Bad wrap


Confession: I suck at wrapping presents.

No, really. I do. I can’t even wrap a square box. I know the sides are straight. I know that folding the paper with the pre-printed gridlines is supposed to be idiot-proof. But apparently it’s not me-proof, because my boxes always end up looking like a Martha Stewart nightmare: ripped on the top side, puffy on the ends, and usually accidentally wrapped upside down, which means I need to destroy another tree and a half in an attempt to get it right. Again.

The Man: “You know, if you ever divorce me, you’ll never have decently wrapped presents in the house.”

It’s partly his fault I’m so bad. He’s so darn organized. Scissors go in the kitchen drawer. Tape goes in the office. Christmas wrap is in a container out in the garage. Na, na, na, na. Me? I keep everything in a pile on the kitchen counter from December 1 onward. It’s easily accessible–and doubles as super-simple holiday decor.

I mean seriously, who doesn’t associate mounds of tape and wrapping paper with the Christmas season?

But the Man put back my avante-garde display (Still Life of Half-Finished Holidays), and now I don’t have the supplies handy when I need them to hold this thing together. I have to walk across the house to the office and get the tape. The Man put away my trusty can-of-beans-turned-paperweight, so I awkwardly tuck the half-wrapped gift under my arm and run to the office, attempting to hold the sides down and not rip anything.

I make it there safely. I get the tape and start to unroll it, but then realize I need the scissors, which are back in the kitchen. Back go I, wrapping paper flying.

This time something does rip. I patch it up with an inexpertly applied name label, which rips it worse. So I hit upon the excellent idea of covering the mess with a bow. But the pre-made bows have disappeared thanks to the machinations of whatever organized person was wrapping presents earlier, so I attempt to fabricate one out of discarded paper. Trash to treasure, right?

Sadly, it doesn’t look like the eco-mags say it should. It looks like something a toddler made. Actually, it looks like something a toddler made and then an elephant sat on it and then a hurricane blew it across the Atlantic.

And the hurricane thing seems apt, because suddenly it is dripping, and then I realize that the tail end of the present accidentally knocked over my leak-proof thermos of tea, which has saturated the one properly-wrapped side of this $@%%$! gift.

Do you know what happens with wet paper? It tears. Soggily. There is now a sagging gash so wide that even a legion of crappy homemade wrapping paper bows can’t help it.

I rescue the damp box from the wrapping paper and, with a sailor mouth that is guaranteeing me a spot on the top of Santa’s naughty list, I crumple up four feet of sodden paper and lousy bows and start over. That is, I try to start over.

Because guess where the paper is? The garage. I think. I can’t remember whether the tape’s still in the office or not. I do have the scissors in hand, and had better put them down before I deliberately damage something. Or someone.

Oh, and the box is wettish, which means I need to dry it off before risking my already-miserable wrapping getting moldy under the tree. I stick the present under my bed and consider wrapping it in a black garbage bag and sticking on a nice red bow.

Actually, that sounds kind of unique. Now where could I find a bow . . .

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