are you fickle or what?

Brothers of Briar

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Zeno Marx

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Some random thoughts. I haven't been like this with any other hobby or collectible interest, and since comic books and baseball cards as a kid, I've had some kind of collectible hobby.

Do you get hell bent on a brand, shape, or finish of pipe, only to become nearly disinterested at some point down the road? From 110% to 10%? I hate to admit it, but I do. It's gotten worse the older I get, too. I want to own ten of this shape, go bonzo for shopping online and watching on ebay, steadily obsessed for 8-12 months, but then, I couldn't care less. It's as if the fuel tank ran dry. It doesn't necessarily have to do with unavailability, finding a deal, or how many of that ilk I own. I immensely enjoy the pipes of the type. I study them. I study about them. I research. You know, I really dig deep. But for no apparent reason, it all stops, and I have to move onto something else.

These guys who amass 600 Castellos or 500 Ascorti or 800 Charatans or whatever. Or the people who have 30 of one shape. I'm fascinated by that focused of passion. I can say I'm like that about Italian pipes. I can say that about rustic finishes. I can also say I have favorite makers and favorite shapes. While I have obsessions and addictions within a hobby (this hobby), I cannot dedicate myself to a maker or shape.

Secondly, I've noticed that around 15 pipes, I can't make a choice of what pipe to smoke. I can stand there and stare at my pipes and have no strong desire to smoke this one or that one. Too many options overwhelm my decision making. Like a child. Truly. I believe the most pipes I've ever owned at once is around 55. In the past decade, I've hovered from 12-20. When I'm on the lower end of that spectrum, I go straight for a pipe. I know which one I want to smoke. I know which one feels right for the moment. And most importantly, I smoke them all. Then, around the number 15, that all falls apart. I labor over which one I should grab. I find myself grabbing for the same 3-5 pipes, and all the other ones collect dust. I have to talk myself into smoking those others. That's no fun, so then I start calculating which ones I should sell. Even if I truly don't want to sell any of them, even if they're all good smokers, "I'm not smoking that one enough. I should sell it." The easy answer is, "Then stick to 15 or less." You know it isn't that simple. For one, see the above, the obsessive periods. And we all know pipes are cool. You want another one. Or want another one like you already have. Or something. Desires are strong.
 

RSteve

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Regretfully, I am a prime example. I have many Kirsten pipes, many pipes in the prince shape and many pokers. For a couple of years, they've all gathered dust as I rotate 7 cobs. Lately, I bought 5 maple pipes. I know that when I pass, every pipe, regardless of make, will be in a box for a buck each, at the garage sale on my driveway.
And I won't care.
 

Ranger107

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Zeno, I feel your pain. Over the years I have collected motorcycles, knives, watches, pipes, girlfriends, and debt. Now I am down to 2 bikes, 40 or so watches, 60 or so pipes, one wife, and one horse. I wear the same 2 watches most of the time, carry the same knife everyday. I am happy with the one wife. I would collect more horses if I could afford them, but until I win the lottery Cochise will be my main ride.
 

Timbo

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Yeah I feel you Zeno. It is time for a culling of my collection. I've got around 75 pipes or so and some are never smoked now days. I've been waiting for my son to come of smoking age and he can pick the eyes out of my collection and I'll sell anything I haven't smoked in the last 12 months or so.
 

RSteve

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I would collect more wives if I could afford them...
Why? If you find the right one, one is more than enough.
My first divorce cost me (in 2021 dollars) $247,000.
When my wife of 31 years died in 2008, her five year battle with cancer, in dollars, cost more than my early divorce and in emotional loss and pain far more than anything measureable.(to say nothing of her $3k month pension)

At this age (77) I can't financially or emotionally afford another wife, nor do I want one. The risks are far too high.

You may recall that some months ago I wrote about a friend, also a widower and comfortably retired, who, after years of being single, married a lovely woman. A little more than a year after their marriage, she began to have behavioral cognitive issues and was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Although they had a pre-nup, it does not apply and she is now in the memory care unit of a nursing home. Until my friend's assets are depleted, excluding his home and one car, he is financially responsible for her care, currently $120k per year. The estate that he planned for his three children will likely be gone.

I'd be very happy with a steady girl friend, but not a live-in. In the 13+ years since my wife's passing, I've done some dating. Two of the women I dated have died.
 

Idlefellow

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I certainly get it. I have amassed a couple dozen Peterson pipes and I almost never smoke anything but one of them, and even all of those don't get the attention they deserve. Then I've got a couple dozen + others that I can't get rid of for sentimental reasons, or they aren't worth enough to bother with trying to sell them. Once in a while one of them speaks to me but not often. Add in a couple of meerschaums, 5 or 6 clays, three calabashes...

I also have too many guitars, shotguns, flyrods, books, etc. etc. etc. but I can't bring myself to get rid of any of it either.

