2011-09-22 / General Stories

Scrapbooking For the Insane

I want to put together a scrapbook of our vacation. I have the scrapbook. I have the pictures; 942 of them. The only thing I’m missing is the left side of my brain. Or maybe it’s the right side. Okay, I’m missing the side that helps me think.

This book is something I hope to have for many years and I hope to look at it many times during those years. I want to be able to say “ Look at these beautiful pictures!” not “What moron put this book together? Oh yeah. me.”

Order is the key, I think, but what order? There are so many ways to order them: Chronologically, by place, by person, by color, alphabetically. Out of all of these ways to order the pictures, I know there must be one right way.

I’m sure there are some free spirits who might think that throwing a stack of photographs into the air and placing them in the scrapbook in the order that they fell is a perfectly acceptable way to put a scrapbook together. These people don’t wear matching socks either.

On the other hand, if they have no decisions to make or fashion rules to follow, their life is probably much less stressful than mine.

Oh, to be a free spirit!

Even after I have decided on the order, there are still many other decisions to make. For example, the paper for the background has to be determined. Do I use all the same color for consistency, or do I mix it up?

Although I aspire to be a free spirit one day, throwing all the pictures into the air would still give me a heart attack. Still, a certain amount of chaos in one’s life tends to give one a bit of perspective. That’s why I had children. So, my background paper will most likely be an eclectic mix of stripes and polka dots; not on the same page, of course. That would just be crazy, wouldn’t it?

Neurotic people should never attempt something as complex as a scrapbook. I have seriously considered paying someone to do this, but then, what if they did it wrong? Would I even notice? The real point is, would anyone else notice?

Someday, there may be a scrapbook expert that looks at my book. I will be holding my breath, hoping for a two-thumbs up from this paragon of scrapbook perfection. My fear is that she will smile politely and cringe inside.

Then she will say something inspiring like, “ That’s interesting,” because that’s what you say to people who are barely hanging on to reason.

I do, I really do ask myself why I should care what she will think. Then I realize that talking to myself just means I’m a lunatic as well as neurotic.

So no, I will have to determine what is the right way to do this, and then do it myself.

Okay, so there are worse problems in the world than my scrapbook issues. Having kids was supposed to remedy my perspective on things like this. I can already imagine one of them saying, “You need to get a life, Mom.”

True, but if I had one, what would I do with all the pictures?

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more info.

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