Mother’s Day and How Guys Give Gift Giving a Bad Wrap
As you know, this coming weekend is Mother’s Day.
Ha! OK, if you’re a man, you can stop gnashing your teeth and projectile sweating. That was what we who write professional-level humor columns call a “joke.” If you didn’t find it funny, it must be because you are not a professional.
Mother’s Day is many weeks off, so you have plenty of time to procrastinate. But eventually you’re going to have to purchase a gift, which means you’re going to have to wrap it.
For me, the most indispensable tool for wrapping presents is a wife. However, for times (such as Mother’s Day) when you have to give a gift to the wife in question, you’ll be forced to wrap the thing yourself, which is why man was born with a) opposable thumbs and b) gift bags.
Gift bags are lovely and send the very important message that “I was going to wrap your present, but then I realized I don’t care enough about you to put that much effort into it.” If you are a man, and you’re out of gift bags, here are the steps for wrapping a gift:
1) Pick a paper appropriate for the occasion. If it’s Mother’s Day, as an example, try to avoid paper that says “Your Wedding” or has pictures of men fishing.
2) Cut the paper to the right size, and then fold it over the box to determine that you did not cut the paper to the right size.
3) Tape your finger.
4) For some reason, the folds on each end will always crumple. Tape liberally over the crumples to smooth them out, so that eventually the box looks like the fender of your uncle’s 1998 Buick LeSabre after he fixed it himself.
5) You’ve got this strange area on the back where the wrapping paper doesn’t come all the way together, which cannot possibly be your fault. You’ll have to cut a matching strip to fix the defective paper.
6) The scissors were just here! Where the heck could they be?
7) No matter how hard you try, you cannot tear wrapping paper in a straight line.
8) There is another pair of scissors in the kitchen. If you don’t get a beer for yourself while you’re in there, you are a stronger man than I, my friend.
9) The tape was just here! Where the heck could it be?
10) Things that don’t work as well as tape: paper clips. Chewing gum. Swearing.
11) While it makes perfect sense that cutting duct tape into thin strips will serve just as well as transparent tape, in practice it is actually pretty hard to do, especially since you’ve lost the scissors. (I know, they were just here! Where the heck could they be?) No matter how hard you try, you cannot tear duct tape into strips without twisting it all up. When you put it on the package, it seems to want to stay with your fingers.
12) OK, great, you’re done, except that your gift looks like you are really angry at the person you’re giving it to. Also, in your enthusiasm, you didn’t put everything in the box — it’s likely the person who opens it will wonder why there’s only one glove.
13) Maybe the thing to do is to have her open the box with the glove and then say, “Ha-ha, here’s the other glove!” and hand it to her. It may not be all that funny, but as we’ve already determined, you’re not exactly a professional humorist. Then you can say, “Ha-ha there’s also a sweater, here!” and hand it to her.
14) Where’s the price tag? It was just here! Surely it’s not . . .
15) On the one hand (an appropriate expression to use under the circumstances, don’t you think?), giving a gift of one glove and a price tag might be even funnier than the original concept. On the other, it might be even dumber. You’d better start over.
16) Where’s the tape? Where are the scissors? They were both just here!
17) When you go to the store to get more tape and scissors, see if they have any gift bags.
-W. Bruce Cameron