The God-Why-Can't-I-Gift-Wrap Blues
To be quite honest, I was going to skip writing this week because, like everyone else in this hemisphere, I have begun to get bogged down in the Christmas thing. And since I have close friends who have the temerity to live on the other coast, I have to shop and send early. The shopping is no problem and I am on close personal terms with UPS. It’s the wrapping that kills me. I cannot wrap presents without thinking of Howard. My brother, and if you’ve been following this blog you’ll know where I’m going with this, my brother was a much better gift wrapper than me.
In fact, I think it’s not too much to say that Howard was a competitive gift wrapper. Even when he wasn’t trying to compete, he was a competitive gift wrapper.
Part of his secret was the paper. Howard, and I’m talking about the poverty years here, had no compunction at all about throwing great quantities of hard-earned, even not-yet-earned money on high-quality wrapping paper. The stuff that you can find only in the most precious, hand-made-paper store in all of Greenwich Village.
Or at least that’s what it looked like to me. For all I know, he was using Hallmark in those days. Of course, if he was using Hallmark, I was using Woolworth’s (look it up). Either way, he was always a step ahead.
The edges of the paper were always crisply folded and the sides of the boxes formed flawless pointed triangles. And the ribbons. Ah, the ribbons. Silky, beautifully hued, coordinated perfectly with the paper – the ribbons and bows could make a grown man cry. And a grown woman who’s trying to compete with her brother in the gift-wrapping department…you catch my drift.
I thought Howard was the king of wrapping.
Until he brought Bill into the family.
In the gift-wrapping department, Bill made Howard look like an amateur. With the two of them, they could have won a world cup in gift-wrapping.
The bright side to all of this is that I pretty much gave up. If you can’t beat ‘em, let ‘em win, that’s my motto. So to my other coast friends, I did the best I could, guys, really I did.
Happy shopping and I promise a more substantial – maybe even gift-wrapped - post next week.