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About My Jim Carey Collection

September 7, 2014

Jim Carey was a professional ice hockey goal tender between the years 1994 and 1999.

Don’t recognize his name? Even if you’re an NHL fan, I’m not surprised. He was very good at what he did but his fame was short lived and he’s been retired for 15 years.

I can watch ice hockey and I find it preferable to most other sports but I’ve never exactly been a fan by any stretch of the imagination. I do however have an exclusive Jim Carey collection and it has a fairly unusual story.

I’ll start at the beginning.

When I was a teenager my stepfather owned the hockey shop at the local ice rink. That is where he met my Auntie (mother, legal guardian… it’s a long story).

Al was particularly fond of goalies because it is the position that he played in highschool. Though he mostly sharpened skates and sold equipment, he also sold hockey cards in his shop and he personally collected goalie cards.

My Auntie was also massively into ice hockey because she grew up with it. In fact most of the family was extremely pro hockey… except for me because sports are lost on me.

I wasn’t a normal teenager in a lot of ways. I didn’t have little squealy crushes on musicians or celebrities. I wasn’t interested in sports or music or anything specific really. I tried to be but that sort of passion never came naturally to me. My bedroom was not wallpapered in teen magazine girl-faced boys or in band posters… in fact, the only thing I had hanging on my walls was my own artwork and one day my Auntie told me to pick a hockey player. ANY hockey player.

I’m pretty sure it was her way of trying to get me to take an interest in the family sport and make me a little more normal, however my brain just isn’t sports oriented so I resisted … but she insisted and so I picked someone at (almost) random from a pile of hockey cards she was sifting through and that someone happened to be Jim Carey.

So that’s how Jim became my token hockey player and though I still wasn’t interested in him or the sport I did enjoy collecting.

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My collection started when Al got me a signed A4 photo for my birthday. They also gave me every single Jim Carey card they came across as they sifted through entire boxes of hockey cards for the shop and I set up a Jim shrine in my bedroom because being a mischievous teenager, I was trying to unnerve my Auntie. I figured, she started it, so how long would it take for her to decide it had gone too far?

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For the record my juvenile attempt at reverse psychology sooo did not work. 

My cousin even gave me all of his Jim Carey cards and I still have a black and white picture of Jim that he tore out of his beckett for me.

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In addition to the cards and the photo and the beckett picture, I have a signed and framed poster sized photo that would be hanging up in my house if I could get my husband to hang it and last but not least… I have his action figure. Yes, that’s right… I have a little, palm sized Jim Carey of my very own complete with removable helmet and stick and the action figure is the piece of my collection with the most story.

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This action figure was supposed to be a gift to me from my stepfather for making my confirmation. (I was raised Roman Catholic) He bought it well in advance, I knew he had it and it was mine as soon as I stood in front of God and everyone as an adult in the eyes of the church and did my catholic duty. But  just because you’re born to a religion doesn’t mean it’s yours… and catholicism was never for me.

I believe that if you live your life as the best person you can be, you’re on the right path and anyone can be a spiritual, happy and fulfilled person without resigning themselves to any organized religion if that’s what feels correct to them.

So when I was told to participate in a ceremony that I didn’t believe in because it was allegedly a thing I should do, I gave it some thought and chose to instead do the very unpopular thing that felt right to me. I did not go through with my confirmation because in my heart making that sort of commitment to the church would have been a lie and I had to be true to myself. I was told by multiple adults that I would get lots of money and presents if I went through the motions and that only solidified my strong belief that it wasn’t for me.  Bribery and faith aren’t two things that should ever go hand in hand.

Al (who was not even catholic) believed that I should have gone through with it out of respect for my family, so he never gave me that action figure on principle because it was bought as a confirmation present and since I remained unconfirmed I did not get the present.

So for the next 7 years Jim belonged to Al and lived in the same spot on the top of his desk.

In 2005 Al passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. I wanted Jim because Al bought him for me. To me the action figure was the single most important memento of the relationship we shared and the disagreements we had. At some point in the days after he passed I went to claim Jim but to my surprise he wasn’t where he’d been for 7 years. With my aunt’s permission I searched the area inside and around the desk on and off for a day before I gave up.

Jim was lost and I had no idea where he could have possibly gone. No one else would have wanted him. No one had any reason to move him and as it turned out no one had.

Shortly after I gave up looking, he turned up… in his spot just as if he’d never left. The very same spot that I’d had multiple pairs of eyes confirm as empty the previous day. Before he could vanish again I put him in my bag and I took him home. Now he’s in Scotland living on my desk and he will be there for as long as I have a desk for him to live on.

Al was very good at pretending that he had no sense of humor but he could be a hell of a ball buster when he wanted to be.

Especially when no one was looking.

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