Monday, April 14, 2008

Preserve Your Memories

Today I finished a project I've been promising myself I would do for about two years now. I took all of my old photos (from parties and play dates) along with nametags and keycards from hotels and I put them in a photo album. Back in the days before I had a digital camera, I would take pictures and then trudge to Walgreen's to get them developed. I usually got a picture CD and a set of prints. But knowing that the person who developed the pictures had seen them sort of made uncomfortable. It wasn't until I had a job where one of my duties was one hour photo developing that I realized that they saw everything.
I had no idea what a trip down memory lane this was going to be for me. A lot has changed since the days when I first got into the scene. Because I'm a hoarder (a trait which has driven several people in my life completely crazy) there was a lot there. Most people would consider a nametag or a keycard to be so much garbage and just pitch them. But I kept everything. When Cigi and I moved from our house to an apartment, I had the forethought to round everything up and put them in a big bag so I would have everything in one place. I patted myself on the back for thinking ahead. However, my happiness was shortlived as I realized that somehow, a small amount of moisture had gotten into the bag. The nametags are adhesive on one side and so I spent a stressful hour or so trying to get them unstuck without tearing them. A couple of them have small tears, but I can live with that.
When I completed the task and looked through the album, I became very nostalgic. I looked at the faces of people I probably will never see again (for one reason or another) and I just got very sentimental. It was very unexpected.
Do any of you out there have a place (besides your computer, I mean) where you keep things like photos and momentos of your life in the scene? Having a digital camera helps a lot but since I don't have a scanner and I'm not about to take my memory chip up to Walgreens and have digital prints made (sort of defeats the purpose) unless a friend takes them and wants to give me one, I think my days of having actual paper prints to look at are over. Maybe this is what I'm so sentimental about? Maybe it's the fact that I've allowed technology to rob me of one of my most treasured and enjoyable past times---looking at old photographs. As much as I love the advantages of having a digital camera, I really love old paper prints. They are something tangible that you can hold in your hand, sometimes close to your heart if you're so inclined.
Even if you're not a hoarder like me, memories are hard to hold onto. Especially the kind you can hold in your hand.


Michael said...

Thanks for sharing, Cheryl. I too am a hoarder but I describe it as being sentimental. Many guys won't admit it, but I am a bit of a romantic and not ashamed to say so. I love looking through old photo albums, and still have match books and placecards from weddings and events I've attended. Glad you were able to salvage your nametags. I know some people might not think much of that but I know they are important memories that can never be replaced. It is a shame that technology robs us of some of our intimacy, but that is the price we pay for progress. I hope finishing your project brought back many wonderful memories, and that you enjoy them for a long time to come. :)


Anonymous said...

I have been debating on what to say to this for a few days and still haven't come up with anything good! Cheryl, I just wanted to let you know (even if it sounds corny) that I am glad that you have so many fond memories of your parties and things like that. I hope it was a good experience and it is sad that technology can take away all those paper photos. Hugs to you sweetie.