Living with a Minimalist as a Former Collector

Shopping, buying new things, and spending any money at all makes me sick to my stomach. So, when I learned Jenny felt the same way, I knew for sure she was the wife for me.

Jenny is what you may call a minimalist. She isn’t the kind of girl who likes to go shopping. Malls are havens of disease and consumerism. She hates them with a passion. She hates them with the same passion I had for my baseball card collection.

baseball card collection
This man is the envy of all the lonely 11-year-old boys in his neighborhood. (Photo Courtesy of Economist.com)

When I was a young boy, collecting baseball cards consumed a large portion of my life. It was my greatest hobby. The only girls I talked to were the ones pictured behind Ken Griffey Jr. sitting in the stands on rare cardboard collectibles. Collecting brought me the kind of joy a minimalist cannot appreciate.

By her own admission, minimalism is a new phase for Jenny. It’s different from her other phases over the last year, such as flicking me constantly or saying the word “boot” for no reason at all.

And yes, she is going to flick me very hard for going public with this.

I don’t collect baseball cards anymore, but I do still have them. They’re worth something, damn it!

honus wagner
This Honus Wagner card is notably one of the most valuable out there. I never noticed how much make up he had on in it until now. Is that blush? (Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.org)

More importantly, the cards and other pieces of memorabilia bring me nostalgia. It wasn’t just about having these. The cards are a reminder for me of a more innocent time. This collection is a reminder of bonding with my dad at a young age. They also remind of how after he was kicked out of the house we turned his old bedroom into my baseball card room. The fact that I had a whole room in the house dedicated to my collection shows you how dedicated I was. It also likely made Jenny throw up a little. Hopefully, none got on my rare Tom Seaver autographed baseball card.

One day, I do imagine I’ll sell some parts of this collection. I have to obtain a debt to the mafia at some point in my life, right? Things can’t continue to go this swimmingly and mafia-threatless forever, can they?

Without gushing over my collection for too long, I will say it’s a nice one and you likely haven’t met anyone with anything better. At the moment, the collection mostly occupies the space under my bed and a large portion of one closet. Other pieces are scattered throughout the apartment in bins. Jenny has done her best to domestic me. Unfortunately, the Todd Helton signed baseball I got at a great bargain once at a card show in the early 2000s sometimes gets in the way. When he makes the Hall of Fame, she’ll be glad I spent my youth gathering sports memorabilia together.

todd helton autograph
Not my actual autographed baseball that will net me a nice $5 some day. (Photo Courtesy of Sportsmemorabilia.com)

I stopped collecting new memorabilia a long time ago. These days, I’m as much of a minimalist as she is. I rarely buy anything other than food and only purchase necessities when they are literally necessary.

New shoes? Only when there’s a hole in the old ones.

Kitchen utensils? I got hands.

Toilet paper? Maybe if there isn’t enough rain water to wash it out.

The only reason Jenny tolerates my collection is because she knows it means something to me. It’s not only about having the items. They carry sentimental value. I appreciate that about her. She’s a minimalist by choice and a sentimental person at heart. She knows my Derek Jeter rookie card is important because it reminds me of positive moments with my father. He bought it for me in an attempt to buy my love. How can I part with such a forced gift?

But really, Jenny knows that one day my collection is going to be a great thing to pass along to our kids. With it, I can create new memories. And she can live in a house with two obsessive collectors as she attempts to maintain order.

Jenny, my dear, please pray for very girly children. Although, you’d probably end up with one that collects makeup.

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