv today, the one practicing for "old mandom", approaches it differently and respects the memories entailed. He forgets more frequently yet remembers more vividly.
It would be easier to wash, rinse, repeat when it comes to the over sized cards that steveisjewish sent me. And, had he sent them to me 3 years ago, this might have been the case. But, I think I'll hold on to these this time.
And the next time I visit my Dad, I'll go see if I can find some of those old pinholes in the wall.
Thanks for the cards, Steve, and for kicking up some memories that I never realized were so fond. I'll be working on a return package for you soon, man. Thanks!