1/30/2023 | By Amy Dickinson

A grandmom is suspicious of her granddaughters eyeing her Beanie Baby collection. Or is grandmom simply more enamored of her collectibles than her granddaughters? See what advice columnist Amy Dickinson has to say in this edition of “Ask Amy.”

Dear Amy:

I am a retired woman living in the Northern U.S.

I find joy in the simple things in life: taking walks around my property and collecting things like Beanie Babies, some of which are rather valuable.

This is where the problem lies.

I have two granddaughters, both in their late teens, who come over from time to time whenever their parents force them.

They eye my collection, and instead of seeing simple collectibles, I am afraid that they just see dollar signs.

When their parents first started making them visit me, they were rather reluctant, having an attitude toward me, shutting themselves in my guest room, and burying themselves in their cellphones.

However, when they finally took note of my Beanie Baby collection, things changed.

Now when they visit, they are far more cheerful, engaging me in pleasant conversation and helping me around the house.

One time, they even brought a friend along to look at my collection.

I would like to believe that they are simply maturing in their characters, but a small part of me is afraid that they are only being nice to get at my collection. Amy, I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but am I being too naive?

-Suspicious Grandma

Dear Grandma: 

The whole collectible Beanie Baby phenomenon is either a very weird valuation “bubble” of sorts, or a genuine gold mine – depending on what Beanie Babies you possess and what source you check to determine their value.

Your attitude toward your granddaughters is … less than ideal.

Of course these teens are interested in this collection of yours! Isn’t this something you have in common?

You could connect with them by enlisting their help to research the value of some of these specific toys.

Questions to ask yourself are: Do you view these toys as an investment, with plans to try to sell them someday? Or do you simply enjoy the process of collecting them?

How do you imagine that your granddaughters would “get at” your collection? Do you believe they are hoping that you will give them some of these collectibles, or leave these toys to them after your death? Do you fear that they will be tempted to take them?

beanie baby collection in bed

I suggest that you choose to see your granddaughters as being like the most valuable Beanie Babies in your collection: In pristine condition, complete with their original tags.

If you expressed as much curiosity and interest toward them as you have invested in your collection, then your relationship would be more solid, and you might be closer and more confident about their motives today.

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers – ranging from a woman intent on protecting her beanie baby collection to grandparenting to dating. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

© 2022 by Amy Dickinson

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Amy Dickinson