What do you collect?
There is just something so wonderful about the way similar objects look grouped together; it brings me a lot of joy. Ingrid Fetell Lee talks about this in Joyful (still one of my favorite books – it’s about the science behind how/why ordinary things can make us so happy). So I know it is not me. Collecting sparks joy! Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved collecting things. Marbles. Rocks and crystals. Beads. Anything small and shiny. When I was really young, I had a tiny purple shell that I carried with me everywhere. On more than one occasion I would leave the shell at dinner, causing my parents to have to drive back to the restaurant and track down the shell.
As I got a little bit older, I was happiest collecting (and organizing) beads. Other kids would be outside playing sports and I would be inside, doing crafts projects but mostly: sorting my beads. To this day, when I see a box filled with neatly organized beads, buttons, rhinestones, or trimmings, my heart skips a beat.
As an adult, my favorite thing to collect is antique perfume bottles.
My grandfather had an incredible collection of glass perfume and apothecary bottles. They lined the staircase of his home, and I still remember when I was a little girl, being absolutely mesmerized by the shelves and shelves of bottles (and my mother watching my sisters and I carefully… “look, don’t touch!”). When my grandfather passed away, his collection was divided up between my mother and my aunt, and my mother has passed a few bottles down to me. My favorite is probably the white bottle in the photo below (these photos are from my old apartment in Brooklyn, by the way!).
My mother has also helped me to build my collection. I am notoriously difficult to shop for and for the past few birthdays she’s found me some absolutely exquisite bottles. Those are my most cherished gifts… so thoughtful, and something I really love.
I also really love collecting notepads and pens from nice hotels. There is something fun (and dare I say slightly glamorous) about making my to-do list on a notepad from The Carlyle or The Beverly Hills Hotel.