Last week, I opened a box of family photos and found them hacked to pieces. Heads had been cut off, arms and legs scattered about. It was a veritable massacre. Irreplaceable photos had been lovingly trimmed of their historic settings in order to create a collage of heads.
When I located the culprits - who shall remain nameless except to say they are my daughters - they defended the vandalism as historical preservation.
I would agree if the historian were Jeffery Dahmer. The heads turned up in a book covered with lace and bows, surrounded by captions in a font so hard to read it caused a nosebleed.
Such was my introduction to scrapbooking, a multibillion-dollar industry that pits history and art against each other over the presentation of memories.
On the one hand are the purists, people like me who believe photo cropping is anathema, and on the other, scrapbookers who will crop a fat photo of themselves down to where all you see is a pair of glasses and a nose.
Although a national phenomenon, scrapbooking was an immediate hit in Utah. Long counseled to keep personal journals, Mormons were a ready market for a past correlated with pinking shears and stickers.
The idea behind scrapbooking is to arrange stuff in such a way that people will "ooh" and "ahh" over it years later.
An acceptable sample would be a page featuring a picture of a cheerleader, followed by a caption in Lucida Calligraphy Italic: "Brittney made the cheer squad."
An unacceptable item would be a Ziploc bag containing something resembling a chicken gizzard, with a caption in Medical Prescript: "Results of my biopsy."
Scrapbooking is largely a chick thing. Proof is where you find the supplies for it, typically near the aisles containing fabric, bud vases and needlepoint patterns. You never see scrapbooking stuff over in hardware.
This is not to say that guys do not enjoy collecting memories. It is just that none of the stuff we treasure fits into a scrapbook. Guys are into scrapboxing.
My favorite memory items are the pin from the first grenade I ever threw, military dog tags, bullet casings, a deer antler, a barracuda-gnawed flipper and a seagull beak.
I keep these memories in a Hungry Man frozen dinner box held together by duct tape. The font I chose for writing captions is Magic Marker Scrawl.
Does anyone know how to crop the edges of this stuff so it will fit?