Collecting, but not hoarding things

By: Tom Rupp
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Do you enjoy collecting or saving anything? I like to collect coins and stamps and baseball cards. I like to collect newspaper clippings and such. I have 14 Tupperware tubs organized into 230 topics, in a file system of clippings and such.

It’s not an obsession, but it is a thing. We all have our things. Dr. Suess said, “I’m weird, you’re weird. Two people come together in mutual weirdness and fall in love.”

Perhaps a fine line exists between a pack rat and a collector. This is one reason why I recently have been slowly, methodically, paring these collections down, throwing away or giving away.

If I happened to be one of the unfortunate individuals up north, a wildfire would quickly and completely separate me from all of this stuff.

Not as many people these days seem to collect items like they used to. When the United States came out with the state coins, you know, I had to make sure to get every one. They released five a year for 10 years: 1999 – 2009.

When the United States Postal Service releases a new set of Christmas stamps, well, you know the rest of this sentence.

None of these items are worth much. It’s like I used to tell my boys about baseball cards – “It’s worth the pleasure of possessing it,” (unless it is a mint edition Mickey Mantle from 1952 or a Honus Wagner from 1911). Otherwise, it’s just the fun of having it.

Here comes the commercial. McDonald’s is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Big Mac by issuing gold coupon coins. If you buy the hamburger, they will give you a commemorative coin for a free one next time.

Basically it is a “buy one, get one free” coupon in the form of a coin. Back in the day, mom used to take us to McDonald’s on Friday night. It was the poor person’s night out.  

Well, the old digestive system can’t handle the big burger much anymore. But this collector wants at least one of the coins. There are five of them, in 10-year increments.

Sitting here writing this, looking at my new 1998-2008 commemorative Big Mac coin, it feels like release...and high blood pressure. Marketers design such projects for people like me.

Trouble is I can’t eat five more of those concoctions any time soon. At this stage in life, I’d rather collect the coin than eat the burger.

Tom Rupp is a resident of Folsom and a weekly columnist in the Folsom Telegraph. You can reach him at