Do people still scrapbook? Or has that craze died down? I can’t think of any nearby craft stores that cater to scrapbooking aficionados, and yet there used to be one on every corner. (Although, to be fair, as a rabid non-scrapbooker, I’m not exactly looking for them.)
I bet if we gathered up all the scrapbooks created in the first few years of this millennium and put them in one enormous pile, we’d have a mountain of lies so high we’d need anti-gravity boots to stand at the top.
I’m not saying that scrapbooks are 100% bullshit.
I’m just saying they don’t tell the whole truth.
Consider just how many pages in your scrapbook are dedicated to momentous occasions such as these:
The first time your child shit his pants in public. Add a bonus page if they had diarrhea. (Let’s be realistic though, if your child shit his pants in public, it probably was due to diarrhea.) Don’t forget the glitter on this page. You can’t use too much glitter on the diarrhea page.
The perp walk. Document the fateful day that your kid decided that you saying “no” to candy at the drugstore didn’t mean they couldn’t still have those gummy bears. Did you get a picture of your child apologizing to the clerk for stealing? If so, when you create the page, cut out prison bars from construction paper to glue over the picture.
Your budding artist. Memorialize your child’s cave art by taking photos of the many walls it covers; after all, each scribble tells a story from his or her little Jackson Pollock brain. The pictures will also remind you of how hard you’ve scrubbed, how often you’ve cursed, and how many times you’ve repainted your home.
Broken shit. A “broken shit” collage can include photographs of items such as cracked furniture legs, busted television remotes, and assorted toy vehicle parts. Include pictures of holes in the wall, fire damage, water stains, and destroyed appliances.
The imaginary friend. Don’t forget to dedicate a page in your scrapbook to your kid’s creepy imaginary friend. Seriously. And don’t mess this one up, or you’ll be going through your scrapbook one day only to find that all of the pictures of you have black X’s scratched over the eyeballs.
Hormones and hate. Dedicate this page to the first time your teenager screamed at you: “You are such a BITCH!” Try using some clashing patterns on this page to make it really pop.
“Happy” holidays. A special holiday page can include the Thanksgiving when your daughter announced that she identified as Wiccan just moments after your ultra-conservative father said grace. Be sure to include the candid shot you got of Aunt Gert making the sign of the cross.
Parent/teacher conferences. Reserve this page for the time you found out your little snowflake not only hadn’t been turning in his work, but was also the one wiping boogers in all the other kids’ cubbies. This page just screams for layered stencil work, with some peek-a-boo elements.
The first time you ruin your child’s life. You will probably ruin it more than once, but there is something special about that first time. Best to go ahead and decide on a color scheme and title for this page in advance. You won’t know for sure when it will happen, but no worries, your child will let you know. Loudly. Create tension by letting pictures and cutouts bleed off the edges of the page.
The day that you never got out of your pajamas or brushed your teeth. Dinner consisted of beef stew from a can, and white bread. You spent hours on the phone with your best friend from college. Every time your husband walked by, you flipped him off behind his back, then complained to your friend about how busy you were when all you wanted to do was sit down and catch up on Mad Men. And by Mad Men you meant The Bachelorette. This is a memory you definitely want to preserve. Maybe include a picture of you and your friend from your college days. Try to not warp the picture with your tears.
My suggestion to you is to take a look at your scrapbooks and decide if they will leave an accurate picture of your lives. Or has scrapbooking gone the way of vagina steaming?
This original piece by Michelle Poston Combs was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © depositphotos.com/xload.