The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 8, 2013

Mike Pound: Scrapbooking creates unpleasant memories

By Mike Pound

— This weekend, scrapbooking commenced.

Our 15-year-old daughter, Emma, and I knew it was going to happen sooner or later, we just hoped it would have been later. But I suppose it’s best to get the scrapbooking started as soon as possible to avoid the lingering dread. It’s sort of like ripping a Band-Aid off all at once rather than pulling it off a bit at a time.

The only problem with that theory is that when you rip a Band-Aid off all at once, the pain is over fairly quickly.

When my wife starts a scrapbooking project, we suffer for weeks.

Actually, our scrapbooking nightmare began long before this weekend. The nightmare began even before we took our vacation.

I even heard from some of my wife’s scrapbook friends, who said that beginning a scrapbook before taking a vacation was a “bit strange.”

So, two weeks ago, with our vacation already planned, scrapbook-wise, we set out on our trip. It was a process my wife felt the need to document in its entirety, which is why there are pictures of me driving to Kansas City, pictures of Emma and me getting our bags out of our car at the airport, pictures of — and I swear this is true — our parking space at the airport and pictures of Emma and me waiting for the airport shuttle.

There are pictures of me checking the big airport board to make sure our flight was on time. There are pictures of Emma and me boarding our plane, pictures of Emma asleep on the plane and even pictures of the meal they served us on our flight to London.

And not just any pictures.

My wife insisted on taking a picture of my meal before I took the plastic wrap off and after I took the plastic wrap off.

That’s right ... my wife took before-and-after pictures of airline food.

I’m guessing my wife took approximately 112,345,493 pictures during our vacation, which meant, of course, that when we got back my wife had to go through them before printing them off. Well, that’s what I would have done, but I am not my wife. What my wife decided to do was print off all of our vacation photos and then go through them.

“There is not a scrapbook in the world large enough to hold all of those pictures,” I told my wife.

“There aren’t all going in the scrapbook,” my wife said. “What I don’t use in the scrapbook will go in a photo album.”

“I see,” I said, even though I didn’t see.

To me, a photo album is pretty much the same thing as a scrapbook. They both have pictures in them, they both are in book form and, when finished, they will both be put on a shelf somewhere and never seen again.

My wife disagrees.

“A photo album just has photos. A scrapbook has memories,” my wife said.

“I see,” I said, even though I still didn’t see.

One problem my wife encountered with her scrapbook project is the fact that the itinerary for our vacation changed slightly. Even though the changes in our itinerary were slight, they created huge problems for my wife because she laid out the scrapbook based on the original itinerary.

“Now I have to change everything,” my wife said.

“I see,” I said even though … well … you know.

Sunday night, my wife pointed to the mounds of photos and loose scrapbook pages that were scattered all over our kitchen counter.

“Is it OK if these stay here for a couple of days?” my wife asked.

I started to tell my wife that I thought the scrapbook debris would probably still be scattered on our kitchen counter for a couple of months but she wasn’t paying attention to me.

She was busy taking pictures of the pictures.

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