Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Making history

I would not have thought it possible, yet it is so.

Alex found a bunch of photos at his parents' house that were just sitting in a box deteriorating, so he brought them home. Then he went out and bought a photo album. Isn't that nice?

Carrying this through to its logical outcome, today he said, "You have much better taste than I do. Could you maybe put them in the album for me?" And what could I say? There is no denying the truth of his argument. I gave a vague 'yes' and carried on reading blogs.

Then he went out. While out, he called, as is his wont, every time any little thing occurred to him that might need to be mentioned, remembered, attended to, etc.

(At one point I mentioned we had received a response to an E-mail we sent to a potential client two hours prior and, when he started to direct me to a map in his office that one might scan and [etc...], I was obliged to remind him [delicately] that he no longer lives 2000 miles away and that maybe, just maybe, he could look for the map when he got home later this evening.)

On one of his calls, he wanted to know if I was going to help him with the album, meaning of course, "have you started yet?"

Now, people. In my world, a photo album is a dedicated weekend-long project at the very least, and that's just if you're pretty much up to date to begin with. I officially renounced feeling guilty about letting mine go when I started keeping this blog and photo albums are no longer an ongoing part of my consciousness.

I had looked through the various stacks and envelopes of photos earlier in the day and started making piles, but the table wasn't big enough for the piles.

But when he asked about it on the phone, I had this flash of insight. He's asking me to do it the way he would do it. This is a task of an entirely different order of magnitude. It is, in fact, an entirely manageable one. Potentially.

With my Alex-tinted glasses firmly in place, I went back down to the table. Suddenly, black and white and sepia go in the same pile. It was a matter of mere minutes to separate the photos into chronological order (ish).

The album is one of those Peel, Stick and Smooth kinds. Still a little punchy from the "Tone it Down to Good Enough" revelation, I begin to peel, stick and smooth. Nary a photo was trimmed. (They're not mine to cut apart, after all...) Labels? We don't need no stinkin' labels. The creativity is reigned in to the occasional diagonally-positioned photo (and I suspect the eventual viewers will, by and large, assume the adhesive has slipped.)

Freeing, that's what it was. I had 35 years' worth of photos in the album before he got home with the kids.

Of course, when he did get home with the kids (and once they were hustled into pajamas and bed, it being an hour past bedtime), he suddenly remembered these other pictures he had in this other drawer over here and, looking through the album, 'those ones are actually mine, can we just pull them out?'

I would like to assure you that I remained serene while removing three pages' worth of photos and explaining why we aren't going to be able to just stick those new ones in where the others were. But I suppose serene would perhaps not be the most accurate of adjectives. No, perhaps not serene. But reasonable! I was reasonable!

Then he poured me a drink and I was more reasonable still.

4 comments:

Dad September 20, 2006 5:15 AM  

Knowing our family's history - meaning, in this case, The Official Way To Do Albums - Mom and I got a real chuckle out of this!

We do tend to get stuck in a this-is-how-it's-done mode. At least I do. To move beyond that once in a while can be fun and liberating.

And to reach a level of "do it like (someone else) would do it" takes insight, not to mention generosity.

Dad

lisa September 20, 2006 8:03 PM  

I had a run-in with this myself with wedding photos. We had ALL these wedding photos from different sources, and my intention was, of course, to...someday...make a beautiful wedding album. Which of course, is a dedicated weekend-long (at least) project, plus involves picking out just the right book and possibly reprints and/or enlargements. Needless to say, two years later....Anyhoo. So I had gotten this photo album as a wedding gift, of the sort that I would never use, because it was the kind with plastic slots that you just slip the photos into, leaving no room for cropping, enlarging, labeling, not to mention you have to look at vertical pictures sideways. But then I just thought, you know, as a temporary measure, that I could just kind of put a bunch of the photos in there. For storage, really. It really was easy. And freeing! And realistically, at this point, it's kind of nice to have. Seeing as the wedding album in my imagination is not exactly on the short list of To-Dos.

meredith September 21, 2006 10:05 AM  

What a fine example of the relationship between husbands and wives or men and women and how very strong of you to have remained reasonable. I think I lose my reasonable just a tad earlier than you!

juliloquy September 21, 2006 7:54 PM  

Spouse-tinted glasses--why haven't I thought of that!? Although I think that has happened with my outlook on housework without me realizing it.

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