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Recently I saw on our Facebook page a collector named Lucas ask a question that was a little different than the normal questions we get. He asked, “So I’m getting married in 12 days. How do you propose I balance marriage and the hobby successfully?” That’s a great question as collecting trading cards can be something that your significant other may not embrace. So how do you get the lady in your life to support the hobby you love? Or at the very least, tolerate it?
The responses on the Facebook page from our fans were pretty funny. One collector said, “Tell her if she’s going to keep collecting shoes and purses, you’re gonna collect cards.” Another said, “They collect make-up. Have you priced that stuff? One eyeliner pencil can be 20 bucks alone.” But employing some of these responses with the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with sounded like a sure-fire way to ignite an argument. So to help Lucas out, I thought I would share some advice I’ve received from collectors throughout the years on how they get the buyoff from the women in their lives to understand and appreciate why they collect.
The collectors I’ve talked with who’ve had the most success with getting their significant others to give the hobby their okay are the ones who have actually gotten their wives involved. If she’s a sports fan, share the hobby with her as she would likely love it. Show her the unique cards Upper Deck makes of her favorite teams and players. Let her know this is a way to support your home team(s) and favorite players. Odds are she likely has an innocent crush on some of the better-looking players as well. Share some of those cards with her. Most seem to be a sucker for Derek Jeter and Sidney Crosby…
If that’s a no go for you, then tug at her heart strings a bit. Let her know that collecting cards is something you did with your father and helped create a special bond between the two of you. Tell her it’s something you hope to do with your kids someday. Everything you collect will one day belong to your kids and it’s important to you to be able to pass something special down to them in the future with which to remember you. You can even tell her that you may sell some of the collection later on to help with college. If she sees it’s something that will benefit her children and a way to build the relationship between you and them, you’ll likely get her support.
The next advice is of critical importance. You need to avoid anything that causes conflict. Have a budget for your trading card or memorabilia purchases and stay within it. If you want to make a bigger purchase, make sure to talk it over with her and go through the pros and cons of the investment. If you are going to make that large investment in a card you need to have, maybe you should sacrifice something and sell off a couple items from your collection to offset the cost. I hear a lot of horror stories about collectors who don’t stay within their budgets and then when the Mrs. finds that certain credit card receipt, well, let’s just say it’s not pretty.
Another thing that tends to drive the ladies nuts is when your collection takes on a life of its own and starts consuming more and more space in the house. If you can, try to keep it in one room and get buy-off from her that this room is the only place where you’ll display and store your collectibles. Keep your “mancave” as orderly as you can. When they walk into a room and it’s nothing but disorganized boxes, you better believe you are going to catch an earful. Look at displaying some items at your office or even renting a storage unit/safety deposit box for some of your collectibles. It’s a little tough not to have them within arm’s reach, but it’s worth it to avoid having to sleep on the couch.
If all else fails, let her know there could be worse things you could do as a hobby. Collecting cards and memorabilia is not destructive like drinking, gambling, etc. It’s a fun hobby that helps bring you closer to the teams and sports you’re most passionate about.
Lastly, my father says the two most important words in a successful marriage are, “Yes dear.” As he’s been happily married for more than 50 years, I think he may have something there. So if she’s adamant about you pulling the reigns back, you may just have to do that. But tell her that instead of collecting all of the different card companies’ products, you’re going to just focus on one brand that you really love: Upper Deck. Good luck, Lucas!