I've only ever had one wife; it'll be 52 years this June. Can't even imagine life without her, or with anyone else.
 

Ranger107

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To each his own. My divorce
I certainly get it. I have amassed a couple dozen Peterson pipes and I almost never smoke anything but one of them, and even all of those don't get the attention they deserve. Then I've got a couple dozen + others that I can't get rid of for sentimental reasons, or they aren't worth enough to bother with trying to sell them. Once in a while one of them speaks to me but not often. Add in a couple of meerschaums, 5 or 6 clays, three calabashes...

I also have too many guitars, shotguns, flyrods, books, etc. etc. etc. but I can't bring myself to get rid of any of it either.

I've only ever had one wife; it'll be 52 years this June. Can't even imagine life without her, or with anyone else.
You are a very lucky man. 🙂
 

Niblick

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I like to keep my pipes clean and time in between smokes. I have too many pipes in rack and so had to divide them into genre's. Smooth brown pipes are for Straight Virginia, smooth darker stained are for Vaper's, sandblasted/rustified are for English and Meer's are for Lakeland. All other pipes not in this category can have anything smoked out of them such as Calabash, Falcon's, Kirsten's and other's. I already know the tobacco I want to smoke so then it's what pipe haven't I smoked lately. A quick glance around and a pipe is in my hand fairly quickly. I do not play favorites with any of them. They either smoke good enough to keep in rack or are sold/ given away.

Not looking for Nirvania while smoking, just want the tobacco to taste the way it should. If Nirvania happens, it's a plus. BTW not counted lately but if had to I'd bet I will have over 50 or so of Comoy's or their Seconds in those racks. Maybe I am playing favorite.
 

RSteve

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I've only ever had one wife; it'll be 52 years this June. Can't even imagine life without her, or with anyone else.
You both are very fortunate and clearly know how to make one another happy. Sincerest congratulations!
 

gravel

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I've only ever had one wife; it'll be 52 years this June. Can't even imagine life without her, or with anyone else.
That is awesome! As many guys on this board can attest to, marriage is hard. Congratulations!

We celebrated 25 years in November. I certainly echo your last line: “ can’t imagine life without her or with anyone else.”
 

gravel

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Zeno, it seems I’ve been collecting things as long as I can remember. From collecting bottle caps as a kid to inheriting and maintaining a stamp collection, to comic books, to sports cards… and my interest in each of those waned. I used to have a list of pipes and shapes I wanted to acquire, and I let that go. I now focus on utility, which is admittedly boring.
 

Zeno Marx

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Here's another...going from seeing Danish freehands as some of the ugliest pipes ever made 95% of the time to having a strong desire to have a bunch 5% of the time. Right now, I'm in the latter stage of that dissonant relationship.
 

Jevverrett

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I’m not a collector, in any real sense. I do collect things, I guess. There’s no curation aspect to it though. I collect things I use, to the extent they useful. I have a lot of knives for example. Some for work, the woods, sporting, crafting etc. I like them, and use them all when the need/ occasion arises. I have maybe 30 pipes, excluding yard cobs at the moment. I smoke them all weekly. Some are for home, some for work and some for out and about. I’ve reached the point after 25 years smoking a pipe where my taste has been defined in pipes. I’ve tried all the shapes I’ve cared to. Now I’m interested in having enough to rotate normally, and having good quality ones for when it is appropriate.

Come to think of it, I’m a garbage man lol. I collect trash for a living.
 

DWSmith

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When I first began my journey I figured I'd buy estate pipes so I could learn what I like. Most of those pipes came from frenchy's pipes. Anyone remember him? I still have those pipes plus a few Missouri Meerschaums and briars that I bought elsewhere or received as gifts. I still like them all. I have fewer than 30 pipes but that's way more than I'll ever need.
 

ftrplt

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When I first began my journey I figured I'd buy estate pipes so I could learn what I like. Most of those pipes came from frenchy's pipes. Anyone remember him? I still have those pipes plus a few Missouri Meerschaums and briars that I bought elsewhere or received as gifts. I still like them all. I have fewer than 30 pipes but that's way more than I'll ever need.
I remember ol' Frenchy very well. Quite the character!! had a fine website! Russ Oulette has a pipe tobacco "Frenchy's Sons a Bitches" in his honor!! FTRPLT
 

Timbo

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Like Idlefellow I mainly smoke Petes these days, especially their sytem pipes. I love their bend and how it feels when smoking it, the fact you can just take the stem out dump the sumps contents if it start gurgling from tobacco that is too moist is great.

I rarely smoke straight pipes these days. Maybe I'm just bendt ;).

Ron's pipes are the only other ones I smoke constantly.
 

daveinlax

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I’m a brand/shape collector and as I advance it’s harder but more satisfying to fill holes in the collection. I’m buzzing because I filled a hole last week that will probably take a month to get from Italy.
 
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