Another title considered for this post: “More Evidence Jeff Isn’t Gay.”
Now, I don’t want to play into stereotypes of gay men, but, you know…some of us happen to have an eye for good design and the wherewithal to execute a Grand Unified Theory of gift-wrapping with such precision and skill that you’d think they were elf dentists in their spare time. People who love to wrap gifts, like Lance, will spend hours doing it, jamming on some Mariah Carey and sipping a homemade latte. And they’ll actually enjoy it!
I am not one of those people.
I’m way too impatient (which leads to sloppiness) to wrap presents. Just like baking, I just want it done now; I don’t get any enjoyment out of the process. I especially don’t like spending HOURS in Target trying to pick out “at least two” complimentary but unique styles of wrapping paper. Lance and I have gotten into many a heated argument–in front of friends–as to the value of wrapping paper and spending so much time and money on it at all.
JEFF: “Just pick the $2.99 roll. We’ve been in this aisle for 45 minutes already.”
LANCE: “$2.99?! It’s so ugly…and cheap-looking!”
JEFF: “It’s just going in the trash! Who cares?”
LANCE: “Presentation! Don’t you care about presentation?”
JEFF: “Please, just let me die…”
Lance got so fed up with my complete and obvious ambivalence to gift-wrapping that he eventually just offered to wrap everything himself…including his own gifts. “Just put them in a plain box so I can’t see what they are,” he clarified. And that’s been our system every since.
This year, since Lance and I aren’t exchanging gifts (since we exchanged Christmas-decorated theme park visits instead), I’m left to my own wrapping while Lance pouts under the bedcovers, sad he doesn’t have anything to wrap this year (“I hate Christmas!” he cried. “I just want it to be over!!” What a grinch!).
Also, since I’m not going home to see my parents for Christmas this year, I needed to figure out a set of gifts that were small, easily wrap-able and cheaply shippable. And since I wasn’t getting my parents a whole slew of gifts this year, I wanted to make the process of unwrapping the gifts as fun as possible.
Did I find the “interior designer” part of my gay identity? Perhaps, though I’d argue this newfound gift-wrapping effort was more about creating a bonus experience (sort of like adding a backstory or interactivity to the queues of Disney World attractions). It gives the gift a little bit of “handmade” quality (though, quality, here, is obviously up for debate.)
Lance’s family has been doing a gift-wrapping contest for the past few Christmases; whoever has the “best” wrap-job wins some sort of prize. I like that idea, forcing people to introduce a little bit of creativity and their own personality into a gift that might be fairly generic (however thoughtful) otherwise.
I’m not into the precision of wrapping presents, making sure all your edges are straight and the flaps are all neat and symmetrical. But I am into making the gift-wrapping an example of your creativity and an extension of the gift itself. You’re infusing a little bit of your own personality into the whole experience of unwrapping a gift, making it a little more memorable and a little less “throw-away.”