Brace yourselves. This is a long post about wrapping paper. I know, right? This blog, y’all. It’s on FIRE.
Long ago, like a long, LONG time ago, like back before cell phones*, I had a job as a bookseller at Border’s Books.
You remember Borders, right?
Coffee shop. Angst-filled workers, classical music. I do believe there was a guy at my Borders whose name was Indiana. Or, was it Idaho? NO. Illinois! That’s IT! He was so cool. His name preceded him. In fact, it’s entirely possible that Illinois is now living in his parents’ basement, playing online chess and working at Quickiemart, but STILL, his name will make it work.
Also: I worked with a guy who used the word “shedule” in his daily vernacular. As in, “I don’t know if I can work for you Thursday night, let me check my SHEDULE.”
“Shedule.” Not, “SCHEDULE” LIKE EVERYONE ELSE SAYS IT. And yes, he was from Overland Park, Kansas. NOT over the pond with Big Ben and a lot of tea and cool accents! Nope. KANSASS.
Anyhow. It’s a bit evident that this guy really ticked me off. It’s been twenty years and every time I hear “shedule” when watching my beloved Masterpiece Theatre (pronounced ‘Theatah’ because they CAN, they’re BRITISH) I cringe. He ruined shedules for me. Or schedules. Or both.
ANYHOW, I digress! I will get to my point! Maybe! Soon!
Back when I worked at Borders, I had (still do – she’s a keeper) a best best friend there who was the Jedi master book seller of all, and she could Christmas wrap a book in like ten seconds. Bethany would SLAP the book down and then SLAP the paper around it, ZIP the tape on, THWACK it over.. and VOILA! Done.
Evidently, wrapping books is a rather violent event for my friend. But she was FAST, I tell you. And good. The book, all gleaming, with perfectly crisp papered corners, was a one holly sprig shy of Christmas wrapping perfection. Or, maybe I should say, “Happy Holidays” wrapping perfection.
ANYHOW. My wrapping skills… were not quite at Bethany’s level. If Bethany was in the Olympics of present wrapping, she would have ended up on the podium. I would be watching from home. On my couch. Shoveling popcorn and, thus, getting the metaphorical paper all greasy. You get the point.
Sooooo, fast forward a jillion years (cell phones!) and my living room floor looks like… THIS:
Wrapping paper. Wrapping paper everywhere.
And, I just noticed… what looks like a picture of a devil with a pitchfork**… Whaaaaaat? I have no idea how that go there. But it’s fitting, because:
I HATE ALL THE WRAPPING OF THINGS! HELP! HELLLLLLP! Crying and gnashing of teeth!!!!!!
Ok, I do realize that comparing wrapping a few books to frying up in the fiery pits of hell is a bit of an overstatement, but I never promised you that I’d take it easy on the hyperbole, people. Hyperbole is MY LIFE.
I have been wrapping up a few extra books from the book signing and sending them away to lucky ducks (suckers) who wanted an actual signature on the book. Why? I am not sure. My signature (and sweet sentiment too) looks like THIS:
And… my wrapping tends to look like THIS:
So… all these folks are gonna get a package in the mail from a Real, Official, Semi-famous Author! … and it looks like a chimpanzee had a crack at it.
And that, I realize, kind of is an insult to the primate family. Sorry.
In fact… at one point I thought I might just attach a note that says: “Wrapped with love by my sons!”
Because, desperate times! It’s okay to throw your children under the bus to save ones pride, right? Right?
(NO. NO, it’s NOT, says EVERYONE. And I might add that the whole “under the bus” idiom is awful. So I am doubly wrong. Oh, this post is just a mess.)
Well, I got the packages mailed. If you are one of the lucky recipients – I WRAPPED ‘EM. Not a five year old cherub of sweetness and light. Nope. All me.
But, they are filled with lots of love, so there’s that.
And all the while, as I was muttering under my breath and tackling all that difficult brown paper with venom, Hoz the Great looked on like THIS:
I find it troubling that even the smallest tasks can sometimes make me feel like I’ve been in the bouncy castle of life just a tad too long… but if you don’t realize:
I HAVE been in the bouncy castle of life a tad too long. THAT’S WHY I WROTE THE BOOK.
This is literature at its best, people! #Pulitzer.
*Yes, children. There was a time, back long ago, when cell phones did not exist. We barely survived. It was rough. Most of the time we communicated by setting things on fire (like brown paper!) and signaling, or just thumping the ground real hard to let our family know when predators were close. It’s quite a story.
Maybe I should write a book about it. I will call it:
The Eighties. I Drank Because of Them.
Kidding! Just kidding.
Thank you, my readers, for getting through the squirelliest post ever. Also: THANK YOU for making my book such a hit. I am so very grateful! If you are interested, you can click here to take a look at Bottled: A Mom’s Guide to Early Recovery.
** I REMEMBER! It’s an OWL. Not Satan! With the word “W-I-S-E next to it. Of course it is! Some leftover handout from Sunday school. I dunno why it made it into the shot, but, as always, I am gonna take it as a sign from God. Life is so much more exciting that way.
“Would you like it.. gift wrapped?”
This…is…awesome! Your writing is amazing…I can see why you loved to teach English! What’s even more awesome…I read this as if it were you talking! 🙂 Thanks for the entertainment!
P.S. You wrapping is wonderful and the packages are wrapped with love!
~a former student who is still learning from her teacher 🙂
🙂 You sweetie.
Bahahaaaaa, that clip is one of my favorite parts of Love Actually….
I almost spit out my drink at “Hyperbole is MY LIFE.” Yep, been there, done that, got the t-shirt…it says “HYPERBOLE: Best. Thing. Ever.” Teeheeeee
Congrats on the book! As humorous as this post was (and holy moly was it humorous!), it did make me mourn the untimely demise of Border’s all over again. They had the best atmosphere, and always the best prices (not to mention a Bed Bath & Beyond-esque propensity for keeping their customers provisioned with coupons). I really miss that place!
This is Brantley from the Brantley Blog, by the way. Hope all is well with you! I wanted to reconnect since you were one of my followers. I’m working on a new blog now called The Story in the Frame. It’s an artistic collaboration between myself and my girlfriend (a photographer). I write short stories about her photos. Please check us out!