…to remember what a klutz I am. Sellotape and me, we don’t get on. I forget this, it not being a particularly interesting fact, and always tackle the Christmas wrapping with gay (in the 1960s sense) abandon. I mean – how hard can it be?
I’ve noticed over recent years, what with the trend towards old fashioned values and the resurgence of “craft” and hand-made goods, that present wrapping has almost become a competitive sport.
Beautiful paper – for which, more often, read “wholesome brown paper hand-stamped with potato cuts sculpted into snowflakes” – and elaborately tied ribbon or raffia, or hand-stitched tagliatelle (I made the last one up) have become de rigeur. How a gift is wrapped has become more important than what’s inside. It tells the recipient how much you care, how much thought has gone into the present. What do you make of this example then, family & friends of mine?
That’s right – I can’t cut in straight line for toffee. And Sellotape is OUT TO GET ME! I swear. I take my time and think it through. I fold the paper carefully around the gift and lay the scissors on the fold while I pull out a strip of sticky tape and… need the scissors to cut it, so replace scissors with knee. Then I realise I’m in danger of losing the end of the tape – someone shoot me now! – so I stick the strip I’ve cut off onto the edge of the sofa leg (can’t use the table – it’s covered in presents waiting to be wrapped) and carefully fold over the end.
So far so good. The paper is still neatly folded under my knee, the strip of sticky stuff is waiting to be applied…to my fingers. It’s wrapped itself around my fingers so tightly that I have to use the scissors (with my left hand) to free myself. I start again, only this time before I get it onto the paper one end decides to mate with the other and I’m left with a Sellotape porno-loop. The next attempt adheres to the carpet and is too furry to reuse. Finally, I manage to hold a strip of Sellotape at either end, position it over the fold, remove my knee and NOOOOOOO! It’s touched the wrong part of the paper and is now attached, uselessly, across the front of the parcel.
Ffs! It’s enough to make a saint swear! I can feel my Christmas spirit receding as I prepare to start all over again… only I forgot to fold last time and now I can’t find the end. I can’t see it. I can’t even feel it. And I’ve put my finger through the paper, so I’m going to have to patch it up. With tape.
At least I’ve bought the effing Sellotape, and all the wrapping paper in time this year. When the kids were small we always ended up wrapping late on Christmas Eve. One year we had to resort to cutting up magazines and scrabbling around for old newspapers to use as wrap. On one memorable occasion, Husband of my Heart realised he’d left a sack of presents at the office and had to go back to fetch them in the wee small hours of Christmas morning. Ho ho ho.
My wrapping skills didn’t matter much when they were young – the paper was ripped off so quickly in their excitement at seeing what was inside. Sadly, I am now exposed for what I am – a domestic failure. A woman who allows herself to be bullied by a roll of sticky tape. Good job they love me, eh?
Hang on – I left all the parcels in neat little piles according to whose were whose so that when I found the gift tags I could label them… why are they suddenly in a heap all together? Now I can’t remember what’s in each parcel, or who the lucky recipient should be. Dilemma – do I start again, or shall we have a “lucky dip” Christmas?