To Keep or Not To Keep?
DISCLAIMER: If you're a reader under 18, please try to love, cherish and embrace EVERY moment of your childhood. Make sure to research and absorb information accordingly as you prepare for what many say are THE MOST critical years of your life. You'll spend more time on this earth being an adult. There's no turning back. It would be wise to obtain as much knowledge, flexibility and leverage as you can before entering adulthood. You lose nothing by getting on the right track.
With that being said - being an adult SUCKS! Well, it has some perks... but very minimal. You can attempt to re-live childhood moments, until reality punches you square in the nose and you're quickly reminded of that mortgage payment, student loan, or that annoying teenager who's still years away from moving out.
With adulthood comes making big decisions. It's an intricate part of your day - like brushing your teeth.
Is this something that I can afford?
Am I making the right career move?
Should I settle down and start a family?
Is it worth keeping my collection of WWF wrestling figures?
Okay, so maybe the last one doesn't apply to you, but it certainly has weighed on my shoulders. Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you: My dilemma...
I've had the figures on the left since I was about six years old; the ones on the right, 12 (for those wondering, that's MANY moons ago). Clearly, I've had a hard time letting go. The wear and tear is pretty evident and I am 100% certain I won't get much back in value (the going rate on eBay for used WWF/LJN wrestling figures isn't too impressive), but I never thought about getting rid of them until now. Only a few years ago, these once larger than life toys remained at my grandmother's house; boxed up, hidden deep inside of her closet. Out of sight, out of mind. Before her traumatic passing, she'd constantly bust my chops about removing them from her home:
"Boy, get these ol' men outta here!"
To which I'd usually respond: "Why? They're not bothering anyone!"
Admittedly, I left them at her house out of pure laziness, but more importantly, sentimental reasons. Not only were these wrestling figures a key component in my upbringing, but an immediate connection to my grandmother - the person responsible for buying them. Prematurely moving them out of her home (or throwing them away) was equivalent to a blow to the gut! It would've obliterated my childhood and its true meaning. The stage of life I long for... still.
After much back and forth, I'd soon oblige, moving them to my home where the magic wouldn't be duplicated. There they sat, in a dusty garage, stacked inside of a storage bin, only seeing the light of day for the purpose of this blog. Two summers ago, I visited an arts & craft shop looking to purchase an array of paint with the idea of reviving these exquisite toys. The plan was to give them a fresh coat of color before submitting pictures to a contest where winners were offered a featured spot on a then upcoming Netflix series: The Toys That Made Us. If you grew up a fan of 80s wrestling and still had a strong collection of LJN figures (or other great toy brands from the 80s and early 90s), this show was for you! Sadly, as of this blog post, the paint remains unopened. And though I'd submit the pictures (seen in the photos above), not only was I snubbed, but the creators of the show didn't even send a generic confirmation e-mail acknowledging my time and efforts. Something along the lines of, "Hey, LOSER, thanks for applying" would have sufficed. Perhaps that was my wake up call.
Fast forward to 2020, maybe it's time to move on. I don't know. I mean, how many of you held onto your toys?! My point exactly. To be frank, with the amount of times I've moved over the years, I really don't know how it's been done. One thing was certain, my grandmother's home was the memory vault to my childhood. From trading cards, comics, the original Nintendo, down to these filthy, shabby LJN wrestling figures. I knew they'd be safe under her watch. The thought of getting rid of them would have never crept into my big head.
Due to an aversion of becoming a hoarder, I've strongly entertained the idea of selling my childhood away (EXCEPT my Nintendo - that stays) and finally moving on from the toys of yesteryear; much to the chagrin of friends who have urged me to keep them (odd, when not a single one owns a piece of their childhood). A part of me died when my grandmother passed, the same could be said if I'm left to heave these s.o.b.'s into the Atlantic Ocean. Is this a matter of life or death? No. But it's close! A decision is almost near...
...Baby One More Time
Aaaah, I remember it like it was yesterday. March 1999, sitting at my desk, working at an internship down in the Wall Street section of Manhattan, when suddenly this song blared through the headphones of my portable Sony Discman on a station called Z-100. Suddenly, my head nodded and there was strange movement happening with my feet. I looked down, only to find my right foot moving in unison with the beat. What was happening?! I slowly looked around my desk area just to be certain that no one could hear the tunes, or see the affect it was having on me. Was I becoming a Britney Spears fan?! What on God's Green Earth was going on?!
I hurried home that evening, asking an old friend to burn this track to a CD (along with a few *NSYNC songs, might I add) and it was on that day I accepted my truth: I really was a loser! But, it was time to diversify my taste in music once more - in a time period where hip-hop had taken over the air/radio waves. Soon, I'd include Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Savage Garden, Goo Goo Dolls, Sugar Ray and a sh*tload of other artists I never thought I'd ever warm up to... not in 1999! and what a great year it was. Oh, how I miss the Y2K anxiety, Napster and CD's (they don't even make CD players in cars anymore!). What is happening to the world, and what am I to do with my massive CD collection?
Trading Cards & Comics
I just want what was promised to me when I was spending allowance money on baseball cards and comics instead of purchasing stock. BTW, that Superman comic was SUPPOSED to send me off to an early retirement - purchased in November 1992 - still UNOPENED - because that's what the store clerk advised at the time. The joke was clearly on me.
In my quest to find happiness on a consistent basis, I revisited a game show from my childhood: Supermarket Sweep. Suddenly, I felt the corners of my mouth shift upwards; my cheeks puffed out like a blowfish. Lo and behold... there it was... a smile.
I watched, as contestants raced across a built-in supermarket inside of a Hollywood studio, as a rambunctious audience cheered them on. In the background was announcer Johnny Gilbert, providing play-by-play, as contestants filled their carts with expensive grocery items in an attempt to beat the clock;
5, 4, 3, 2, 1....
"Okay, guys, return to the checkout area!" yelled host, David Ruprecht.
Suddenly, an amazing spectacle occurred right before my eyes: the camera panned in on Ruprecht and his sweater. It was hypnotic! The splash of abnormal pattern designs and bizarre colors permeated the upper half of his body, while on his head stood an unforgivable hairstyle which he could've ONLY gotten away with in the 80s and 90s. Finally, the camera panned in on the contestants before going on a commercial break. Standing, were a couple of women - sans heavy makeup and scantily clad outfits, accompanied by men who were unafraid to wear mustaches and coke-bottle glasses. Oh, what a sight! The excitement on their face was peerless.
I used to watch this show religiously with my grandmother and it made me realize how much I miss the 90s. Wherefore art thou? Can we say - Re-boot? Let's put it in the universe... Ehh, on second thought. I wouldn't want some producer from this generation incorporating the f*ckery of the 2000s. Nevermind.
*Pulling it back from the universe*