Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spousal Support

I've noticed a trend over the last year, that has me a bit puzzled.  I'm sure it's been going on longer than a year, but I've never really paid attention to it.  The trend?  Sneaking figures, or trying to plan to sneak them, past one's spouse.  Luckily, I've never had this issue.  My wife has always been pretty understanding when it comes to my collecting and she's always supportive. 

When I first started dating my wife, she had no idea that I was a big dork, but once I finally brought her to my apartment at the time, she discovered it rather quickly.  I had a couple of bookshelves filled with Transformers and 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe figures.  I imagine that she had one singular thought in her head.
 Luckily, she (mostly) bought my excuse that they were childhood toys that I was holding on to for when my son was old enough.  Sucker.  Once she realized that I was adding to the collection, we were engaged and moving into our new house.  Of course, then came the conversation.  You know which one I'm talking about - how much did I spend on toys on average?  How often did I purchase toys?  Did I sacrifice bills or essentials for toys?  I managed to calm her nerves by proving that I only bought what I could afford, when I could afford it.  At that time, we came to an agreement - as long as I didn't blow the bank and stop the family from doing what the family needed or wanted to do, I was free to buy what I liked.  It's an arrangement that is still going to this day.

Eventually, my wife has taken a bit of an interest in my hobby.  She doesn't look for figures for me, she doesn't know any of their names, but she does like to know what's going on.  Her main point of interest was in the displaying of my Transformers.  To that end, she's been actively searching for cases.  After a few misfires, she was successful in finding me a case.

I got the Detolfs a few months ago, but my wife found me the wonderful case in the middle.  Some shop was closing for good and they put it up for sale on Cragslist for the low price of $40.  My wife found the ad, talked to the seller, and I picked it up the following weekend.  There are a few issues with the cabinet, like the doors are missing from the back, and the shelves aren't as wide as I'd like, but once I put it up against the wall, it was fine.  The important thing is that now all of my Masterpiece and most of my G1 figures are now protected from dust.  My Decepticon MP's and G1 Cars are in another case on the opposite wall.  I'll have better pictures of my collection once I get the room cleaned up and looking like I want it.
Here's a bit of a small closeup on the cabinet.  As you can see, I need to paint the bottom shelf there, but that's something that can wait until the weather gets a bit warmer.  All in all, it's an amazing find.  I'm very pleased with how my display looks now.

Having a wife that is accepting of my hobby is something that I find to be very rare.  I've dated a lot of different women (not to brag), and they've all had various levels of disdain for my passions.  While I don't expect, or really want, my wife to be super in to what I'm collecting, it's nice to have someone in my life that doesn't go ballistic whenever I do bring home purchase or when I get excited about some new release that I just read about.  Many of my friends don't have significant others that can say the same thing.  Heck, my wife is actually trying to work with a guy to build me a custom case so I can put all of my bases comfortably in glass to go with the rest of my figures.  I'm truly a lucky guy.


  1. I'm lucky enough that my girlfriend is cool with my collecting, and she even sometimes picks items up for me (like Cyberverse Optimus Prime a few weeks ago).

    I'm honest with her about what I buy and what it costs, and she's fine with that. Truth be told, I'd be concerned about our relationship if I felt like I couldn't be honest about something as straightforward as my hobby.

    1. Exactly. Take me as I am, or I don't need you around. It's harder to find than most people realize.

  2. It kind of baffles me sometimes that people are able to make relationships work where the spouse is in direct opposition to collection-type hobbies. I think I'd be miserable all the time. Before I got married I made sure my (now) wife understood that a certain amount of my income will go toward toys and I will always need a certain amount of space to display them, and she's historically been cool with that, if not always thrilled. We've found some parts of my geek hobbies to connect over, too.

    Anyway, one thing I wonder about is the prevalence of this sort of thing with the opposite genders. You typically hear about the man trying to justify a purchase to his wife, but not always vice-versa. I'm sure it's more common that one would think.

    1. I've definitely had to have a few discussions with my wife over how much I spend, but the fact remains that I'd stop buying if it got in the way of keeping the family provided for.

  3. My wife is also pretty supportive, and found me my case like yours that i've had for a couple years now. It was $100 though, but still one of the best parts of my display IMO.

    I don't see the point in being with someone that doesn't support you in something like a hobby where it's a big part of your life whether they like it or not. My wife knew from the get go that I was a toy collector, because I figured if she couldn't get past that, she'd probably have a hard time getting past anything else.

    I've occasionally neglected to mention a purchase, but never intentionally hidden one.

    1. I forget to tell my wife all of the time about purchases. I'm not trying to hide them, but if I get home with a new figure and she's not there to see it, I just forget. I'm not one of those "look what I got, honey!" kind of guys. I don't expect my wife to tell me about every purchase, so I think it's all good.

  4. ah, I like the ideas behind this post.

    Like the other gentlmen here, my wife is very supportive of my hobby too. We even watched TFTM (1986) on our wedding night; and then again on our 5th wedding anniversary!

    The most unforgettable illustration for me was when I was trying to search for the original dino-cassettes before the KOs were released. A HK-shop owner said he saw the 4 in Osaka, but didnt buy them back. I went home and lamented to my wife about the 'missed opportunity' (it was a thurs).

    Then on Friday morning I got a call from my wife when i was in the office and she said - "You're on a flight to Osaka tonight and your hotel is booked till Sunday. Go get 'em!"

    I was pleasantly stunned. And when I got to the airport, I realised that she even booked a business class flight for me - all this in the name of hunting down those cassettes!