My husband is a Spiderman fan.
When I first met Olivier, I thought it was really cool that he loved Spiderman so much. But at the time, he was married to someone else, not to me. I didn’t have to live with it. So, I thought it was cool and cute.
He collects Spiderman stuff. But he’s not the kind of collector that buys the latest official Marvel Spiderman gadget/toy/book/action figure etc. and keeps it in its original box and stores it in a special place for display purposes.
Oh, no, he’s not that kind of collector.
He decorates the flat with his collection. He uses it. And, when I first met him and he had a restaurant, his restaurant was also decorated with Spiderman. Not completely, but Spiderman was definitely visible. And his house was the same. Spiderman everywhere.
So, of course, I thought he was wonderful that he had such a passion for something. The only thing I ever collected in my life was stamps. And stamp collecting wasn’t a passion, it was just something kids did in the 70s (remember the 70s?).
Fast forward to 2009, Olivier was no longer married to his first wife. He was married to me, and we wanted to build a life in Moscow together. If you’ve ever moved to another country, you’ll know that you just can’t bring everything you have with you. We brought only 2 suitcases and a couple of carry-on bags with us. There was no room for his Spiderman collection in Moscow.
As a result, before we came to Moscow he sold most of what he’d collected over the years. He didn’t sell it for a fortune. But he sold his collection to someone who had as much passion for Spiderman as he had. He did keep a few special things which are still in storage in France, so everything was ok.
When we installed ourselves in Moscow there were almost no Spiderman objects in the flat.
But it didn’t take long for Olivier to start collecting again, and soon we had some little Spiderman souvenirs decorating the flat. Then some more. And then even more.
Every time we walked past a kiosk in the street that sold toys and other miscellaneous stuff, we stopped and looked to see if there was anything with Spiderman. And there often was.
Kids watches, puzzles, figures, keyrings, erasers, yo-yos…
And then in bigger shops, we found cups, glasses, pencil cases and plastic document folders (perfect for a teacher)…
And then when we travelled in Russia and abroad, we found even more stuff. Rubber balls, masks, usb drives, more keyrings, Pez dispensers, dart boards, handkerchiefs, a shirt, socks…
Not to mention bed sheets, curtains, cushions, gift wrapping paper, toy phones, place mats, Russian nesting dolls (Matrioshka), a clock, lamps, blankets, children’s night lights, magnets, notebooks, t-shirts…
Plus the presents from well-meaning friends.
You get the picture.
I would really love to live a bit more ‘minimalistically’, but with all these Spiderman things in the flat it’s a little difficult to achieve that.
Anyway, did I mention the Spiderman bedsheets? Well, as you can probably guess, most Spiderman bedsheets are made for single beds, for children.
We don’t sleep in a single bed. But, we have a single continental quilt/doona/whatever you call it, with a Spiderman cover and matching pillowcases. And we have a choice of designs so it doesn’t get boring.
I don’t really mind all the Spiderman stuff in the flat, it’s quite quirky and fun. It’s like living in a museum. A Spiderman museum.
Did I tell you that I’m arachnophobic? It’s true. I’m extremely arachnophobic. I will cry if a spider decides to walk on me. I will panic and run away if I see one in the flat or anywhere near me. If it’s really small I’ll manage to get a tissue or something and kill it. If it’s big (I know, it’s all relative), I’ll run away and ask for help like a damsel in distress.
Don’t judge me for killing spiders. I just can’t live with them so one of us has to go. It’s either them or me.
One of the best things about leaving Australia was saying goodbye to the spiders that live there. Have you seen the spiders in Australia? There are small ones, big ones, huge ones, black ones, grey ones, black and red ones, and ones that will kill you.
Spiders are my nightmare.
So, living in Moscow where there are not many spiders at all is quite a nice life for an arachnophobe. Unless said arachnophobe lives in a Spiderman museum/our flat.
There are some Spiderman objects that I just can’t have around me, because of the black spider design. Olivier is very understanding about this and kindly keeps these things hidden away. I can live with Spiderman but not with spiders, if that makes sense.
And have you noticed how Spiderman is EVERYWHERE?! Take a look next time you go somewhere. Just look around you and you’ll see him. At least, he seems to be everywhere for us. We try to stop and say ‘hi’ when we see him, it makes his day.
We also get stuff in the supermarket – there is food and drinks with Spiderman, too.
Ketchup, juice, water, snacks, sweets…
And we mustn’t forget the necessities like toilet paper and tissues.
Olivier also has Spiderman tattoos. He has tattoos of Spiderman, of Spiderman skin, and of a Russian cartoon character wearing a Spiderman costume. I don’t know if he has any plans for any more Spiderman tattoos, but he still has some room left on his arms so he might get another one some day.
Our flat is full of Spiderman, and sometimes I think that it’s not possible to find something with Spiderman that he doesn’t already have. But, somehow we find more, and bring it home and put it in the museum.
When we travel, we take Spiderman with us too. Well, if you have to have a bag, why shouldn’t it be a Spiderman bag?
Then, sometimes, we find things that are clearly not right. Like this Spiderman Superman lighter, and these Spidey Pidey gloves. Which, by the way, are for kids. Like the socks. And everything else.
And, before I go, one more Spiderman for you. This has got to be one of the ugliest Spiderman figures I’ve ever seen. It’s even uglier in real life. It’s made of plastic or silicone or something. Very unattractive. But, it’s in the collection – we bought it in Hue, Vietnam.
What do you think of collecting things? Do you collect anything? Is it a waste of time? A waste of money? Would you be comfortable living in a Spiderman museum? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org with photos of your collections and I’ll share them here.