Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Vice Squad

One of the most thoughtful -- and initially mysterious -- gifts I received over the holiday season was a copy of the March 1986 Interview magazine (above, on my coffee table). I'd mentioned in a blog post how I'd discovered the hunky actor Timothy Gibbs in that issue but had since thrown it away -- then suddenly it turned up at my apartment! Although it was obviously bought for me on eBay, thus preventing a personal message from the giver, I immediately knew it was one of three friends of mine -- and my first guess was fellow blogger Matt Rettenmund. Matt was my first pick because I knew he was a fellow Interview junkie -- and also because in the relatively short time I've known him I've seen him go out of his way to do extraordinarily thoughtful things for people in his life (such as arranging surprise trips for his partner). I immediately accused him of sending it and he confirmed I was right, later e-mailing me that "i'm bad about things like the interview ... once i hear of the need i keep looking! glad you enjoyed it!"

While I certainly can relate to that thought, what I didn't realize -- and what a recent visit to his stylish, clutter-free apartment belies -- is the fact that Matt is lifelong OBSESSIVE COLLECTOR of, well, you name it. I learned the full extend of his "O.C.D."-fueled "obsession" in this brutally raw (and consequently fascinating) blog post yesterday, in which he confesses to a lifetime of compulsions (alcohol and drugs need not apply) that have mostly revolved around obsessive collecting of items, including buttons, Boys Life Magazines, baseball cards, Farrah Fawcett pinups, Charlie's Angels cards and stickers, MAD Magazines, Top 40 singles, beefcake imagery, books, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogues, CDs, Jon-Erik Hexum memorabilia, photography, paintings and, of course, all things Madonna (looking for those chains Madonna wore on her debut album cover? He's got 'em!).

Matt reports that for 10 years he was "doing well," laying off some of the heavy Madonna collecting and shunning eBay ("crack for hoarders"), but has been reverting to some of his O.C.D. ways lately. I certainly hope buying that Interview on eBay wasn't like giving an alcoholic one sip of wine (but can I say -- without you totally hating me -- that you-15-years-ago would have made the GREATEST EPISODE of "Intervention" ever?). I write this post to publicly thank him for making my Timothy Gibbs post COMPLETE, and to wish him well in overcoming this minor setback.

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