Like every new mother in the late 1990s, I was, upon executing a healthy vaginal delivery of my firstborn, immediately indoctrinated in the Supernal Importance of Scrapbooking. This came as something of a revelation for an old school girl like me, born in the ‘70s with a mother who sewed and canned, but rarely took family photos (too expensive!) and certainly never took scissors to paper to canonize them afterward. A yellowed family photo album, unchronicled and incomplete, housed our family memories back then, and we all thought that was just fine. Until the ‘90s, when Creative Memories–and every Mormon girl I knew–told me I had to start scrapbooking.
(an aside: I am a Mormon Girl, and I love being a Mormon Girl, both of which give me a delicious license to make fun.)
I wish I could draw you a plot graph, my friends, to illustrate how sharply, as the New Scrapbooking Era rose, my Life Satisfaction Level dropped. I was exhausted with a new baby, and was now informed that having her birth certificate and some newborn snapshots in a black photo album on the coffee table wasn’t nearly enough. No, I was told by the Mormon Girls, the pictures needed to be trimmed, clipped, mounted and stacked on three different layers of three different papers (a patterned, a solid, and a thin black cardstock behind it all to achieve, you know, that finished look.) In addition, I learned to fear those sticky, self-adhesive albums that Our Misguided Mothers Had Used for the evil creatures they were: destroyers–no, blasphemers!–of our precious, precious pictures and, by extension, our precious, precious memories. (Pictures and memories had become interchangeable terms, and precious preceded absolutelybloody everything. I’m convinced that Gollum’s real demise began when, long before finding the ring, he’d signed on as a Creative Memories consultant.)
Apparently, my actual memory was no longer a sufficient place to store–well–memories (though I’d always naively assumed otherwise.) Instead,