...was what I suffered from for at least 30 years.
It all started, of course, with my childhood (it is not the only thing I will blame my childhood for). With no "technological toys", no TV, and so on “no other things”, our (my) childhood was nevertheless immensely rich in activities. This here is not the place to enumerate them all, just the one that was the stamps collection.
To be clear – there were not many stamps either, and the only three sources were the post office, where we could buy “surprise envelopes” with Romanian stamps, letters from out of the country, and exchange with other children. Sure, there were some professionals in the background from which from time to time we bought new stamps with our pocket money, but this was a rarity.
Albums were a rarity as well, so we were creating our own solutions: cardboard with ribbons of paper or cellophane glued across it, thick books were the stamps were kept stuck close to the spine, books/notebooks with folded pages creating pockets for storage. Yes, there was also another source, not proud of it but part of the “norm” at the time: stealing from others. However this was kept only for those more prized of the stamps, individual pieces, not whole collections.
The prized ones? It was based on beauty, rarity, word of mouth... all of it childish interpretation: Mozambique, Mongolia, Papua, Chili... many of them were magic to our ears. And one, which was about to cost me a fortune later in life, lol – the Israeli Menorah. Needless to say the real value of all these was close to zero, however the impact of this childhood hobby was so big on me that when, many years later and many years ago – I stumbled across the Israeli Menorah at a stamps merchant, I exploded. I.E. I started collecting stamps (focusing on Israel) like it was the thing that Earth’s future and mine depended on, spending huge amounts of money on rarities, series, combinations, errors, etc.
It took a gigantic effort of will to stop, and an even giganticer (no such word) one to persuade myself to start selling my collection. More to ensure I will not fall in remision’s trap again. I am a collector at heart – and if you are one, you know what I mean by “trap”. Of course, I sold it at big loss, this kind of things are expensive only when you buy them, they are at best half the worth when you sell them. And most of the merchants are... crooks. Yes, fact. And the amount of counterfeit stuff being manufactured is huge, so that sometimes even the more correct merchants fall for it. It’s an ugly world, such a pity.
I still have some stuff and will try to find buyers for it. Probably Ebay. I hope some father will decide to make some of it a present to his kid. Because the stuff for kids is CHEAP, is BEAUTIFUL, is EDUCATIONAL, it teaches AESTHETICS and ORDER. All in all a great hobby as long as it stays hobby and does not become passion. Passion should be reserved for human beings. And pets, definitely also for pets :) .