It's Theme Thursday again? Already? Okay, here goes. This weeks theme is collections, so I thought I would tell you all about my various card collections over the years.
No, not your typical playing cards. Although I do have a pretty awesome set of those with a Mass Effect theme. So, you know. Win. I mean more along the lines of Pokemon or Magic the Gathering cards.
My first collection was the Pokemon cards. I loved these things. Every time I would have a couple of extra dollars I would beg my parent's to take me to Wal-Mart to buy another pack. I had binders full of the things. These cards were so popular that my elementary school actually had after school card clubs devoted to them.
These cards also had their dark side. I remember when my sister started collecting them. Well, one Christmas my sister and I both received a number of booster packs. We ripped open the packaging eager to see what new monsters we could add to our vast collections. My sister managed to pull a card I had been dying to get for a long time. I remember it well. She got Venusaur which would have been a perfect addition to my deck. Well of course I had to have it right? No, I didn't steal it. Not quite.
I had a large collection of Japanese print cards. I don't even remember how I had come to acquire these oddities but I did. Well I never viewed them as anything worthwhile. So, I proposed a trade to my sister for her Venusaur. I knew none of my ordinary cards would suffice. Of course, the Japanese print cards weren't much better. Or were they? I managed to convince her that the Japanese print cards had extraordinary value in The United States. I had her believe that each card could buy her a new Venusaur if she took the time to sell them. Yeah I was bad. Sue me.
By the time I got to middle school I had all but given up on Pokemon cards. I thought my addiction had been cured. Fate had other plans. It was about this time Yu-Gi-Oh! became popular. Of course, a number of kids in my homeroom began playing and, of course, I was a huge nerd and had to check it out. Needless to say it wasn't long after that I had begun a new collection.
If my Pokemon obsession was bad it was nothing compared to this. I had BOXES of these cards. It went deeper than that however. Not only did I buy pack after pack of these things, I also decided it was a wise investment to start purchasing single cards. You know the things that will sell for upwards of 50 dollars a pop? Yeah.
This phase lasted for most of my remaining school years. In addition I would go to local tournaments. It was fun for a time. Finally, I said enough was enough.. I realized that what little money I had was always being funneled into these cards. Not to mention the cards I would use today would no longer be tournament legal tomorrow. So the cycle would begin anew. I had to give it up.
I went for a long time after that before being exposed to my latest card addiction. Magic the Gathering. Now I don't know how I managed to go this long in my life without being drawn into this game. I mean come on this game had everything a card collecting nerd could want. Regardless I was sucked into it now.
I was so addicted. Every evening you could find me either playing a round (or five) with a friend. If I wasn't playing I was researching the latest cards and trying to create a perfect deck. Of course, as with the Yu-Gi-Oh! craze, this was futile. Far too quickly cards would be banned from legal play. I would continually find myself flat broke. At least I remembered to pay my bills before purchasing cards.
One day I realized I was akin to a crack addict. New cards were my fix. I had to get away. I finally reached my breaking point. I was tired of having no spare money for extra activities. I took my whole collection to a local card shop and sold them on the spot. Of course, the man who owned this shop knew me as a regular and tried to talk me out of it. Looking back he was like a crack dealer who didn't want to lose his junkie.
I did it though. I have been free of collectible cards for almost two years now. I still glance down the card aisle of Wal-Mart each time I visit. I can still hear their voices. . .
"One pack won't hurt."
"I promise you'll like it."