07-31-2012, 04:28 PM #1
A Bumpy Return to Collecting - Contest Entry
Ever have one of those weeks where you realize you're trying too hard get a trade done? Yeah me too. After some time away from the hobby, I was eager to again experience the rush that comes from making two collections better all at once.
My last trade left only good memories since it was two friends helping each other out with their PCs, netting me this ill card:
A modest card to most but significant because it's my first multicolor jersey swatch of Martin St. Louis.
But instead of finding my stride, I spent the better part of my return trying to head off the special kind of disappointment that only failing to reach common trading ground can bring on. You know, when you feel like you're doing all the heavy lifting, trying to matchmake card types, collecting priorities, values, etc. and agreeing to each new demand in order to wring out a trade for cards that, looking back, you weren't all that keen on to being with? The story couldn't have ended more predictably: I'm good/no thanks/I'll pass.
To be fair, it was natural to press a little bit. After all, it'd been awhile since I last traded and I wanted to make up for lost time. But trying to force something that wasn't there wasn't working out so well. "Why was this fun again?" I wondered that night.
Two days later, bleary eyed from a long day's work and still feeling the effects from earlier, I opened a private message from a collector, featuring not one...
The Tavares FWA, flagship RC of 09-10 SP Authentic, finally mine all mine.
...but two of the cards I'd spent all last winter trying to land. Each had been within grasp before, only to slip through my fingers at the last moment. These were the elusive pieces from two sets that I'd been chipping away at for not an insignificant stretch of eternity and there they were, staring back at me for the first time, together:
Among the scarcest RCs of rising star Evander Kane has at long last found its, if not rightful, final home.
After months of looking and months more spent away from cards, I couldn't foresee having a better opportunity to land even just the Evander, forget the pair. But I wanted the pair and that meant asking for the moon. Naturally the other trader said, "Moon, meet Sun."
He wanted maybe the brightest star in my collection for his PC and without it, there was no reason to proceed:
Another friend of mine had sent me that Orr autograph, maybe the the most spectacular I'd ever seen, for my HOF collection, and the sentimental value it held for me dwarfed its price tag. I asked this collector of moons to pick literally any other celestial body instead. That idea didn't take, so I proposed downgrading the trade to focus on either one of the two RCs. No again. Before giving up, he asked me one final time to reconsider taking a third card as a sweetener. Probably against my better judgment, I relented and picked out a filler card in order to help justify parting with such an exquisite piece...not that any card really could.
Make no mistake, it was a throw-in at the time because I wanted the RCs so deliriously badly. But once that afterthought of a card arrived in my hands, it'd become my new favorite hockey card before I knew what'd hit me. Now, I realize that if you ask 3 people what their favorite hockey card is you'll get 7 answers, but despite our sometimes mercurial tastes as collectors, any card given that label is still a special one…and so it is here.
Why this RC parallel does it for me may forever be shrouded in mystery...
Since then, the floodgates have opened and deals are pouring in effortlessly. It turns out all that heavy lifting doesn't feel all that heavy anymore when there's something you really want and you mindfully find something the other person wants just as much. Of course I've known that for some time. I guess it just takes a nice trade once in awhile to remind me of that.
08-05-2012, 08:48 AM #2