Women: Best Wrap Artists
13 December 2011, 12:49
Christmas (or birthdays, weddings, significant celebratory events and so on) brings out the best in women. If not the best, then at least the one skill they all seem to be born with.
Ask a man to wrap something and you’ll be lucky if 20 metres of gift-wrap lasts a pack of golf balls. Ask the same of the fairer sex, even the messiest, clumsiest, tomboyish lass you can find, and you’ll be presented with a finished product that must have – surely – taken three weeks to prepare for the precise corners alone.
I’ve tried. I really have. For many years I’ve taken pride in wrapping gifts, but no matter how hard I try, or how delicately I fold, press and tape, every gift I wrap ends up looking like it fell from an Airbus: crumpled paper, bits of gift peaking out from holes in the wrapping, the tape, so effective when stuck to its own roll, peeling off as if designed to lose stickiness the instant it comes into contact with male hands and, of course, chunky corners on the flattest of flat presents that no amount of tape, glue or vigorous manhandling can tame. Wrapping, it appears, is for the birds.
And I’m impressed. Nay, amazed. How do you guys (meaning girls) actually do it? I know male architects, doctors, artists - all manner of manly characters more than accomplished at working and creating with their hands – who crumble at the sight of a mere book needing to be paired with a 1x1 metre expanse of gift wrap.
Yet my mom, who couldn’t fold a sock without instructions, could wrap a set of skittles and bowling ball in under a minute, and in a fashion so impressive I was always left to marvel at this hidden, yearly talent. ‘Who is this women?’ I would ask my brother in between gasps of awe. ‘Not sure,’ he would reply, equally breathless. ‘But goddam she can wrap a present. Look at those sleek lines. The perfect angle of the tape. It’s all so… symmetrical. Why doesn’t she make our beds like this?’
My Great Gran was wrapping soccer balls, weed-eaters and chandeliers (not really) well into her 90s, all while her other insanely dexterous hand held on to her beloved hot toddy.
I’m sitting on the couch now, because I’m not allowed within 30 metres of the Christmas presents lest I wrap the beautiful wine glasses in newspaper and duct tape, watching Robyn wrap (in no particular order): a box (pretty simple, but with the crispest edges this side of a navy bunk), a jar with metal clasp thingies (which now somehow looks like a perfect rectangle, which is impossible because the jar is (was) round) and bathroom goods (which, along with bottles, is a man’s true wrapping nemesis).
Every gift she’s wrapped looks a work of art. I wrapped something last week for a Christmas function and the girls in my office were aghast because I used masking tape to finish the job (unruly corners, you see)… and on the ‘good’ wrapping paper no less.
Still, I’m not as woeful as one of my chums, who arrived at our Christmas dinner with a gift ‘wrapped’ (in the loosest sense of the word) in newspaper (and not even a good daily, but rather a freebie community rag), all held together by large Elastoplasts. That, indeed, was a wrap.
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