Additionally, my track record indicates that I will fixate on one product, based on my emotional state at a given time, and buy it and buy it and buy it until I have developed an inordinate 'stash' of items that cannot be used up in a reasonable time. A collector's syndrome, you could say. Possibly you could also call me obsessive-compulsive-hoarder. This behavior is more apparent in the past few years, because I have had so much more money available to me post-high school.
2003 - Year of the Clothes
This was my Lip Service phase. The root problem is that I am unhappy with my appearance, and in 2003 the manifestation of this dislike took the form in constantly searching out new ways to hide imperfections and stand out. I bought garment after garment because I thought it was 'unique' or 'interesting' but didn't take care to make sure it coordinated with the rest of my wardrobe. The result? Hundreds of interesting pieces, zero functional outfits.
2004 - Year of the Body Care & Cosmetics
I started working at Bath & Body Works in 2004, and my fondness for clothing was replaced with a need to take care of my skin. This still ties into the displeasure with my personal appearance, but now rather than 'dressing up' the problems I want to try rooting it out through any potion suggested. Hundreds, if not thousands of dollars went into the purchase of lotions, face masks, facials, etc. By the end of the year and mid-2005 I had so many beauty products I could no longer fit them under my sink.
This was also the year I used make-up the most. I got contacts in January and painted up regularly.
2005 - Year of the Art Supplies
In 2005 I needed a new obsession to replace the out-of-control spending on body potions, so I became fascinated with crafty supplies to humor all the projects I didn't have time for, but lived under the fiction that at some point in the future time would be there, so I needed to have materials ready. Fabric, silks, silk paints, watercolors, paper, blank journals, and more were bought in abundance and squirreled away to be used at a later date. But time and time passed and still no crafts have I managed to complete.
2006 - Year of the Books
This year I have been obsessed with books, and I readily admit it. I am not just loving the act of reading, but physical tome in my hands is fantastic. And yet I share books! I justify my constant acquiring of new paperbacks and hardcovers with the fact that I give away as many as I read, whether through passing them on to a friend or mailing them out through BookMooch and Paperbackswap. But realistically, I currently have two-to-three years's worth of reading currently sitting on my shelves - and that does not include re-reads.
I think that I equate books with knowledge. Knowledge, of course, is one of the most important things a person can have. So, I think that when I pass books to another person, I share knowledge, so it makes me feel like I'm doing something important.
A similar example: My English teacher's father grew up in the Philippines on the streets as an orphan. He never had enough to eat, so when he came to America food became something he hoarded. Giving food to his daughter and other family members was his way of showing love, because in his old country giving another person the food you may need to survive was a real sacrifice of love. So now, in America, he stockpiles cans and cans of tuna when it goes on sale for super-cheap and gives it to his daughter by the sackful.
Now that's much more extreme (and frankly much more interesting) than my need to pass on books, but I live in a world where food has always been plentiful and shelter has always been present. The world is generally comfortable and safe. But information is the one thing that everyone can use more of, so passing it around is an excellent way to show affection. And what more convenient form to share information than with a book?
But I digress. My point was, before I got distracted into why books are so great, is that I am currently obsessed with books, but that is just part of a pattern that seems to indicate I have some sort of minor hoarder's/collector's mental disease. 'Disease' is probably too strong; 'disorder' might be better. (That's still probably too extreme though.) My boyfriend was complaining about it last night, but he probably should just take comfort in the fact that within another year, I'll be fixated on something new. Maybe CDs, maybe lipsticks, I really don't know.