Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't Open It!

I like opening presents. I rip into them with vigor, as if I've been kept in a basement somewhere with no food and you've just handed me a tater tot neatly wrapped in holiday print. I mean to say I shred that paper up. My grandma (when she was alive and her skin wasn't so thin with old age that it would itself rip apart when it came in contact with anything with an edge, like wrapping paper) used to unwrap gifts with such painful meticulosity that it was near torture to witness. Living through the Great Depression had made a big impact on her, and she was, no doubt, thinking of ways in which to reuse the wrapping paper as she was unwrapping it: cut and fold for a new coaster set, iron and tape onto pillow for festive pillowcase, tape together with last year's saved tape pieces to make curtains, etc.

She'd turn a pair of scissors on its side and slide them under each piece of tape.
"Come on, Grandma! Open it! Open it!"
The scissors would move at a snail's pace along the edge of the gift; the tape being removed with surgical precision.
Not my actual grandma.
"Open it, Grandma! Come on!"
Down one side of the box.
"Come on, Grandma! Open it! Open the present!"
Having freed one side, she would rotate the gift to gain better access to the next side.
"Open it, Grandma! Open it!"
Slowly, slowly, the scissors would slide under the paper, catching the tape. 
"Oh, for crying out loud, Grandma! Open it!"
She'd turn the gift over, exposing its underbelly, inspecting it for tape.
"Mom! Dad! Tell her to open it! Open the gift, Grandma!"

And this would go on for hours, it seemed. When the paper was finally removed, in one piece, mind you, Grandma would take great pains to fold it into a neat square. This would take about as long as the unwrapping.

I don't play like that. Like I said, if there aren't pieces of wrapping paper flying through the air in an almost dangerous fashion, well, then- I'm not really unwrapping presents.

The upcoming unwrap-athon, while less a production now that (a) I'm divorced and (b) my family decided not to exchange gifts, has still brought to mind the glee that is ripping paper from a package and greedily grabbing at what's inside. (So wish I didn't just have a flash of the SNL "in a box" skit right then. It makes my words seem And...wrong. Onward...) Anyway, I had a thought tonight like this. "What would you," meaning me, mind you, "not want to unwrap on Christmas morning?" I'd like to entertain this thought for a bit.

1) A human head.
Not an actual human head in a box gift.
First, it would be quite the surprise, to say the least. I'm not sure I'm up for that kind of surprise on Christmas morning. Plus, whose head would it be? And would it be all gooey and bloody at the bottom of the box? If so, I'm guessing it would have to be wrapped in foil or a baggy or something, and that would just look cheap. No one likes a cheap-looking gift. Then, how to I get it out? Do I grab it by the hair and pull or turn the box over for the unwanted thump?

2) A bag of poo.
Any poo would be gross. Human poo being the worse, really. Bird poo would be okay, I guess, as far as poo in a box goes, but I still wouldn't want it. I wouldn't know what to do with it, and I fear what my gift-giver might be trying to tell me. What would one be trying to say with a gift box of poo? It can't be good. No. No, I don't want to unwrap a box of poo at all.

Not my actual Cabbage Patch doll.
3) Somebody else's old cabbage patch doll.
Because it would just make me all mad that I threw mine away years ago. The face of someone else's cabbage patch doll would be all, "Hey! Remember me?! No, not really, because I belonged to such and such a girl in such and such a town and you threw yours out, you big dummy." Not that I'd know what to do with my old cabbage patch doll if I had it. I guess I'd put it in a box in the basement, but it would be in MY box in MY basement and I'd always know where it was if I ever wanted to look at it. Which I wouldn't, really. But that's not the point.

4) A jar of olives. Or even a pretty box with a single olive in it.
Two olives in a box would be obscene. Because we all know olives are the devil's testicles.

5) A big ol' stinky block of blue cheese.
If you want to see me throw up on Christmas morning, because you're some kind of Christmas morning people hater, well, then- gift me some of that nasty-ass blue cheese. Seriously. If olives are the devil's testicles, then blue cheese is the yeast infection of his girlfriend. (Did I just type that? Seems like I did. Wow. Even I'm grossed out a bit by that.)

6) A slip of paper with Matthew McConaughey's phone number on it.
An actual douchebag.
Why? Because I'd be tempted to call it. And then I'd get all worked up and angry because I have an irrational hatred towards Matthew McConaughey and his love of his self-proclaimed "man smell" and then I'd say something all jerky and then I'd have to call him and make amends and I'd have his number so I'd have to do it and just thinking about it makes me so mad that I've written this big old run-on sentence and that makes me mad, too- and it's Matthew McConaughey's fault.

7)  A dirty diaper.
Because one time, when my niece was a baby, I brought her into the changing station at West County Mall. I folded down that hollow plastic table-thing that you're supposed to place a baby on and trust that it won't detach from the wall, which it looks like it could at any minute, and put my niece on there. She had what was referred to in our family as a "poo-nami." I mean, there was an explosion of poo. I did that awkward holding of both of her feet in one hand and struggling with the other to both keep her exploratory hands out of her poo area and fumble around the diaper bag for wet wipes. I found the container of wipes was empty. Fuck. I can't leave the pooey baby on the unstable plastic thing to reach for toilet paper. I was stuck. Then, I noticed what I thought was a complimentary dispenser of wet wipes on the wall. How ingenious!, I thought. A little slot in the wall with what looked like a tiny portion of a wipe sticking out. I dug my hand into the slot and immersed my fingers deep into some other baby's pooey diaper. It was not a wipe dispenser. It was a dirty diaper thrower away-er place.

As far as lists go, 10 seems like a better number than 8. And I could, no doubt, keep listing. But it's in the eleven o'clock hour and I have presents to wrap. Happy holidays, everyone.


  1. Oh my goodness, Maret. I was gasping for breath laughing by #2.

  2. Just re-read #7. I forgot about that and am enjoying laughing now.