Scrapbooking parties a thing of the past?

Since 30th December 2000, we have had scrapbooking parties, me and my friends. It started out at this Kerstin’s house because she had been doing it for years and she has chronic fatigue disorder so she preferred to have it at her house. We were quite a large group then and became die hards. We met once a month, on a Saturday, at her house from 15:00 till one was too tired. Then it started to become a burden for her to always stand and cook, so it was decided that we would take turn to cook, but bring the food to her house. I disliked this since I don’t have many recipes for cold food and to stand and cook in someone else’s kitchen where you can’t find things… I was not the only one that objected and more and more people started objecting to that they never got to stay home and host the party. It’s not fun to drive home tired every time. Sometimes it would be nice to just dive in to bed as soon as it is over, was our reasoning. So, we started a rotating schedule. One person would host one month, the one of their choice, another one would offer to have it the next and so on. It worked fine till about when Kerstin started to have grandchildren. Then she started objecting to having it on Saturday evenings, when she wants to be with her children and husband. I am with my children every day, every week and don’t understand why it would be considered a sacrifice to be with girlfriends once a month? My family loves it when I go to scrapbooking. They get to have tacos, see a film, stay up late, no nagging mother. And I come home a much happier mother with re-charged batteries. I wonder if something is wrong with me since the others do not agree. True. The diehards have moved away, except Kerstin. But she has all grown children now, T. points out, and wants to fill her boring days with something. Her idea for scrapbooking is to meet during the day on a weekday instead. She has been sick retired for years so she doesn’t work like many of the others. So she is ruling them out. We would only be three people that could come. And I can not really come can I? What is the point of me driving out to her at 8:50, arriving 9:30 and then leaving 10:40 to fetch “Sparky” at 11:20? You can’t even get one page done in that amount of time and you certainly can’t relax. She suggested that I host instead and go off to fetch him at 11:15, and them staying alone in my house for those minutes. But then we would have him running around.

Saturday, I was at scrapbooking. Kerstin decided to be with her daughter instead but four (including me) of the regulars were there and three I have never met before. One Swedish and two French. So with one American present as well, the table sounded like the tower of Babel. Fun! But when the “unusual” guests had left, the four of us regulars stood and discussed next scrapbooking. I went to the loo first, so I missed part of the conversation but what the three of them came up with was, meeting on Saturday mornings instead. At 10:00 and go on to 12:00. I kept my mouth closed. Saturday is the only day that I can stay in bed longer than 6:30.  Saturday morning in our house starts with sorting laundry, starting the first machine and then start cleaning. If something needs to be purchased, we have to be off to town soon thereafter, since most shops close at 14:00. If I was to head off to scrapbooking at 9:20, guess how much laundry would get done that day? And guess what the house would look like when I got home? And who wants to do all those things in the afternoon and evening when it is finally time to unwind and relax. Sorry! This plan is even worse than Kerstin’s. I am not driving for half an hour anywhere, to just stay for two hours and then be kicked out so that the hostess can be with her family. I don’t see the point in packing together all my scrapbooking things for that, for planning pages ahead and most of all, I do not see the point in wasting the petrol. This all just means, that they can count me out. I have declined the weekday scrapbooking meetings already and I am certainly declining this latest scheme. So, I will sit here isolated all week, surrounded by my children (that I of course love dearly) and then spend all weekends with them as well. No breather at all. No time to myself ever. It feels very sad. I miss Tiffany and Annika so much. They knew what it means to need time to oneself. They were always up for scrapbooking and getting away from home, for an evening. The sad thing is that it’s never been forced on anyone to stay till late. Kerstin changed our beginning time too 14:00, so people would go home earlier. I never make it till 15:00! But people can go home when they want to!!! I just draw the conclusion that my needs are not other people’s needs. But then I recall what all my doctors have asked me: “You do see to that you get some time to yourself don’t you? It’s important!”. Well, previously I have told them that I go to scrapbooking once a month but now I will probably have to answer: “No! I have no time to myself at all!”.  It feels so sad to give this all up. It’s been a routine for 12 years. But to be honest, the last two years we have not met EVERY month since most of the others are too busy. I am so very tired every day that I have not scrapbooked since Serena Rose died, more than AT the parties. I used to sit from 20:00-22:00 or 23:00, every night, here at home, scrapbooking. Having the TV on, the children in bed. That was my time. But not so any more. I can’t stay awake till 20:00. I go to bed and only the three youngest are in bed by 20:00 now. So, what to do? I miss the old days!



