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I have been mulling over the problem of the scrapbook. I want to make one–they’re a creative outlet, something artful that I can do to occupy myself. I’ve had another subject come to me that I can make a scrapbook out of besides my current relationship: Love is cut-outs.

When I lived in Michigan, the Oakland Press ran a little illustration entitled “Love Is..” They had a couple that looked like the Precious Moments illustrations, a naked man and woman. Each one finished a statement that began with Love Is, will the illustration depicting the sentiment. There were some other male and female characters from time to time to represent friends and family, but mostly it was the man and woman.

I collected at least a couple hundred of them from the newspapers. I waited patiently for my mother and stepfather to go and buy the paper, to finish reading the Entertainment section so I could cut out the Love Is cartoon (and sometimes the Dear Abby column). My stepfather would make himself a coffee with cream and sugar and got to his area in the basement, sitting in his reclineer with his maroon housecoat on, reading the sports section; my mother would be downstairs sitting on the couch reading the obituaries; I had the Entertainment section to myself.

I can’t say why I felt compelled to collect the little sayings. Some of them were corny, and some I didn’t know enough about love to agree or disagree with, but I faithfully set aside each one.

Thinking about this today made me happy, not only because I had something else I could possibly make a scrapbook of, but it recalled a part of myself that I’d almost forgotten about. It recalls the lovesick teenager trying to make sense of the riot of feelings in my body, to express what I thought love was, to find out what other people knew it to be. I didn’t have a lot of knowledgeable people to ask, but the paper was there and waiting to give me a tiny tidbit more everyday. I used to collect things. I used to be interested in love, love of all kinds, even at a young age. I never imagined/planned my wedding; I always thought about what came after. Happily ever after wasn’t descriptive enough for me; what did that entail? The Love Is cartoons were my way of answering the question.

I can add fun facts about love, quotations, song lyrics, and other fun things to jazz it up a bit. It seems like a fun project to undertake. As soon as I can get the supplies, and the Love Is cartoons from my room in Michigan (if my mother hasn’t thrown them out), I can’t wait to begin.