#NotACollector

X-Files Revival Premiere cake

Here it is. This is what started it all. My BFF Tami knew how excited I was about The X-Files revival, so she had this amazing cake made for me to celebrate the premiere. Sitting on top were the Mulder and Scully action figures that would become the first pieces in my collection. For a long while they were my only pieces. They were fun. I enjoyed having them in my office. But I didn’t need any more. After all, I’m not a collector.

But then…well there was an eBay auction of X-Files memorabilia for Gillian Anderson Charities. That really appealed to me. I could buy one little piece of the show I loved and benefit a worthy cause at the same time, and that would be enough. I placed the winning bid on this, an autographed call sheet and sides from the last day of shooting on The Truth. I had it framed. It was beautiful.

Suddenly I was off. I bought some Funko Pop figures, some issues of TV Guide featuring The X-Files, J.J.Lendl’s Arcadia poster. I went from having an X-Files Corner in my office, to an X-Files Wall, to needing to rearrange furniture and add shelves.

I started wondering if I was going overboard. Do reasonable people spend money on mementos from a 90s TV show? If not, do I want to be a reasonable person? I did some soul searching, asking myself why I felt the need to build this collection. I knew I wasn’t interested in profit. I had no intention of selling these items that brought me so much joy. Then I finally realized that was the key. Joy. This collection, much like my engagement with the X-Files fandom, was bringing me joy.

What’s more, I was bringing that joy into my work day. I work as an appellate attorney representing people who can’t afford counsel. I spend my days immersed in a lot of miserable situations, and it can get to me. But surrounded by my collection I can pause, look around, and see little reminders of my favorite show. And suddenly my day is a bit brighter and I can carry on.

So I embraced my addiction to collecting, and I went kind of wild. I bought some action figures here, some artwork there, scripts, books, coffee mugs (so many coffee mugs). My friends and family embraced it too, adding to my collection for every occasion, or for no occasion at all but just to make me happy. Along the way I learned a few things.

a few of the treasured gifts I’ve received from loved ones

There’s an amazing amount of talent dedicated to X-Files art

I’m constantly blown away by the gorgeous X-Files art I encounter, by incredibly talented artists using their gifts to create art out of their love for the show. It brings me joy to support this work, and by far my favorite thing to collect is X-Files art, whether posters, hand-lettering designs, comic books, stickers, or buttons. My office is filled with these treasures.

I’ve experienced so much generosity

One thing that has surprised and delighted me is the spirit of giving in the X-Files artistic community. I look at a calendar every day created by fan artists who donated their creations in support of Women for Women International. I have also been gifted with wonderful works by Catherine Nodet, Cortlan Waters Bartley, Alison King, Audrey Loub, and JJ Lendl. This generosity has inspired me to give back. I have no artistic ability. I won’t be creating works of art for anyone. But I give in ways I can, supporting favorite causes of artists associated with The X-Files.

Clockwise from center: silk screen print from Cortlan Waters Bartley, X-Files card from Catherine Nodet, Christmas Fox card from Alison King, Irresistible sketch from Audrey Loub,
and Scully portrait from Catherine Nodet
J.J. Lendl gifted me with this Paper Hearts poster to complete my mini shrine to my favorite episode

Memorabilia for a cause

A large portion of my collection was acquired through online auctions to support charities. I’m a sucker for eBay charity auctions and will always bid on something. It’s the only way I’ll purchase memorabilia.

Autographed Fight the Future poster, proceeds to the American Cancer Society in memory of Kim Manners

Some things are worth remembering

Last but by no means least, my collection contains photos. To be sure, I’m thrilled I’ve had the opportunity to meet and have photos taken with several X-Files stars, and those photos are featured in my collection. But just as treasured are photos with friends I’ve made through the X-Files fandom and was lucky enough to meet IRL.

So I don’t know if I have anything profound to say to wrap this up. People have asked about what I collect and why, and I’ve tried to answer that here. I guess my takeaway from thinking about this topic is that I feel happy every time I enter my office, and that’s not a bad thing.

4 thoughts on “#NotACollector

  1. Wonderful and amazing collection, Cathy. You’re so generous. You have given to me a few items of your collection : many many thanks !
    I think I should think of collecting some tea mugs, it seems a good idea.

    Like

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