16 December, 2013

The Aches Of Wrap

It will soon be my day to wrap presents. I
look for a day when I've been left alone - like when my wife and younger daughter go out
for some unneeded additional shopping. Or,
I could wait until they go to pick up our older daughter at the airport. She will be home for a week, and our home will be full of Browns for Christmas. Yay! That's pretty close to the big Day though, and I'm not sure I want to wait that long.

Wrapping is a challenge for me since I have to do it one handedly. Some of you may have gathered from diverse posts that I have a left arm and hand disability. I've not always been this way, but I certainly am now. That challenge makes certain things essential for quality wrapping time, most of which cost a little more but always pay off in reduced frustration.

Tape dispenser. Essential. Not the little plastic thingies that come with some rolls of tape. Those require two hands - one to hold it and one to operate it. Nope - only the heavy duty industrial/office quality dispensers will do. The kind that could easily remain steady in a gale force wind. Now we're talking. With one of those beauties, I can pluck a snippet of tape with the best
of them.

And speaking of the tape. This is no place to cut corners either; they are not all alike. I prefer Scotch brand. There are others that can sometimes elicit a minimum of fuss, but Scotch is old reliable for me. Just the right stickiness and static resistance. You betcha.

Quality paper is another sine qua non. The cheap bargain bin stuff tears far too easily for my klutziness. Plus, a little thicker paper makes for nice crisp edges on those packages. I really like the ones that have a grid on the back making it very easy to cut straight lines.

Oh, cutting straight lines is a whole lot easier with a good pair of scissors. I wouldn't even consider beginning wrapping without a sharp pair of scissors. None of those gadgets you see advertised on television will substitute. Forget about it. Devices intended to make a job easier for you almost always make it worse for folks like me.

Ribbon? I don't care about the ribbon. Cheap, expensive, recycled. Makes no difference - because I'm not going anywhere near it. I agree it's pretty, but for me what might have taken five or ten minutes for a quality job is now a thirty minute ordeal. I gave up on ribbon a few years ago; I'm handicapped, not crazy. You might find a one-armed wallpaper hanger, but there is no such thing as a one-handed ribbon tier.

Attach a tag and we're done. And so am I. I still need to place them under the tree, but they are all wrapped. It only took me about three hours. Imagine what it might have been like without a few reasonable accommodations. Well ... I remember those days and don't want to go back. Wrapping day for me used to be very much a Chevy Chase "where's the Tylenol" kind of moment. No thanks. I'll spend a little extra.