By Mike Pound
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
About a year ago my wife decided to get into scrapbooking.
Evidently, scrapbooking is big right now. When my wife started, she was working with a lot of other women who were also putting into books things most people would throw away. That’s what scrapbooking is to me, by the way. It’s taking stuff that you should throw away and gluing it into a book that, years later, you will throw away.
My wife tells me that I don’t understand the purpose of scrapbooks.
“They’re to preserve our memories and tell the story of our lives,” she said.
“I’ve seen most of the story of our lives, and so far I’m not impressed,” I said.
My wife told me that making scrapbooks will be a way for her to get rid of the piles of things around our house that she should have thrown away but hasn’t because they tell the story of our lives.
“Before long, all of those things will be in scrapbooks,” my wife said.
“No, they won’t,” I said.
So, a year after getting bit by the scrapbook bug, my wife has produced three or four scrapbooks and created 25 additional piles that she says “have to stay where they are because I’m going to put them in a scrapbook.”
After our March vacation to St. Augustine, Fla., my wife produced two nice scrapbooks about the trip. To create the scrapbooks, my wife found it necessary to take 2,348,873 pictures.
“I want to be able to document the trip,” she would say as she was taking a picture of me coming out of the airport bathroom.
Most of the pictures my wife took are of our 15-year-old daughter Emma and me holding our hands in front of our faces and telling her to stop taking our picture.
It got so bad that Emma and I started referring to my wife as “paparazzi” and eventually got a court order requiring her stay at least 100 yards from us.
We are taking another vacation in the summer, and my wife has already started working on the scrapbook.
“You realize that we haven’t taken that trip yet?” I asked.
“I’m just getting the pages ready so when we get back I just have to drop the pictures in,” my wife said.
Because she asked for it, for my wife’s birthday I got her a scrapbooking machine called a cricket, or a ladybug, or a flea. I’m really not sure what the machine is called, but I remember it was some sort of insect. What I remember most about the scrapbooking machine is that it was expensive.
“Will it take the trip for us so we can stay home?” I asked my wife.
My wife told me to be quiet.
She used the expensive scrapbooking machine to create all sorts of cute vacation-related clip art to stick on the pages of the scrapbook.
One day last week I took a glance at the scrapbook and noticed that my wife had it organized into days and that on the first day she had us walking through the city where we will be staying. The next page had us touring a museum in the same city.
“What if we don’t do those things on that day?” I asked.
“We have to,” my wife said.
“What if we decide to relax around the pool, go to a park or go shopping instead?” I asked.
“We can’t,” my wife said.
According to my wife, we have to do exactly what the scrapbook says we should and we have to do it exactly when it says we should.
“You realize that’s insane,” I said to my wife.
“I don’t care,” my wife said.
Based on that, Emma and I have decided that on this trip we are going to ask that my wife stay 200 yards away from us.
As long as the scrapbook says that’s OK.