Saturday, April 10, 2010

Deco-demon and other Monsters

Some ebay purchases

I was in a collecting frenzy from the mid 80's until about 2002, my sister and I would haunt flea markets, Rose Bowl, Long Beach, Santa Monica, you name it we were there, We visited every antique store from Santa Barbara down to San Diego. The thrill of the hunt and all that.... Then one day, around 1998, a neighbor came with her sister to photograph my yard, this was at the height of garden collectibles and that was one of my passions at the moment. As we were talking she casually mentioned you must love Ebay, I didn't know what she was referring to, and nodded dumbly, not wanting to admit my computer skills at that point were zero, so I set out to find what it was all about. Asking around at the antique stores and some geeks, I found out what I was missing. From that moment on I was hooked, you could find almost any collectible you wanted online , and for a price it was yours ! Well that would certainly save a lot of gas, plus I could shop at midnight in my pajama's, now this was a dream come true! What I didn't take into account was that I was not the only one doing this. I started bidding wildly on everything, my daughter would often comment I looked like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, plunking away on the keyboard thinking I was controlling something. I kept losing out at the last moment, I was what they refered to on Ebay, a newbie. You don't bid immediately you lurk in the background, pretending you don't want this item you have desired for the last 5 year, then you pounce at the last minute, or snipe as they call it. I started to notice everything I coveted was won by someone called "Deco-demon", so I started watching her bids, her buys, and realized this was my foe, I got to beat her price no matter what, I stayed up until the wee hours sniping like a mad woman, if she bought old ashtrays, I bought old ash trays, no matter that I hadn't smoked since 1978 ! Packages were arriving daily and the feeling of triumph when I outbid my adversary was exhilarating, setting alarms to wake at east coast time, caused me to lose a lot of sleep, but I was the proud owner of a flower pot salt and pepper shaker, it was worth it !! Well I finally came to my senses, it was actually a moment when I realized I might end up like the Collyer Brothers, buried alive in my greed, but as they say "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Last Christmas when my sister and I were doing are annual vintage reindeer sweater hunt on ebay, I noticed they were no longer using names, just stars and a numbers thing, gosh, that takes the fun out of it, you can't get personal, you can't get addicted,you can't let the monsters take hold, they would do wise to rethink that move...