I had one job to do that day.
If it were your job, you might not have worried at all. In fact, you might be good at this sort of thing, even consider it a challenge…but I was worried.
This job, literally looming before me on the indoor-outdoor carpeting, was to wrap one enormous, unwieldy, huge monolith of a box in order for it to join other gaily dressed boxes at a baby shower. I did not want my box to be embarrassed among the other pretty boxes. This was serious.
I am a terrible gift- wrapper.
Years ago, I lasted but one pre-Christmas day in the wrapping department of Macy’s. Truth be told, I was a fill-in while the others were either gift wrap prodigies or, apparently, had devoted their entire lives to the science of neat corners and hand-tied bows but I soon had tape tape in my hair and was warned to never return.
|I learned to wrap gifts at the famous "Three Stooges Gift Wrapping|
Based on this memory, I should not have been so cavalier about my chore, allowing the hours to tick by until the event was the following day. But, no worries, mate---I had Seth and his freakishly long arms and good nature to help me through it. Read that as do it for me while I sat back with a glass of iced and a cat on my lap.
But, what are the odd--Charlie unexpectedly called to lure Seth up to Massachusetts for a male-bonding weekend and -- poof! -- Seth was gone, leaving nothing but a cereal bowl in the sink and the faint scent of banana in the air.
Now, all alone with the box, I got nervous. I anticipated, quite correctly, that my task would involve bending and lifting which are the two things I hate most in this world…so, I decided to tackle it the evening before in case I hurt myself and needed time to recover. I was glad I’d bought enough paper to wrap the Taj Mahal since I knew there’d be mistakes.
Sometime after midnight and multiple inner pep talks that would have made Dale Carnegie look non-commital, I grabbed my scissors.
The cats gathered and perched on the back of the love seat upon which I’d recently been sprawled when, suddenly, we heard an ominous thump upstairs on the deck. Frozen, the cats and I exchanged fearful looks and shared the thought that on the one stinkin’ night Seth is gone, something scary is happening. And, here we are, with nothing for defense but three rolls of bunny-themed wrapping paper.
The cats scattered as the thumping morphed into the sound of deck furniture being shoved about and even though I soon deduced that my visitor was probably an animal and not the ghost of John Wayne Gacy in his clown suit, I was still shaken up.
|Oh, hey....can I come in?|
I didn’t want to waste my one true emergency call to a neighbor on a raccoon (or even a sasquatch) so, instead, turned off the lights and cowered beneath a crocheted afghan under which I ultimately slept until morning. I woke with the cats around me again – a signal that the danger was over -- and emerged. The threat was gone but the box, still unwrapped, looked even bigger.
Relief , however, propelled me forward. After all, I’d survived with a possible sasquatch rearranging the deck so what’s a box, albeit a gigantic one? Plus, I had to leave for the baby shower very soon.
After coffee and a phone call to Seth recounting my travails, I stood to circle my prey, roll of paper in hand and fire in my bell. Before you knew it, I’d figured it out. My shame as a poor holiday wrapper behind me, I was all about snipping, folding and taping and – boom! – the box was done.
The cats and I took numerous selfies with it until I accidentally tore the paper and had to make a minor repair. The box had nothing to be ashamed of at the party later and I discovered that I had left the tub of bird seed on the deck after filling the feeders and a raccoon (or sasquatch) had chewed through the plastic and done some serious partying during the night. The end.