Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Willpower - Do I Still Have Any?

When I was twelve years old, I had a problem. It dogged me constantly. Grades? No. Friends? A-OK. Girls? Well, that was a problem, but not a big one yet.

What troubled me was my obsessive need to buy packs of cards - baseball, football, basketball, hockey. I was insatiable. No sooner did I open up the waxy outer wrapper (after a ceremonial rubbing of the pack and wishing for a particular card), was I ready to buy more. A vicious cycle indeed and it bothered me. I had to prove to myself that I could break the habit.

I went to the trusty stationery store and bought two packs of Topps Hockey cards, 1974-75 edition. I already had the set, but still bought some packs. See? It was a problem.

Not for this pair. I wrapped them in a taped banner of torn looseleaf paper and wrote the date: January 23, 1975. My plan was to wait a week, then another, then a month. It was a test, and I passed with flying colors: those packs are still unopened today.

Did I prove anything? Sort of. But I've opened thousands of packs since then, so what was the point. I don't know, I was only twelve.

Those cards have been on my mind lately as I feel myself helpless at the altar of record albums. Those who know me aren't surprised by my addiction, but lately I feel it may be out of hand.

I swore this past weekend that I wouldn't order or buy any platters until September. Then, I remembered I may be visiting a label's warehouse and that'll lead to some buying. I have a list already. On Saturday, J., 14 and on the verge of his first stereo, found Vintage Vinyl, ten miles from a wedding we attended in Somerset, NJ. Of course we went, and of course I carted out another 11 records. Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall - I couldn't pass that up!

So, can I do it, can I go months without a new batch of discs? I don't know. I may not have the same will as the 1975 me. Yet, I'm starting to wonder if these personal tests and inner struggles are even worth the time.

Regardless, they're no match for the pure joy of finding Magic Christian Music by Badfinger. And on Apple too!

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