Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Santa's Little Helper

I was cleaning off my memory card, and look at what I found.

Oh hello, I'm just hiding in the wrapping paper.
Since you can't see me, go away.

The tacky blotting of 80's colour is my own little experiment in Picassa, a program which I have recently discovered. Anyone have a photo of themselves holding a rose? Can I interest you in removing the colour from the rest of the picture, but still keeping the red rose, rosie? It makes for such a timeless picture.

Or better yet, I could blur the picture so you look like you're in a hallucinogenic dream.

Also timeless.

Anyhow, I'm getting off track. I took this picture two weeks ago when I was wrapping my family's Christmas gifts. The wrapping festivities were assembly-line style wherein I would wrap the present in Christmas paper, then dance it over to Dan and he'd cover up the package in brown post wrap.  The system would have worked perfectly if not for the peanut gallery (Dan) mocking my wrap jobs.

Now here's the thing about me: I really, really put a lot of effort into trying to decide what to buy people for Christmas and birthdays, but then I put no effort at all into wrapping the gift. I can't help it! It seems like such a waste of time trying to make something look pretty that's just going to be ripped open in 3.2 seconds. There was a point in time when my family could look under our Christmas tree and tell just by how a present was wrapped, if it was from me or not.

Does the parcel have a balling up of extra paper at both ends of the box? That one's from Caitie.

Does the parcel have three different colours of wrapping paper covering the box because someone can't figure out how much paper to cut? That one's from Caitie.

Is the parcel void of bows or ribbons? That one's from Caitie.

Does the parcel have clean lines, curling ribbons, and a neatly printed card? That one is not from Caitie.

Here's a question: does the poor wrap job void the gift of special meaning? No seriously, I want to know. Because if so, I guess I need to learn to try harder. Or, you know, give the presents to Dan to wrap.

So to illustrate just how differently we operate, you need to understand how different our gift wrapping stations looked: my station had sheared off razors of paper everywhere, a roll of packing tape dangling off the side of the table, and a blue pen leaking ink everywhere; Dan's tidy station had extra paper carefully placed to the side, squares of tape already cut and hanging off the table for easy use, and no leaking stationary.

He is so Swiss! I swear they teach them this stuff in school. In fact, Dan said they used to have to write in fountain pen for one penmanship exercise, and if they didn't blot the extra ink it would smudge and they would loose marks for being untidy.

OMG! I think while he was a Swiss schoolboy diligently practicing tidy penmanship I was a Canadian schoolgirl sounding a battle cry before wildly rolling down the school's sledding hill, wearing a dress, trying to beat my friends to the bottom. Sometimes I feel like I'm a perfect heathen next to Dan's Swiss roots.

So given all this, I handed Dan the last of my parents' gifts to wrap in post paper and he held the package in his hands and shook his head sadly from side to side. To paint a picture, the gift is wrapped in two jagged pieces of mismatched paper and there's a lot of tape holding it together.

"You know sweets," he sighed in weary resignation while glancing at my wrap station, "at this point in our Swiss adventure I have stopped hoping for your seamless integration. At best I can only hope for peaceful co-existence."

Standing before him still in my pajamas with crazy bedhead sticking out everywhere, I wiped an inky hand across my nose, watched our Canadian barn cat death roll himself into the remaining Christmas wrap and start shredding it to bits, while I replied: Huh? What do you mean by that?


Dad said...

Ah Cait. Good on you....I hope you never change. As for Cosmo, we know there'll never be an ounce of change in him....which is also good :-)

Caitie said...

You say this now Dad, but just wait until your present arrives ;) At least you have Ais to wrap your gifts for you, when she ventures home! haha.