Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Refusing to Grow Up

I'm still having a bad week, workwise. I am getting really tired of processing garbage, knowing full well that no matter how hard I try, something will slip through and I will get a call later on to chastise me for missing it.

So, what is a person to do? In my case, indulge myself with a toy.

For as long as I can remember, I reward myself for getting through trying situations with a shopping trip at the end and permission to buy something frivolous. Get through a session with the dentist? Go buy that new book or cd or what have you that I've been telling myself I don't need. Talk myself into a check up with the doctor? That can result in major purchases on the order of flat-panel big-screen tvs. I think I ordered my laptop after a doctor visit. I really don't like going to the doctor.

So, yesterday I had had enough by lunch time to warrant an indulgence. Not having any clear idea where to go, I decided to head for the Antique Mall in Round Rock. This is a recent discovery of mine and a perfect place to go when I want to escape for an hour or so. It's quiet. It's large enough to get lost in. It's full of neat stuff.

I really didn't expect to find anything I needed, but you never know. The last time I was there I found a couple of Texas history books to add to my reference library. This time I found the perfect indulgence. Something I absolutely did not need and it wasn't all that expensive.

This was a display piece put out by Hallmark several years ago, priced way too high for me to get back when. It's tin, like the old Marx dollhouses of the 1950s. It's in dollhouse scale, so I can build a vignette of service station items under its canopy. And it was marked down to less than half its original price. (The mini-Harley was an impulse buy a few weeks back on an impulse visit to the Harley dealership next-door to the office on another day I needed a distraction on my lunch hour.)

Unfortunately for me, I got back to the house and did some checking on EBAY to make sure I had gotten a good deal. I had, but I also learned that there are several more pieces that went with this little display that I may need to add. Gas pumps, signs, etc.

The collector's mentality is a curse sometimes. Twenty-five years ago I bought a Hallmark ornament of a little house that was the perfect size to be a dollhouse in a dollhouse. That was the start of one of their ornament series and I've been buying the new edition every year since. There were special, anniversary pieces that had to be acquired during certain years and one year I even joined their ornament club (a true waste of money under normal circumstances) because they had a special edition of the series that was only available to club members.

Along about the fifth year of this series of ornaments, Mother suggested that I make a street scene. The buildings reminded us of Cripple Creek, Colorado, and so I even had a split level business district at one point. Now, twenty-five years later, I have three streets worth. Recently I discovered some collectible cars in the Wal-Mart toy aisles that were the perfect scale for this little village. Of course I bought way more than I should have, but I do enjoy the end result.

What is this mysterious hold that little houses and buildings have for me? I expect I shall be playing with little houses until the day I go to the big dollhouse in the sky.


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