Wednesday, May 10, 2006

World Class Collecting

Some people collect antiques, some cars, and others coins. Me? I collect people. I am a certified connoisseur of people. In my ongoing quest to increase the value of my collection, I am very selective. You see, for me it is the quality of my collection that matters, not the quantity. As a matter of fact, as the years have passed and I've grown older [some might even say wiser], I have found that finding someone to add to my collection doesn't happen all that often. Other, less motivated people collectors add to their collections almost daily. I, on the other hand, take the time and exert the energy necessary to determine whether or not an acquaintance is of a high enough caliber to even warrant consideration for addition to the links of people who make up the chain that is attached to the anchor that keeps me securely stabilized when the waters get rough.

While many people are dismayed by the fact that "they don't have many friends", I am exhilerated whenever I stop to think that I do indeed have FRIENDS....true friends.....ones I can depend on. How did I get so lucky? I took up the art of COLLECTING PEOPLE way back in elementary school. I was raised basically as a nomad. My mother has a bit of the wanderlust in her soul, which resulted in my having attended eight different elementary schools between kindergarten and eigth grade. With this type of movement in my childhood, it is easy to see how it would have been difficult to maintain friendships. SOMEHOW, I managed as my oldest friend Synetta I met the summer before I started sixth grade. She lived next door to me in the house I consider the place where I truly grew up [we lived there for three years....a veritable marathon for my family]. Synetta started me on my lifelong dedication to people collecting. In her, I found a same sex soul mate. She was someone I could tell everything and in whose loyalty to me I never had to question. Even when she and I were forced to have a physical fight because my [then bratty] little sister Jackie picked a fight with her (and as per the rules of my house, if my sister was in a fight I was in a fight), she still continued to keep my all important pubescent secrets under lock and key.

Synetta and I remained best friends through high school, double dating to the Prom both with our boyfriends named Michael. When we graduated, I went to college and she joined the army. It was during this period that we lost contact with each other. Now here is where the true value of people collecting comes in. If you have truly collected a people masterpiece, someone who is worth having around, then though you may lose contact from time to time, you will never lose the masterpiece. Recently, Synetta and I found each other again. She is on the east coast and I am still out here in the middle of the country. Oh the joy I tell you of receiving that initial email. The sheer unadulterated pleasure of hearing a voice on your voicemail that you haven't heard in many, many years scream your pre-teen pet names for each other into your ear.....Heeeeeeyyyyyyyyy MONKEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!!!!!! is a feeling for which I have no words. Talking to her again, is just like being twelve again. It is as if no time has passed and the joy of once again having access to the person whose impact in my young life was so profound that she set me on the path to collecting quality people is priceless.

Over the years, others have added themselves to my collection by distinguished service. Estella [aka Stella] the third point [along with me and Synetta] to complete my high school "triangle of friends" (not a circle....quality not quantity). I lost contact with her as well, and am right this moment looking forward to connecting the points on this triangle this afternoon when I try to get both Synetta and Stella on a call at the same time. I AM ABOUT TO BURST, because I just reconnected with Stell about a month or so ago but she and Synetta have been out of contact for 10 plus years!

College brought me Craig, to whom I will always be indebted as he paid for my laundry and weekend meals for almost a year in order to help me stay in school when my mother lost her job during my freshman year. This from a guy who like me was a college student from a low-income urban area; and a guy who I never even dated as we were like sister and brother from the start when I hooked him up with my homegirl Julie. He didn't end up with Julie, he chose Laura instead bringing me another masterpiece to add to my collection. It's funny how an outsider would find it difficult to determine who came first, Laura or Craig. Angie, who you all have read about before arrived on the scene and in addition to all the gifts you all have already been told about that she brings, she also was instrumental in making Ms. Just Write Now realize that a brilliant mind, quick wit, and good personality weren't my only assets. In a "make-over" which included a hair cut, contacts, new clothes that revealed a body I never knew existed, and some subtle, very natural make-up, Angie gave me a confidence in the physical me that I had never had before. WATCH OUT WORLD!

College without question had the greatest impact on my collection, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention my baby sister Monica. From the day we first met to this one, Monica has never failed to bring the best medicine of all whether or not I'm ailing: LAUGHTER. Whenever I talk to this girl [and thankfully we remain in close contact though she lives in Iowa], I find myself literally rolling on the floor laughing my ass off. The funny thing is, she does too! I also got Kimberly [wherever she is] and Lisa during college. Kimberly was my roomie when I moved off campus. Kimberly was the sister who showed me how to socialize and be comfortable even when I wasn't. And Lisa, bless her, (along with her family, my family) brought me closer to God than I'd ever been before. Lisa was my on-campus roomie for three years. Any collection worth the effort of collecting should bring value or beauty to your life. As you can plainly see, my collection brings me an abundance of both. Gone, but never forgotten from this time is one of the true loves of my life....Mr. Kevin Adams. From St. Louis like me and THE COOLEST WHITE BOY evah to walk the planet earth, Kevin taught us all the true meaning of fun and how to go out, grab life by the hand fulls, and live it to the fullest. I'll love him forever.

I could go on, because though quantity is NOT and never was the goal, the list of irreplaceable works of art in my collection is long. It includes people I met along the way, some way back when and some recently. Age ain't nothin' but a number as one of the MOST valuable pieces in my collection is herself just becoming acquainted with womanhood at the ripe old age of 22. Ms. Carmz, is one of my absolutely most precious collectibles, and keeps me fresh and open to what's happening NOW! It includes family members (like Moms to the right) with whom I share DNA and some family members with whom I do not. It includes people from all backgrounds, socio-economic levels, races and ethnicities. The one distinguishing characteristic of them all is not that they are perfect people [hell for that matter, neither am I]; just that they are/were all perfect for me in that they each brought something critically important to my life that I could depend on to be there when and if I needed it.

The key to successful people collecting is this:

Understand that we all have flaws and at some time or another will mess up royally....that's just human nature. What we must do to enable us to build the value of our collections is to see what actually is, and base our evaluations on what is. Human nature dictates that conflict will arise whenever two are gathered. However, instead of allowing these conflicts to change everything, [subsequently diminishing the value of your collection], it is necessary to evaluate the value the individual in question brings to your life and how easily you would be able to replace the value you would lose. Nothing is all good, and we all have characteristics that others would simply love to yank out of us. However, in most cases, if they were ever worth adding to your collection at all, they are most likely worth keeping.


DJ Diva said...

I too like to collect people...I am so happy that my 15 year reunion is coming up...knowing that i am still best friends wth my friends of 21 years...It's heavy...Thanks for that Sharon...

Anonymous said...

Your are Excellent. And so is your site! Keep up the good work. Bookmarked.

Anonymous said...

Super color scheme, I like it! Good job. Go on.

Wilfrid said...

It won't truly have success, I suppose this way.
work home job | garage heater | canned pumpkin

Noah said...

This cannot have effect in actual fact, that's what I consider.
skirt patterns | ear gauge size chart | garage heater