Not really. But that line from Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You” has been stuck in my head for days now and I hope maybe by giving it some sort of outlet it’ll just go away.
I brought home this box of sealed Hot Wheels from my parents’ house a couple weeks back, hoping that somewhere in there would be The Gem, that one (or more, hey, I’m not picky) rare gem that is worth tons of money due to its rarity. I spent a good while this morning looking these dumb things up on Ebay only to find that they’re not worth much more than I bought them for. Oh, sure, maybe they’re worth two dollars now and they were a mere 79 cents 15 years ago, but when you factor in the annoyance of having to pack these “mint on mint card” things in something, safely, so as not to damage the precious packaging, that $2 plus a few dollars for shipping quickly loses its appeal.
Amanda kept coming up asking what I was doing, looking at the tantalizing toys in their shiny, perfect packages. After a while of searching on Ebay, I gave up. She came out to me once again and asked, “Daddy, what you got in the box?” and I replied, “Just a bunch of toys.” After a moment I asked the question I knew she hoped I would ask, “Would you like one?” And we did what every Hot Wheels collector has nightmares about: we defiled the mint-on-mint-card. I tore at the blister pack she picked out and freed the shiny black semi truck inside, and off she went to play with her new acquisition. And that’s what’s going to happen to every one of these toys in this box. Collecting is just not for me – I learned it long ago with music, and now I see it with these previously long-forgotten toys. If they can’t be touched and played with, what is the point?
Of course, there’s always the off chance that the black semi truck from 1991 that we opened was that rare one I was looking for, but it doesn’t much matter now, does it?