Tuesday, December 06, 2005

the box matrix is far from perfect

Despite what you might have heard in the title of my blog, I've been without work for a while now. And I have so much time that I accomplish nothing every day. I've somehow gotten into this summer vacation mindset where I think "Well, I'm back from Target... looks like I'm done for today!"

It's given me time to read. Instead, I watch tv. It's given me time to write. Instead, I do my nails. It's given me time to cook. Well, ok, I do that. I also make my bed, slightly obsessively, every day. I also drink way too much soda for no apparent reason other than I can.

I also get way too involved in the little projects I make for myself that are of absolutely no consequence whatsoever. I made a garland of extra Christmas glass-ball ornaments the other day. I made a pattern that alternated color (of which there were three) and pattern (of which there were two.) A person with other things to do might have just put the ornaments on the string. But no, I planned out and executed the most complicated, well-done, completely unnoticed decoration ever.

I also have almost all of my Christmas shopping done. And because that wasn't irritating enough to people who have shit going on in their lives, I wrapped it all tonight. I had to put one item in a box that came from Urban Outfitters, which has become one of my new favorite stores. I love Urban Outfitters. They have great trendy stuff, and I'm lucky enough to live in a city where only a small percentage of the population is even aware of current fashion trends, so I don't look like a clone of every other twentysomething on the street. Pittsburgh is a place where I can wear the most mass-produced bohemian-styled clothing and still look like an individual. It's both wonderful and terrifying. Suffice to say, I love practically everything in Urban Outfitters.

That said, what the hell cracked-out sadist devised their gift boxes?

If I were a professional box-assembler, this baby would be a piece of cake. However, I am but a mere unemployed poet, and I am not savvy to the ways of the Box Matrix. That dotted line across that little 1/8 inch flap? What the fuck is that? Some sort of reinforcement? What kind of structural integrity does that offer? And the part that's glued down--yeah, I understand that now. But you might have mentioned it before I tried to pull it up. Furthermore, having it glued down like that means that you can flip up one side of the box in a jiffy, but in order to pull the other side into box-like position, you practically have to disassemble what you've already accomplished. And frankly, that was not an option. Also, I don't understand why cursing at the cardboard made it slide into place easier, but it did, and that would be some nice information to have on a little card or insert, or perhaps embossed on the inside of the box. Plus, that way, we'll all know which way to fold the little flaps next time.

After I assembled the box and wrapped the present, fearing that the box would self-destruct at any moment, and that Target gift-wrap would help keep it from falling apart, I stacked it neatly with the others (read: put it on the floor in the dining room) and tried to figure out how to wrap a particularly oddly-shaped gift. I cannot reveal the gift's identity here, as it would give away a friend's Christmas present. So, although I love my friend very much, I shall refer to this particular item as The Motherfucker.

The Motherfucker was a great buy, and my friend is sure to love it. I just hope she doesn't buy her own Motherfucker before I get a chance to give it to her. So I looked for a box, but alas, none were the right size. Then I thought about a bag. There was a fairly large gift bag in the storage closet in the basement, so I went and got it. There was a tag still attached to it that said, for some reason, "To Sasha, From The King." I had no idea that my friend Sasha knew Elvis, but we all have secrets. As I tried to pull the tag off of the bag handle, I discovered a large-ish spider inside the bag. When I recovered from my stroke, I saw that the spider was in fact a spider corpse. But that just meant there was a spider ghost around here somewhere. I mean, if I were a spider that died inside a bag owned by two arachnophobics, I'd probably have some unfinished business. So I decided to dump the spider into the toilet and be rid of it. No way was I going to touch it. I once tried to pick up what I thought was a dead spider with a tissue, and the bastard jumped when I touched it. That was the end of my tissue-disposal method.

So I was still sort of wary of the spider corpse, and I really, really didn't want to touch it. But I soon discovered that it was stuck to the inside of the bag by web, or whatever it's called. After a lot of shaking the bag over the toilet, I concluded that the bastard was decidedly stuck, and I tried to dislodge the web with a piece of trash from the trash can. Unfortunately, I picked up a used toilet paper tube, and when I dislodged the web from the bag, it became stuck on the roll, and the dead (now most assuredly so) spider rolled out the other end and dangled dangerously close to my arm. So I did what anyone would do when confronted with a terrifying dead spider. I dropped the tube into the toilet. I picked it out, and there was spidey, dangling toward me. I dropped it again. I went through this several times before I gave up, plucked the roll out of the toilet (it got completely wet, and it's ridiculous that getting toilet water on my hands doesn't bother me nearly as much as touching a dried-out arachnid) and tossed it in the trash. Still afraid of the prospect of some sort of Resurrection Spider, I tied the bag as tightly as I could and threw it away. Far, far away.

And after all that, The Motherfucker didn't even fit in the bag. So I tied a red ribbon on The Motherfucker, took an Excedrine, and that's that.

Happy holidays, everyone.


Scott said...

::wiping away tears:: Goddamnit Manda! You need to compile this shit into a book. :-) Call it: Even my Therapist Thinks I Make This Shit Up. :)


Sash said...

omg, I'm dying... Apparently I know Elvis? Even I didn't know I knew Elvis... cool... and, I think that is the EXACT same shit I woulda pulled... fuckin love it!

Justin said...

Come to Boston, Amanda, where there's an Urban Oufitters on every corner, and everyone looks as though they are casually ignoring what is trendy but look trendy doing so (that's my interpretation of Urban Outfitters style).

justin said...

As you can clearly see, I'm avoiding writing a paper. This paper, I might add, was due on Monday but I got an extension until Friday. I do dearly love studying and writing about quebecois lingual identity, but I'd rather guess what the Motherfucker is. Actually, I'm going to tell you what I'd like it to be. I'd like it to be my other paper that's also due tomorrow. Perhaps eating something would help me concentrate on writing this paper...