Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Do You Own Your Collection, Or Does Your Collection Own You?

This post is what I'd consider more of an introspection write up and a bit more personal than normal, but I think it's relevant since many collectors, regardless of what they collect, will eventually need to take a step back and ask themselves these questions that I present. If it's not your cup of tea, no worries. There's nothing really of noteworthy companion news here so you can move along and have a happy pet collecting day! :)

Anyway, I know I joke about it quite a bit, my "addiction/obsession" with collecting vanity pets, but I'd like to seriously address this topic. Is it truly an addiction? When is it considered going too far all for the sake of completing a collection? Have I reached that point or perhaps even past it?

I'm wondering these things now because I recently stumbled on some long forgotten birthday/Xmas gift money. (And when I say "long forgotten" I mean... fell behind the desk and collected a significant layer of dust "long forgotten" lol.) It's still good and it's not a whole lot but it might be just enough to purchase one of the older, rarer TCG pets (if I can catch a good deal one of these days).

For some, this would be a no-brainer. Hell yes, spend that gift money on a pet! But for someone like me that doesn't have a steady income and is a bit of a penny-pincher, is it the wisest choice? Could this money be used for a better purpose or maybe even saved for a rainy day?

I wish I had the luxury of being able to spend it on a whim and without second thought, but since I don't have that option, the notion that I'm actually considering dropping this much money on a TCG loot card makes me wonder if my addiction to vanity pets has gotten the better of me.

Once upon a time I vowed I wouldn't spend a cent more on the game other than the necessary subscription fee, and so far I've stuck to that... except for a "few" companions here and there. *cough* I wouldn't say I've spent more on pets than I have on the actual WoW game(s) themselves, but it's still more than I had initially intended.

So what's changed? And is it an issue/problem?

I haven't quite determined an answer for the former, but common sense for the latter question is obvious: if your collection is affecting your day to day life to the point where you can't function or you're spending money outside your means, then it's a problem and it's a full blown addiction.

But this is where I fall into the grey area. My collection DOES have an impact on my daily life (especially during in-game holidays or when new pets are released), but does it prevent me from eating, sleeping, running errands, working, etc.? In most cases, no. When it does, though, it's more than likely because I choose to let it get in the way of other things. Sometimes I can afford to make pet collecting and researching pet news a priority during the week. But other times I know when real life situations absolutely must come first. I'm confident that I can still make this distinction.

However, pet collecting does put quite a bit of emotional stress/strain on me when there are factors outside my control involved (*cough*miserable holiday loot bag system*cough*). I'm a fairly sensitive person by nature, and any emotional impact made upon me is felt at least twofold. From my point of view it's difficult to gauge whether or not this is preventing me from living normally, though. Obviously I'd argue it isn't since I adore my vanity pets and collection and will gladly suffer through quite a bit for it.

Often times we don't truly see our addictions for what they are until it's too late. Those around you definitely see it and even feel the effects of it too. Maybe it's time I get a second opinion about my own situation.

Ultimately, I'll probably sleep on it some more, brood, and discuss it over with those who are closest to me. Part of me doesn't feel like I've crossed that line where red alarms start blaring, but another part of me fears that if I do spend this gift money on a pricey pet it will send me over that edge.

In the end I think I just need to feel grounded and find some reassurance to justify such a big decision about my pet collection. Whether or not I receive it and am satisfied/confident with the likely result... well that's all up in the air.

Still, I need to tread lightly. Also, I think asking oneself these questions about addiction and whether or not it's gone too far is a necessary process for any collector. Some introspection never hurt, especially when it comes to something serious like a vanity pet collection. :P


  1. I completely understand where you're coming from. I sometimes wonder if I let my collecting get in the way a bit... I was crying and getting super frustrated at Christmas until Lumpy dropped for my main (thank goodness) on the next to last day. That might be a sign I'm too involved... hehe. My daughter couldn't understand why I was upset (she's 4).

    On the other side of the coin- my husband splurged on Bananas for me for my birthday a few years ago (I think he's even cheaper now than then), but other than that I'm a huge tightwad about spending real money. I still lack one of the pet store pets (Lil'XT), but I got 3 of them just this past Christmas as gifts (one from a guildmate for Secret Santa, one from my husband, and another from a long term wow friend)... thats how long I held off buying them, lol.

    So my advice for buying the TCG pet- would be how badly you want that particular pet. I don't regret buying Bananas in the least bit- I've adored that pet for 3 years now, and he's still my very favorite. But I wouldn't feel that way about some of the others (except the Spectral Tiger Cub but I just can't justify THAT much money). I'd just feel guilty spending that kind of money on a pet I'd never take out and show off. So if you've always wanted that particular pet, I say go for it! But if you just want it to check off the box, then maybe you should hold onto it and think for a bit longer :)

  2. I never bought pet on the store, not because I haven't money, just because I disagree with it: I don't want to spend money for pet. Sometimes, I think about it, just like you, and I forget. It's a personal feeling.

  3. @Saberella: Good point about how often I'd bring it out. Hm.. I'll probably sleep on it some more, but that works out just fine since I still have to wait for a good deal to come by anyway lol.

    @Cleophis: I admire your ability to stick to your guns! It's sometimes difficult to not succumb to the temptation of buying pets. XD

  4. I would say I own my collection. I'm proud of the 175 pets I have but there's a lot of farmable pets that I don't have and don't feel the need to obsessively get. I WANT them, of course, but there are other things in my day I'd like to be doing than trying to get that stupid Hyacinth Macaw to drop >:|

    And of course, there's the holiday pets. I mean, I get upset that they NEVER drop for me, but at the end of the day, I shrug it off and move on. My husband doesn't like bringing it up when he gets them, but I told him "Look, it's just my bad luck. It's not the end of the world." And it's not for me. I still enjoy the pets I have, after all!

    Not gonna lie though, if I could get the mini Tyrael, I'd be the happiest person EVAH.

  5. @Music-chan: Yea, I think it's safe to say that a collection hasn't gotten out of control when there are still lines you're determined not to cross.

    There are some pets I know I'll never have (thousand+ dollars for a pet... x_x), and I'm ok with that. If given the chance with the appropriate funds/means... I wouldn't say no, though. :P


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