Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Problem With Lying...


It all started in the mid-80's. I was working in New York, missing my California home. A friend had just opened a chic, trendy animal collectible shop in chic, trendy SoHo. Stuffed animals of every stripe were there. "And what animals do you collect?" my enthusiastic friend asked. Actually, I didn't collect any stuffed animals, but I felt obligated to purchase something from her. Not teddy bears. Too predictable. Same with kittycats. Nothing disgusting like an armadillo. And most important, I didn't want something that was so popular that I would feel obligated to be in the shop every week buying another panda or koala for my collection. "Hedgehogs," I blurted out. "I collect hedgehogs." I don't know where that came from because I don't ever recall seeing a hedgehog and I had absolutely no idea what they looked like. My friend looked perplexed for a moment, then a huge smile eruped. "We have a hedgehog, but only one." Perfect, I thought. She came out with a critter that kind of resembled a small possum. "Look at his perfect little porcelain nails," my friend proclaimed. "How adorable," I mumbled. And so I had a hedgehog. One hedgehog. I certainly thought that was the end of it. But, of course, that was not to be. Word got out that I "collected" hedgehogs. Since when does one hedgehog constitute a collection? Every birthday and Christmas thereafter, people have gifted me with hedgehogs: stuffed ones, plaster of paris ones, crystal ones, lead ones. I even have a suede purse shaped like a hedgehog, and sometimes, just to be contrary, I actually wear it! Just recently we moved to Oregon, and for one moment, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to dump the hedgehog collection. But when it came right down to it, I couldn't do it. So, after all these years, of a pretend-collection, it occurs to me that I really do have a hedgehog collection and I'm darned proud of it.

3 comments:

OldBagNewTricks said...

That's a mighty impressive hedgehog collection... didn't I see you at the last HHCI convention? Perhaps not... But I'm thinking that once one is a HH collector, one is an HH collector for life -- sadly we never think these things through till it's too late. With that many admitted HHs, it's way too late to turn back now. Lest you begin collecting anew... plastic ants, tea cozies, only a more powerful collection can overwhelm an HH collection. Good Luck.

Francie M. said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive...(don't remember who said that but they're dead now and probably don't mind not getting credit). In this case it ended with a pretty darn impressive hedgehog collection! I am just a tad jealous that my deceptions have not turned out as well.

Vallen said...

Quick thinking is one of my charms. Heaven only knows what kind of collection I might have ended up with under similar circumstances.