Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Life Laminated

Virginia Woolf's A Room Of One's Own has become personal.

She was obviously referring to the importance of having a room of one's own to use one's own personal thermal laminator without ridicule by one's own family members.

Okay. She doesn't mention lamination specifically. But in chapter four she writes that "could she have freed her mind from hate and fear and not heaped it with bitterness and resentment, the fire was hot within her."

Fire. Thermal. To me, she might as well have been yelling from the grave "Go forth and thermally laminate!"

My brand-new Scotch TL901 personal thermal laminator is still in it's box when my husband starts.

"Why in the world do we own a laminator?"

First, this is quite the reversal. Usually he's the one making fun of my hesitance toward accepting new technologies. It was two years ... TWO YEARS ... before I learned he had something called a Facebook page. He was sure I wouldn't be interested. Then, last year, I got on Facebook.

"Hey! Look! I'm Friending you!" I yell across the room from my computer to his. "Look, we're Friends. Now ... I ... am ... wait for it ... Married! Hey, wait a minute. Why doesn't your status say Married? Why aren't you Married? ... Oh. Look. Now you're Married. Never mind. You were right. This is going to be fun!"

But now he questions my most recent foray into a high-tech life. My response to him is simple.

What can't I laminate? The possibilities are endless.

Well. That's not true. The possibilities end at a thickness of exactly 3 millimeters. Then things jam up almost immediately. They also end at 8.5 inches by 11 inches. Which is why I still plan to keep a lot of packing tape around. For bigger jobs.

Actually, I'm late coming to the personal lamination party. I've been preserving things in clear packing tape for years. Give me a sturdy shoe box and I can turn it into a personalized storage container with images of my last trip abroad. But inevitably, no matter how careful you are, creases and air bubbles mar the surface. Strands of hair poke out. The postcards and posters I've taped to my kitchen cabinets don't look very ... slick.

Now with my personal thermal laminator I can decorate like a true professional. Nothing can stop my idea of transforming a collage of family photos into a back splash. Except perhaps heat from the oven. That could stop me. Maybe I'll make my personalized coasters first. That's easy. Just wipe that ring of Pinot Noir off my son's face. Guests appreciate these little touches.

And luckily my personal thermal laminator is compact and travels easily. This is important because I plan to bring it on my next trip to see my family in West Virginia.

While my father, a retired steelworker-turned-poet-and-artist, ruined me forever on long division, he did instill a deep love of reading. And Woolf holds RockStar status.

But now he needs me. He needs a lamination intervention. His prolific sketches are taped, stapled, tacked and nailed to the walls throughout their house. All throughout the house. (My father is also a wee bit eccentric. This is a picture I took of him winning at the racetrack.)

On my next visit I will come armed with my portable personal thermal laminator, to not only protect but organize his vast collection of sketches into binders. My father will become a laminate convert. And together will we laminate. Because according to Woolf "we have borne and bred and washed and taught, perhaps to the age of six or seven years" millions and millions of people.

For this we need lamination.

Because that can get really messy.