Friday, April 26, 2013

Retail Therapy

Sorry to interrupt our normally scheduled programing in the middle of an EDH set review, but I have to take a moment to savor this sublime act of aggressive retail therapy.

First a bit of background - and sorry if this sounds like "poor me" white people problems, but my financial situation has been a bit of a nightmare the last few years. First, I had a significant chuck of my Magic collection grow legs and walk off on me, including basically every Foil I owned, every ABUR dual, and probably 75% of my various Ravnica, Shadowmoor, etc dual lands. Oh, and about 10 to 12 Onslaught fetches, including two Foil fetch lands. At the time, it was probably about $5,000 worth of cards. Today those same cards are easily worth twice that. For reference, I had a foil Bribery that was worth about $10 to $15 at that time, but goes for $60 or more now. That's just one example of how the rapid appreciation of Magic cards has made that loss hurt more and more over time, rather than less.

But the single most significant and painful part of losing all those cards was the nice collection of Revised duals I was assembling. I was well over halfway to having a full set of 40 revised duals. Actually a few of them were Unlimited, but whatever. At the time I lost those cards, you could get a Revised Underground Sea for $40. Today they're $150 to $200 a pop.

In the 4 years since that horrible incident, my wife and I bought our first house, and subsequently lost it to foreclosure. We ended up in an apartment, but after a year we couldn't even afford that, and were forced to move in with her parents until we can rebuild our finances and our life. Oh and we've been plagued with near-constant car trouble with both of our cars.

All of that makes this next bit seem ridiculously and utterly reckless, foolish and irresponsible. But, despite the fact that those adjectives are probably fairly accurate, I have just purchased the following set of cards on Ebay:

Yep. That's a full set of 40 Revised dual lands. It has been a dream of mine to own a set like this for almost 10 years. I spent 6 years slowing inching my way toward that goal one land at a time, only to have my progress stripped away and reset back to square zero. It was a huge downer, and for years since I all but resigned myself to never owning another ABUR dual land again.

Recently though, things have begun to change. Good things have started to happen, and even though my wife and I are still deep in a hole, financially, we've been able to start climbing back out of that hole, rather than digging in deeper. Then, a few weeks back, I stumbled on a great deal for a Revised Plateau and Scrubland, picking up both lands for less than the price of just a Scrubland anywhere online. It was the first time in years I felt like reaquiring even a FEW of the original dual lands was within my grasp. It felt good.

Our most recent windfall was learning that we have dodged being on the hook to pay the IRS back an $8,000 tax credit by 18 days. If our mortgage company had processed their foreclosure papers just a little bit faster, we'd have been out that eight grand, but by some miracle, they didn't get it done until 18 days after the cutoff point. On top of that, we also learned that instead of owing a shit ton of money, we were actually getting a sizeable chunck of money back. I won't say how much, but I will tell you that even after the above purchase we still have quite a bit left over. Enough to put a small dent in our debt situation.

I'll be the first to admit, though, that buying Magic cards was a pretty stupid use of that money. We could have done a lot of good, responsible, adult things with that money.

But here's the thing I've learned from both losing that load of Magic cards 4 years ago and both buying and then losing a home. I'm not a responsible, adult person. I am a 32 year old man-child, and I'm perfectly okay with that. Being a homeowner was one of the most miserable and depressing experiences of my life and I cannot being to stress how much relief and happiness I felt the day I learned that the foreclosure was done, and the house was officially not my problem any more.

To sum it up, owning a house did not make me happy. Being it debt doesn't make me happy, but neither does paying off credit card bills. Working my life away to make money, only to have 100% of that money go to bills and car repairs and boring stuff like that doesn't make me happy.

Magic makes me happy.

And since I've spent the last 3 years being miserable, broke, and constantly sacrificing happiness for the sake of being a grown-up adult, with the good luck and windfalls that life has finally sent my way the last few months, well... I feel like life owes me a bit of room to indulge my man-child nature once again. I seriously doubt I will EVER have an opportunity again in this lifetime to just buy 40 Revised Duals all at once. This was literally a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and I took it. And I'm extremely happy that I did.


  1. "I'm not a responsible, adult person. I am a 32 year old man-child, and I'm perfectly okay with that."

    Dude, you'd better be damn sure your wife is okay with that...

    1. LOL, yeah, I did get the green light from the wife before hitting the "buy it" button.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. i hate to be a jerk, but i fear you purchased proxies. Get those lands evaluated at your next local tournament by a judge. bring a jewelers loop so they can check the ink patterns