Column: Mrs. Tom Cruise is a scrapbook addict, too

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Dear Katie Holmes,

Finally! You and I have something in common, other than Ohio born and bred.

If your home and mine were on the light spectrum, I’d be somewhere in the red and you’d be way off into the invisible blue; and while my husband starred in community theatre productions, he’s never been in a movie, much less headlined, produced, and promoted a multi-million-dollar blockbuster.

Yes, there are many ways in which we are different. I’m in my early 50s, you’re 30. I’m not tall, thin, and lithesome like you are. I don’t have a nanny, cook, or staff to manage my home. I am my own staff, cook, and child caregiver. You’re starring on Broadway. I played character roles in high school and for an overseas theatre guild’s stage productions.

You have short, dark hair. I have medium-length blondish-brown hair (thank you, Miss Clairol). You have one daughter. I have two and three grandchildren. However, my middle granddaughter has the same middle name—Noelle.

But we share an artistic passion. We’re sisters in paper and scissors. We’re scrapbookers.

Imagine how happy I was to discover—via a late-night talk show and blogs on the Internet—that you, too, have fallen prey to a creative addiction. Strange as it may sound to the uninitiated, I also have a room in my home dedicated to scrapbooking. When our second daughter moved out and into her own apartment, I took the opportunity to turn her former bedroom into a craft room, which is now filled with boxes and shelves lined with paper-crafting supplies.

While the pundits and television hosts scoff at a scrapbooking room, you and I both know what it means to us. It is our refuge, our sanctuary from a world filled with agents and paparazzi. Wait, that’s your world. My room is a refuge from, hmmm…the dishes languishing in the sink? Dust bunnies playing tag in the hallway? Myriad science experiments percolating in the fridge? Yup, that’s my world.

Our scrapbooking rooms are no different than someone’s home woodworking shop or a space filled to the rafters with fabric and thread. Katie, you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? We need a good home for all of our little embellishments and thingamajigs; otherwise we’ll forget what we’ve bought and buy them all over again (not that that’s a bad thing, as you well know).

Well, I imagine your room is probably a little bigger than my 8×10-foot space, and I’m pretty sure you have all of the latest gadgets and gizmos, the whole rainbow of cardstock (probably in every finish) at your immediate disposal, and every tape runner on the market, but deep down we’re still the same.

We all get glitter on our faces and adhesive where we don’t want it. I bet the thought of a 40-percent-off coupon or half-off on all 3-D stickers makes you salivate, just like the rest of us.

Oh, Katie, it gives me such comfort to know you know what I know. I’d like to think that, at the end of the day, you get just as frustrated with a picture mat cut at an awkward angle or having only three magenta mini brads when you need four. Do you race to your mailbox at the beginning of the month with wild anticipation of the latest edition of all of the scrapbooking magazines to which you subscribe?

I’m more of a Chai-drinking, magazine-reading regular around the first of the month at a local Barnes and Noble. I imagine it would be rather difficult for you, even with oversize Chanel sunglasses and a baggy Ralph Lauren sweatshirt, to sit in a Starbucks at a bookstore and casually leaf through a craft magazine.

Tell you what, Katie. Sneak away from your Hollywood compound and Broadway obligations and spend a little time in central Ohio, away from the maddening crowds, and join our monthly card swap. We’ll make sure there’s a bottle of Perrier in the fridge, but bring your own chocolate.

Best regards.  —Linda 

Linda Dillman is a Messenger staff writer.

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