I can take a gift the size of a pack of cards and put it in the exact centre of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court.
Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion. This is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys I know.
One is Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is “if it’s such a poor gift that I don’t want to be there when the person opens it.” The other is Gene, who told me he does wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift. “No one ever had to wonder which presents Daddy wrapped at Christmas,” Gene said. “They were the ones that looked like enormous spit-balls.”
I also wrap gifts, but because of some defect in my motor-skills, I can never completely wrap them. I can take a gift the size of a pack of cards and put it in the exact centre of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out. (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen.)
If I had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the Pharaoh’s body would be covered only by Scotch tape. On the other hand, if you give my wife a 20cm square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.
My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting these Gift-Wrapping Tips For Men:
• Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped. If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it’s myrrh.
• The editors of Woman’s Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food colouring and liquid starch. They must be smoking something.
• If you’re giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky recipient on Christmas morning.
YOUR WIFE MAY ASK: “Why is there a Big Blak Sac under the tree?”
YOU: “It’s a gift! See? It has a bow!”
YOUR WIFE (peering into the rubbish bag): “It’s a leaf blower.”
YOU: “Petrol-powered! Five horsepower!”
YOUR WIFE: “I want a divorce.”
YOU: “I also got you some myrrh.”
In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give, or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.
DAVE BARRY IS AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS INCLUDING “I’LL MATURE WHEN I’M DEAD” – WWW.DAVEBARRY.COM.
Issue 4 2010 HSH (440 KB)