This morning, I discovered that, in the midst of transferring documents in preparation for reformatting my hard drive, I somehow left out the folder that held all of the digital photos from the wedding. The ones from the photographer, our almost-photographer friend, and all the others that friends and family had sent us were sent to their doom in reformatting oblivion. To make matters worse, the carnage included a slideshow from the reception that was I compiled from photos from our childhood, dating relationship, and engagement. I planned on watching with JG for a significant anniversary, but that mood-lit plan faded as the realization took hold.
It was a moment fit for a Homeric “d’oh” and a hefty chorus of “stupid, stupid, stupid!” I clacked away at a frazzled e-mail to JG:
So, I managed to delete all of the wedding photos. And the slideshow! I think we have backups of the photographer’s ones, but everything else is gone. I want to cry.
I was at work, so I couldn’t cry. Instead, my stomach developed a hollow that ached in a nagging, guilt-inducing way. I kept checking throughout the day to see if the folder had magically appeared, but of course, it didn’t. The computer only does what you tell it to do, which is not necessarily what you want it to do. It doesn’t intuit that you’d want to reserve a folder for the rare but significant times that you need some random item out of it. I’m irritated that I retained edited versions of a graphic that I used for the ceremony program but not the spreadsheet with people’s addresses. I am so stupid.
I feel somewhat sheepish that this has upset me so deeply because I wouldn’t assume that a loss of digital pictures would have that effect. The super-pragmatic imp in my brain says reasonably, “It’s not as though you lost something of value, you know. Like your car.” But, protests the rest of me, sentimental value is valuable! I can’t slap a price tag on it, but I’d still guard it carefully. I just didn’t realize that I had to, so I didn’t … now a lot of it is gone. Maybe that’s the point.
Thankfully, JG was understanding about everything and at least we found a backup of the expensive, professional photos, so it’s not all bad. I still feel like an idiot, though.