The History Channel’s widely viewed television show, American Pickers, is my favorite program on television right now because I love and respect what those guys do. I also happen to be a Picker myself. At the beginning of the show the two main leads state: “I’m Mike Wolfe and I’m Frank Fritz. And we’re pickers. We travel the back roads of America looking for rusty gold. We’re looking for amazing things buried in people’s garages and barns. What most people see as junk, we see as dollar signs. We’ll buy “anything” we think we can make a buck on. Each item we pick has a history all its own and the people we meet? Well, they’re a breed all their own.” I could not agree more!
Instead of rummaging through garages and barns, which I have done before but not very often, I go around on the weekends, waking up at seven in the morning to search estate and garage sales for things I can “make a quick buck on.” I don’t just buy anything and everything; I search for items that are antique or vintage that I know are worth money and that collectors would buy. I not only do it for the money, even though that is a big part of it; I do it because I love history and doing research on what I have, learning about new things every day. I have been “picking” for a little more than a year-and-a-half now, buying, selling, and also collecting, but recently it is all I can think about. Unfortunately, it is becoming an addiction.
I have been fascinated with money since I was a small child. Making money was always on my mind, no matter what I had to do. I would constantly swindle my sister into giving me all of her quarters, dimes, and nickels, in addition to stealing massive amounts of change from my father’s “change drawer.” Acquiring and having money just made me feel whole, like I didn’t have to worry about anything. As with drinking and using drugs, I used it to comfort myself. The thrill of getting or stealing it also gave me a rush like no other.
Selling items online gives me that feeling, too, knowing that the money is flowing in. I am constantly checking EBay on my phone to see if someone has bid on an item. I am more focused on my things rather than my own life. I make it more of a priority than the things that are important that need to get done. It is really hard to break a habit like this because people have told me, “It’s better than going back to your other addiction,” but it’s taking away from time that could be spent doing other things more productive to my sobriety.
Picking is something that I love and enjoy and will continue to do, but there are times when I have to say to myself that going to a meeting or fellowshipping is more significant than sitting at home, EBay-ing my life away.
By: Matthew B.