December 21, 2009


I was faced with one of the few moments of the year that strikes terror in my heart. Even though it’s the holidays and all that and we are constantly reminded that this is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, I was breaking out in a cold sweat. My hands were cold and clammy and my tongue had the dry numb feeling that precedes the possibility of becoming nauseated.

I was about to wrap Christmas gifts.

There is a persistent myth out there that says the gay men have been programmed with the “pretty gene”; we are everything that Martha Stewart aspires to be, we can make walls ‘pop’ with a splash of an obscurely named paint and we wrap our gifts to add “breathless” to the atmosphere of giddy when the giftee is presented with their gift.

I am happy if the scraps of wrapping paper selected are all the same pattern.

I can’t wrap gifts. I don’t care if it’s a Rubik’s cube without the packaging. I can not wrap anything with that oh so delicate paper that insists on ripping if you give it a little tug. My corners are exposed, my tape doesn’t stick and my shears don’t shear.

I’d have better luck going to Ms. DeFazio and Ms. Feeney at Bardwell’s Department Store.

Earl and Jamie went out shopping yesterday afternoon. Like an insane squirrel, I sought out my nuts, er packages, from their secret hiding places and assembled everything on the dining room table, where Earl had thoughtfully put several rolls of wrapping paper, scotch tape and a couple of pairs of scissors. The first thing to be wrapped was a shirt box. I carefully laid the box down on the pulled out paper and cut the appropriate size. I folded over and something on a corner ripped. I adjusted to hide the rip but to no avail, another corner ripped. I applied some tape to the ripped paper. I then tried to patch a piece of paper over the rip, hoping that the bear’s head matched the same of the bear on the original piece of paper but it didn’t look right. I then wrapped another piece of paper around the middle of it all, hoping that it would make some sort of makeshift bow.

It looked awful.

At least it didn’t have crumpled up paper to make a convenient carrying handle like I had last year.

When all was said and done there was barely any rolls of wrapping paper left and to compensate I just shoved the presents behind a big box I had had professionally wrapped while I was out shopping.

They might not look pretty, but at least the presents are full of loving intent.