When you inadvertently become a collector of something you really aren't all that into

Raymond Chen

Raymond

As I was heading home at the end of the day, I ran into one of my colleagues who was also going home, and he was carrying a Star Wars-themed metal lunchbox similar to this one. For those who didn’t grow up in the United States, these metal lunchboxes are the type of things elementary school children use to carry their lunch to school. I remarked, “Nice lunchbox.” My colleague explained, “Yeah, I sort of ended up as the lunchbox guy. It started when somebody gave me a lunchbox as a semi-humorous gift, and I kept it on my shelf. Then other people saw that I had a metal lunchbox and concluded, ‘Oh, he must collect metal lunchboxes,’ and they started giving me metal lunchboxes. And before I knew it, I became an unwitting collector of metal lunchboxes.” The same thing happened to a different colleague of mine. As his first birthday after he got married approached, his new in-laws asked his wife, “What does Bob like?” His wife shrugged. “I dunno. He kind of likes Coca-Cola?” That year, he got a vintage Coca-Cola serving tray. The next year, he got a Coca-Cola clock. And then Coca-Cola drinking glasses. And so on.

Eventually, he had to ask his wife to tell her family, “Okay, you can stop now. Bob doesn’t like Coca-Cola that much.”

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