Karen Rivers

on web design.

Karen Rivers

When Elana and I sat down to redesign this space, I pictured something white and clean.  "White" and "clean" are words that sounded terrific to non-webdesigner me.  Crisp and elegant and ...  retro!  Somehow both understated and wickedly stylish at the same time!

Elana was understandably thrilled with this suggestion.   A white, clean site!  

But, wait, wouldn't that be a ... "blank page"?

So I thought about ... other stuff.

Then (after a lot of thinking about unrelated things, such as my current hairstyle and whether or not I should clean out my filthy car), I thought, "Roller skates".  



And there it was, in my head, an image of old skool roller skates and stripey knee socks and Abba's double album being played on a red plastic portable record player from Sears.

And then I thought about polaroid pictures.

And my favourite outfit from when I was seven years old, which was a pair of bell bottoms with big stars embroidered on the back pockets, paired with a gypsy shirt.   And how I remember that outfit so clearly and I remember how happy I was when I wore it and then that other outfit with the shiny blue shorts that went with the striped kneesocks that went with the roller skates that I stumbled around in on the street in front of the house where my parents still live.

Then I got all sentimental and weepy about THE PASSAGE OF TIME!   IT GOES SO FAST!   EVERY!  YEAR!   GOES!   BY!  FASTER!   THAN!  THE! LAST!   AND!  ONE!  DAY!   MY!   KIDS!   WILL!  BE!   OLD!   

Then I called Elana and I said, "1970".

Actually, I didn't call her, I e-mailed her a much longer explanation, but that doesn't sound as good in the narrative.   In my made-up memory of this event, I was much more efficient than I am in real life, when what I actually did was mock up a site on iWeb and spend six hours finding the perfect perfect perfect 1970s-style font while sitting in Starbucks and actively NOT writing the book I need desperately to be writing which will be coming out in the spring but if I think about that too much I have to stop typing and start breathing into a paper bag and I don't even have any paper bags right now so you can see the problem and how it escalates into a full-fledged panic attack.  

So that's the story.    The story of this website, at least.    Not the WHOLE story, by any means.


Later that same day, and this part is actually true, I went upstairs to kiss my son (The Bun) goodnight and his dad had been reading him Robert Munsch's rip-your-heart-out-of-your-chest-and-stomp-on-it-classic, "Love You Forever", which -- as you know -- is all about the passage of time and try as I might, I am totally unable to even get past the part where the kid throws his mum's watch in the toilet before I start crying and I DON'T EVEN WEAR A WATCH.   So I tucked him in and he was gloating about how Daddy can read the ENTIRE BOOK without having to start doing that hideous hiccoughing sobbing that Mummy does when she reads it and isn't Daddy amazing and so I said, "Yes, but when I'm OLD, will you carry me up the stairs like the boy in the story?   Will you promise me?"   And I was nearly weeping AGAIN because there is seriously something wrong with me vis a vis THE DAMN PASSAGE OF TIME and he said -- and I swear I do not make these things up for your amusement or even for my own -- he said, "Mummy!   Good news!   I won't have to!  Because I can just buy you an EZ Lift!"   

That's when I decided that for sure he was watching too much TV and he'd never be allowed to again because it's really hard to get weepy and sentimental about being an old woman being toted up the stairs by her adult man-child when he's already saving his allowance to buy me a chair-lift for the stairs so he won't have to bother.      

On the plus side, the only thing I go upstairs for is to make the kids' beds and tuck them in so probably when I'm very very very old, I won't need to go upstairs anyway so he'll be off the hook.