I am in the market for a scrapbook. Scrapbook, noun: bound book of blank sheets of sturdy paper. I wish to glue down photos, clippings and awards in such an album. "Scrapbooking!" the clerk at the craft supply store said delightedly. "We have several aisles for that."
So now I know: Scrapbook, verb, is quite different from its archaic noun form. Scrapbooking, verb, requires lots of expensive supplies and arcane equipment. There are racks of backing paper, fancy scissors, stickers, glitter, glue and doodads manufactured specifically for members of the scrapbooking sorority, known as "scrappers." All very well, I thought when this was explained to me. I'll just buy a album or two and be on my way before Jeff has a meltdown in the dinosaur-themed aisle.
Alas, no. These new-fangled items have clear mylar sleeves. "But there are no pages. Do you just slide stuff in?" The clerk smiled, "You have to buy the paper." Aha. That explains the wall lined with racks of themed papers. "I don't want that. I am looking for . . . ," I was feeling desperate now. "Like your grandmother has, a bound book with construction paper pages, and a gold string holding it together . . . ." She shook her head sadly, "I scrapbook and I have never seen something like that."
The lady at the Hallmark store had about forty years on the craft store clerk. "I am looking for something I call a 'scrapbook'," I offered tentatively. "Who is it for?" Huh? I could see things were not going to end well here either. Scrapbooking is all about the theme. This dawned on me whil I examined albums of plastic sleeves with Mickey Mouse, wedding bells or sports logos on them. When I rejected all the displayed albums as having the dreaded plastic instead of paper pages, the Hallmark lady snapped, "You will have to make that yourself!"
The young man at Marshall's was much more helpful. "I have just come here in my time machine," I told him. "I am looking for a thing I call 'scrapbook'." "Ooooh, I have seen one," he told me. "It had paper pages with stuff glued on them." Exactly. "We don't have them. Have you tried a craft supply store?"
So I bought two of what Marshall's calls scrapbooks, along with two discounted packs of themed paper. Sure, there are storks with blue banners reading "It's a boy!" but the reverse side is solid gray. Now all I need is rubber cement. Do they still make that?