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2 responses to “Scrapbooking parties a thing of the past?

  1. Going to scrapbooking has always been such an exciting thing for me. I am stuck in a small village all week and hardly see or speak to a single grown up. I am not really a social person and can not live up to the demands of a best friend for example. I am not the sort of person that wants to meet up at a café and sit and chat while my children are in school or pre-school. For years I have been too tired to do something like that, if I ever really did! Most my life has been about musts. So when I MUST not do something, I like to rest. Going to scrapbooking has forced me to get out of my shell somewhat. The group are people that I know, so I don’t have to sit being shy and quiet. And the group is so small that I dare to voice my opinion if it is something that I have feelings about. Very soon, I also discovered that it’s not what gets done in that evening that matters. It is eating together, relaxing and not having to worry about what is going on at home, but most of all, getting to talk to adults. I really mean that I come home a happier person and with re-charged batteries. To have this to look forward to, means keeping my sanity. But it seems like I am the only one that feels this way. I guess all the others get what they need elsewhere? Lucky them!
    I know what you mean about not knowing what to bring. What I do, is planning a couple of pages to make. Paper, cardstock, everything in detail so that those things are the only things that have to come with and the tools. Often I have an idea in my head and to make sure I don’t forget it, I draw a little simple sketch. But not all the time. I couldn’t bring all my things. Nor can I concentrate on planning a page when everyone is talking around me.
    It is nice to have it at home in one way but I have such a low self-esteem when it comes to cooking. I worry for weeks about what to cook and worry that noone will like it. Some of the others are so good at cooking and even with the help of T. I have a difficult time. Two people are vegetarian, one is lactose intolerant and one is basically allergic to almost everything fun. And then there is myself with all the things that I can not eat because of my gall problems. It makes cooking very limited, too limited for my already limited skills. I hate cooking and then it really becomes a heavy chore to hostess the scrapbooking. (Desserts and baking not included in the above statements.)
    What we have been doing for a while is spread the cost or the “chore” feeling a little bit. Someone takes it upon her to bring bread, someone salad, someone drinks, someone dessert, but the hostess always ends up with the main dish of course. And it is the main dish that causes me problems!!! I totally lack the imagination when it comes to food.
    We’ll just have to see what happens with our monthly meetings. If someone sends an invitation for a weekday OR a Saturday morning this month or next, I will kindly decline it. I am all decided that neither is something for me. Both would mean that I would have to sacrifice a lot. Fatigue so I could not take care of my children in the afternoon OR loss of money and having to clean and do laundry at some other time. When I get zero help. The laundry has to be done before Monday morning when lots of things are needed. I am not going to use the Sabbath day to do chores that ought to have been done Saturday mornings!
    I do hope something works out as well.

  2. that is a shame! I love traditions and regularity. I am disappointed for you. Your group should take everyone’s needs into consideration. I dont think a weekday would work at all for you, with your hectic schedule and I agree with you about Saturday mornings. Only 2 hours! You are right, it’s not worth the petrol and hassle, not to mention giving up your one day a week to sleep in. But how sad to not have a monthly scrap night. You are the one that inspired me to start my own monthly scrap night. We have been meeting since July 2011 and we missed the month of Dec and unfortunately the past 2 months. It is only me girls, a friend, her mum and my mum but we have a nice time. We were taking turns hosting, but I like when I have it, because I have so much stuff and dont know what to take. We meet the 4th Sat evening, but we will change it if most of us cant make it. We are flexible We have only snacks, because we start and 6 or 7 PM, but some cooked food would be nice. I would love for you to join our little group. LOL! Perhaps you can see if some other gals prefer to keep it Sat nights, or even find new scrappers? Do you like hosting? Im sure it is much more enjoyable when you can get out for an evening. I hope something will work out for you,

    Cynthia from PA, in the USA