Saturday, June 16, 2007

The unexpected hell of scrapbooking

I don't know why I never realized before that, in taking on scrapbooking as a hobby (an unlikely one for me), I would be setting myself up for a project that Will. Never. End.

It will never end! It's like....herpes. Or Count Dracula. It will just go on and on until someday I get up the courage to arm myself with a crucifix -- there are plenty of those around here; eight on the walls at last count -- and a pointy stick and jam it through the cover of our family book while uttering a heroic cry.

I happened to mention this yesterday at a 4-H meeting to my Other Friend Katie, and she looked at me and giggled. "No, it doesn't end. But just think: When the girls get in college, it will slow down a lot. And by then, they may have even started their own books. But then there will wedding scrapbooks that you'll want to do," she continued thoughtfully. "Oh! And grandchildren! You'll want to do scrapbooks about your grandchildren, of course."

I gazed at her in helpless terror, like a deer transfixed by the headlights of an oncoming semi. If Katie decides to get a job after her youngest goes off to college, I'm sure they've got a place for her as a prison guard at Guantanamo Bay. "Katie, Aisling is only going to be a sixth grader next year. A sixth grader! How can I keep up this pace of making charming, adorable and memorable pages to document our family's story FOR THE NEXT SIX YEARS??!!"

"Oh, you'll just fall far, far behind and then feel like a guilty failure," said Katie with a knowing smile.

Why does she take such pleasure in torturing me? I don't take well to feeling like a guilty failure. It puts me right off my sleep at night. And the idea of undertaking a project and then falling farther and farther behind...weeks behind, months behind, years behind...that's the kind of thing that will make my eyes jam themselves open for nights on end.

My only hope, I realize, lies in the thought that maybe scrapbooking is just a fad, like poodle skirts or Beanie Babies. Maybe after a time, all the hobby places and scrapbooking stores will close down and make way for some new craze that has an actual beginning and an end, like tire rotation. Maybe a time will come when I'll be able to say regretfully to the girls, "Gee, I really wanted to continue working with our family album, but it's impossible to get those things anymore...what are they called? Cameras? And, you know, paper? You just can't find it anywhere these days. I know! It's such a disappointment!"

Oh, I am doomed. Doomed.

1 comment:

Kbg said...

Oh, Shell, you just have to lighten up on this! Just do what you can do. Not every page has to be architecture...none of mine are...all mine consist of just the photos, the memorabilia, and my wonderful words...that's pretty much it! Just write down your thoughts and tell the story...in the long run that is all they are interested in anyway. You can do a beautiful page with tons of fancy stuff, and still the first thing out of that child's mouth will be, "Oh, that's nice, Mom...but what did you write? I want to hear what you wrote about it all!" That's all they care about...the memory of what they did and saw and the thought that someone (you) would take the time to preserve that for them. Go with that...it makes it all much easier. I write on whatever scrap or napkin I can find at the time and then put that in the album sometimes...write wherever you are inspired! Don't give up...just simplify! There is magic and charm in doing it this way...believe me!