What makes your house a home?

Is it the loving pictures of friends and family hanging on the wall? Or perhaps it’s your collection of antique vases that you and your husband have amassed from your travels throughout the Orient? Any chance it’s that ever-growing amassment of dolphin memorabilia that you’ve been building since you turned the ripe age of five and once mentioned in passing that you thought they were kinda neat?

If that latest example rings all too true, then maybe we should get together and compare notes…

You see, my fiancée Sara has a bit of an unhealthy obsession with dolphins, meaning that one time when she was little she may have mentioned to Santa Claus or some distant aunt that she likes dolphins and thus ever since, every single gift that she’s ever receivedEVER … has been in some way, shape, or form been associated with dolphins. Puzzles, coasters, nightlights – if you can dream it, chances are she’s gotten one with a picture of a dolphin plastered on it some time in her life! And likewise, since we started living together about two years ago, our collective home has featured the likes of more dolphin-related paraphernalia than we’ve know what to do with – pictures on the walls, shower curtains, those coasters that I mentioned earlier.

Which is fine – I’ve got my own guilty pleasures, too, such as collecting more Disney memorabilia than anyone who doesn’t have kids should publicly possess to my own collection of antique vases from my travels throughout the Orient … all of which, oddly enough, have Mickey Mouse’s face on them! And really, all of this is fine with me – it’s this kind of stuff that does, in fact, make our home our own, and if we could just somehow find a picture of Mickey Mouse riding a dolphin, the merging of our collections would be complete!

So I guess it’s not so much the gifts that we’ve received from other people that have pushed me over the edge – in fact, you could probably even argue that it’s sort of something that I accidentally brought upon us myself. You see, I too bought into Sara’s passion for dolphins when we were first courting many moons ago and wanted to get her something really special that I knew she’d treasure for a long time. And so I stumbled upon a small collection of aquatic statues from The Bradford Exchange that featured a variety of dolphins swimming and frolicking and doing whatever else it is that dolphins do under the sea. They ended up turning out really cool when the first one showed up, so I ordered a few more and stuck them away to give to her all at once for Christmas later on that year.

Trouble is, said collection has since been long completed, but the mailings from The Bradford Exchange just keep on coming! I don’t know how they operate, but it seems that apparently I’m now on some sort of dolphin mailing list so that anything they can come up with to cast out of porcelain and paint a picture of Flipper on, I’m right there among the first to be solicited for their latest treasures. And it’s not only plates, like those hideous Elvis collector’s plates that you used to see advertised on TV before they decided that it was cheaper and easier to just make a bunch of mailing lists and market to genre-specific suckers like me! Think dolphin Christmas tree ornaments, dolphin wind chimes, dolphin special commemorative end tables – the possibilities, and likewise the amount of mailings that I receive from The Bradford Exchange, are endless.

If you can find it anywhere in the home, even if it’s on the knick-knack shelf or tucked away in a closet somewhere, just slap a dolphin on it and sent it to the dolphin mailing list – they’ll eat it up like the Easter ham!

It’s gotten to the point where if it weren’t for the next great birthday or Christmas gift that might show up in those fliers, I’d consider signing up with some sort of dolphin-memorabilia-buyers relocation program or something, but just my luck, the day I do manage to slip off The Bradford Exchange’s radar, out comes that limited edition, gold-embossed four plate set of Mickey and his friends swimming with the dolphins and frankly, I just can’t afford to take that chance!

What’s a dedicated boyfriend to do? If anybody has some ideas, I’ll be over sitting in the dolphin chair drinking a dolphin-tini out of a glass shaped like a, well, you get the idea…