By samd4 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
November 8, 2000
The Warden, my wife, collects antiques, thus explaining why she married me. Some are expensive, others are not, but they all have value. Occasionally, she comes home and worries that she may have paid too much for one. My reply is always the same (Sam is a dull boy), "If it is worth that to you, you have gotten a bargain."
Collecting antiques is a passion for her, not a business. She reads about them, watches TV shows about them, goes to auctions, antique shows, yard sales, flea markets, and shops in search of her next prize. When the cost is spread throughout the hours she spends with them, it is inexpensive indeed. And we have a beautifully decorated home.
I collect Pez dispensers. It started simply enough in the checkout line at the grocer. I noticed an aisle display of Pez, something that I had not seen or at least not noticed since childhood. It was then that I made my grave mistake. I reached out and grasped Goofy.
Goofy is harmless. Goofy can't be bad, can he? If I had stopped there, life would be so much simpler, but I didn't. Next came Donald Duck and others soon followed. I tried to stop, really I did! But my children brought them to me, my wife found yet others. I have a drawer full of them and still they come, both new and old.
I have a Wile E. Coyote Candy Hander, a Pez Pen, even a bear that dispenses Pez gum. In my drawer, tucked out of sight, I even have a glow-in-the-dark Pez T-shirt. I don't eat the low-cal candy either, no, not me. It is high test or nothing. If I keep them pristine until the next millennium they may appreciate in collectible value, but that is for naught as each time I look at one I know that one of my loved ones was thinking of me when he or she presented it.
Another thing that I collect is information, and that is how I found The Fool. The Fool is the center court of the vast information highway where roads to knowledge begin. We merely have to pick the one we want and step along to find enlightenment.
An old-time comedy team used this line: "You know people who don't know nothing? He don't even suspect nothing!" When I started investing, that was me. The Fool gave me the questions that I needed before I could learn the answers. All the answers don't reside here but the search for them can begin here with the help of the TMFs and the other Fools.
While here, I started another collection. I began to collect friends. We don't always agree, but even when I think they are wrong, I enjoy the exchange. If, in fact, we are the sum total of our experiences, then we all grow by sharing the experiences of others.
One of my dearest friends is a Fool. We have shared investment ideas, shared mergers, shared my surgery, and shared a grief that shocked my soul. But most of all, we shared friendship and my world is better for it. I have made some money from investments, have a better plan for my children's future, my wife has me and the rest of her antiques, and I have my Pez collection. But most of all, I have been enriched by the folks here.