by, 03-09-2014 at 03:49 PM (4376 Views)
The title of this post might sound funny because how could someone become addicted to autographs? Well I personally believe that itís a real thing, and that Iím not the only autograph collector that has gone through it. So Iíve decided to write about my experiences.
It all started out in late June 2012 when I began collecting autographs. I had been getting some sports cards before that, but they were worth only the value of the cardboard that they were printed on. I liked them, but they began to just take up space.
I then came across a video online where a guy was writing a letter to a famous person, and sending a sports card to them, for them to autograph. I thought that it looked interesting, but thought that it might be too difficult, because I didnít know what size envelopes to use, and didnít really want to spend a lot of money on envelopes and stamps, I wanted to save my money for the future.
The thought of being able to get autographs that easy fascinated me though, because I had only gotten one autograph before that, which was a mini basketball signed by NBA star Carlos Boozer when he came to my town back in 2004. I had always believed that the only way to obtain autographs was either by meeting a famous person in real-life, or by buying them online which can be very expensive, and also hard to tell if theyíre real or not.
I contacted Judge Judy through her website and asked if I could please get her autograph, since I had always been a big fan of her show from the time I was little. Her people told me that they would ask her to sign a picture for me when she had the time, and within a few weeks it arrived in my mailbox! Within a couple days, I also received autographs from a now deceased country music legend, a famous chef, and the former chairman of the Federal Reserve!
Getting those filled me with excitement, and I wanted to get more, so I got envelopes, stamps, and more sports cards. Within a month or two I was requesting autographs like crazy, and checking the mailbox down the street at least 2-3 times each day.
I didnít think that I had a problem or anything; it was just a very exciting hobby that I had a lot of fun doing, but it would eventually get much worse! Late that Summer it got so bad, that I spent more than $90 on stamps so I could send 100 requests. $90 might not be much to some of you, but it was, and still is to me. To make things worse, those stamps didnít last long, some days I would mail of 25-50 requests at a time. And instead of sending them almost exclusively to people that had an almost 100% success rate of signing autographs through the mail, I sent most of them to people that werenít known to sign autographs, because I believed that the famous person was going to read my letter and sign an autograph for me, because I was special for some reason.
It got so bad, that collecting autographs was no longer fun for me. I needed autographs like alcoholics need alcohol, drug users need drugs, and gamblers need to gamble. I would hear the mailman driving down my street. Iíd look out the window and see him putting a bunch of envelopes into the mailboxes and Iíd think to myself ďI hope those are all for me! At least one of the envelopes anywaysÖ..Ē
After the mailman would leave, Iíd quickly walk down the sidewalk and check the mail. If it was empty, or just had junk mail, I would seriously be upset. I would walk inside my house and think to myself ďI hate the stupid mail delivery people! They didnít bring me autographs like they were supposed too!!!!!Ē even though it wasnít their fault at all. The mailmen that deliver mail on my street are very nice and professional. If theyíre working and thereís mail to be delivered, they always deliver it no matter how bad the weather is.
I knew that I had an autograph addiction, but I didnít know what to do. When I tried to look it up online, there was nothing negative about it, just websites where people can talk about how much they love to collect autographs. I had never heard about people being addicted to collecting autographs, so I felt kind of stupid and didnít want to talk about it. I had nowhere to turn.
Then in February 2013, I spent 3 days asking for peopleís autographs online, I asked around 250 people. I would start in the morning after eating breakfast, and wouldnít stop until around 1am the next morning. Within a week I began receiving autographs in the mail, soon after, I was getting 6-11 envelopes in the mail each day, some of them contained more than 1 autograph. I was excited about getting the autographs, but I still felt kind of bad because I needed more and more. But sitting down and seeing all those envelopes, trying to keep track of it all, it became difficult. I was like ďwhen am I going to stop? Iím getting so many of them, Iím going to run out of people to ask for autographs!!!!!Ē.
But, I realized that I could ask an unlimited number of people online for their autograph for free! So thereís no risk asking that way. It took me a while, but I slowly began to request less and less autographs through the mail, and still requested them through the mail. Now, 1-2 packets of stamps last me 1-2 months unless Iím almost 100% certain Iíll get autographs from many different people, and then I might use them up a little quicker. If I get only a couple autographs every few weeks, I donít feel bad. I still enjoy opening the mailbox and seeing a self-addressed stamped envelope, or an envelope/package that a famous person sent me, thatís always very exciting!
Now my main reason why I try to collect a lot of autographs is so I can help other people get autographs of people they like. And itís cool to look at my collection and go ďwow! Iíve gotten almost 500 autographs in less than 2 years, without ever leaving my island or ever personally meeting any of the famous people in real-life.
Do you think that autograph addiction is a real thing?