Collection InterventionEpisodes

Thinking Outside the Boxes
Season 1 - Episode 103
Thinking Outside the Boxes
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Gearing up for a wedding can be stressful, so no one needs the added strain of finding a place for 120 boxes full of comic books, but that's exactly what the newly-engaged couple, Joe and Rebekah, wrestle with before Elyse shows up. Rebekah wants Joe to keep the really essential books – the ones that pulled him through very dark times – but she's hoping he'll see how important it is to her to have a living space that truly feels like her home.

Elyse sees that Joe has no comics from either the Golden or Silver Ages of comics – the two periods of the most collectible books – and tells him that most of what he has will do little to appreciate in the future. Joe counters by saying that the collection is him, and each book represents a specific moment in his life and his development as a man. Elyse respects this, and Joe respects his wife, so Elyse lets Rebekah do the final persuading on this point. Soon, they agree to sell a few boxes.

But when Joe sees that Elyse has arranged a booth at a book fair, he hits the brakes. He doesn't want the masses pawing through his collection, he wants a connoisseur appraising the goods. Elyse manages to cool the fire by bringing by one of Joe's heroes, James Robinson, author of "Starman" and "Green Lantern", who warns against obsession. Elyse then brings Joe to a comic store where the owner offers a trade – 2000 of Joe's contemporary comics for a single Silver Age book. It's a big move, and both Elyse and Rebekah want to make sure he's okay with it. Joe agrees, and as time goes on, he trades almost half of his collection and makes space for his new life.

Collecting can sometimes take on other guises, as with Dahveed mixing his love of Transformers toys with his business, Toy Hell. Dahveed blurs the line between his collection and his inventory, often holding on to toys longer than advisable, eating into his profits and forcing him to be financially dependent on his parents. Even after investing in a booth at a toy convention, he stocks it with the minimum amount of merchandise. Elyse takes him to task for not selling some of the pieces they discussed.

Dahveed has an excellent store of first generation toys, and Elyse is keen that he should hold on to those highly valuable, appreciating pieces, but since his condo is jammed, floor to ceiling, with boxes of toys, she presses him to let go of more than is comfortable for him. He's unyielding, so she asks a therapist specializing in mindsets such as Dahveed's to talk to him. He tells the therapist that, as a very sick child, he retreated into Transformers, and they made him feel strong. The therapist assures Dahveed that he no longer has to rely on these objects for strength, and with this help, he's able to let go of more of his inventory. He goes on to sell nearly $5,000 worth of merchandise at the convention. If he keeps this up, he may not have to ask his parents for money ever again.

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