I don't know how many Hawaiian (aloha) shirts I have. A lot — I can say that. Enough that I can always look like a tourist even in my own neighborhood. I've been accumulating them for about ten years.
I don't even look that good in Hawaiian shirts. There are some people who just ought to wear solid colors and avoid bright colors and busy prints, and I am one of them. It's not just Buddhist egolessness. Even when I'm at my ideal weight (which I'm certainly not), I'm a fairly large guy, and a Hawaiian shirt makes me look — well, like that beefy second-string cop on 'Miami Vice' who always wore Hawaiian shirts.
Or like 'Ski' Jablonski, the eccentric sidekick of ninja/special forces/crimefighter Raven from early 90's TV. (photo courtesy obscuretvsidekicks.com)
Do you know who this is? Look closely.
It's Lee Majors. Lee Majors!! I mean, good god, if a Hawaiian shirt makes the Six Million Dollar Man look like a dope, what chance do I have?
Nonetheless, I have this attachment to Hawaiian shirts — and an attachment is absolutely what it is.
I have a long history, as well, of accumulating more of certain things than any human being needs. When I had to wear business clothes to work, I had about 100 neckties at one point, and probably thirty pair of suspenders (or braces, as they were more commonly known back then).
I remember one time masking tape was on sale at the hardware store and I bought about twenty rolls. That was in about 1987, and my ex probably still has two-thirds of them.
So here I am with this pile of Hawaiian shirts, and a few more on the way via amazon.com. I will stop buying now because I've run out of room to hang them.
But what is with this need to acquire stuff like this?
I've talked so much about non-attachment some have suspected I'm attached to non-attachment. And Buddhist teachers say such a thing can happen. But every time I've unloaded some attachment from my life, I've felt better after having done it, as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Even so, I have difficulty freeing myself of remaining attachments.
There is some sort of false sense of security or well-being that comes from having large amounts of certain things. Even though that feeling is more than offset by the annoyance of being buried under all the material stuff, these have been difficult attachments (or neuroses, perhaps) to overcome.
I need to have someone put me in a coma — under medical supervision, of course — while a team of trained experts gets rid of my accumulated crap.