Never send a man to do a woman’s job.
I learned this earlier today, when striking items off of my To Do List.
I don’t buy gifts for other people at Christmas (not even my kids) for a host of personal reasons and convictions. I kicked in money for communal teacher gifts at school. I fail at maintaining a stash of festive, seasonal decor other than what has been acquired through inheritance and gifting. I am something of a Scrooge, and I am unrepentant.
And so, it came to pass that my mother sent my children Sinterklaas/Chanukkah/Christmas gifts, and didn’t wrap them before sending. This is partially so that I can preview the things she bought for them, and partially a eco-friendly gesture to save more paper/plastic from going to the landfill. I realized last night, after the kids and I finished putting the last ornament on the tree, that I didn’t have anything to wrap them with at all, and would have to make a stop at the Dollar Store in the morning to buy something cheap and festive.
This morning, my husband decided he wanted to come shopping with me (we’d been in Europe/Israel for most of the month and hadn’t bought a turkey etc.) and the kids. The store was, predictably, packed with frenzied people trying to knock things off their own To Do lists on Christmas Eve morning. I hate crowds, and wanted to get the heck out of Dodge, so I sent hubby to do some of the grocery grabbing (milk, eggs, cereal) while I did the more picky things that I need for the meal (like Magi seasoning) that can’t be swapped out for something different. This went well. We were in the line up in less than 15 minutes, ready to get back to the van. That’s when I screwed it up.
I said to my husband:
“Hey. I need to go to the Dollar Store to get some W-R-A-P-P-I-N-G P-A-P-E-R for the G-I-F-T-S from Oma so we can put them under the tree. If you want to save us time, go pick some up for me while I pay for these groceries. I’ll meet you back at the van.”
He said to me:
So I slid him a fiver so he didn’t have to use the debit card, and he took off with the kids and went to the Dollar Store.
What could possibly go wrong?
Pleased with the execution of my mission, I paid for the groceries and walked back across the parking lot, where he was waiting for me in the van.
“Did you get the wrapping paper?” I asked my mate.
“Yep” he replied, and pulled out of the parking lot.
“Where is it?” I said to him.
“Back there” he said, and motioned to the passenger area of the van.
So I turned around.
Two rolls of wrapping paper were lying on the floor.
Roll A: Pale yellow, floral wrapping paper with Princess Jasmine’s face all over it, reading “Happy Birthday!”
Roll B: Translucent, colorless cellophane, with an irregular white opaque floral pattern, much like what florists use to wrap flowers.
“What the hell is that?” I hissed, incredulously at him.
“Wrapping paper.” He said, and kept driving.
“It has fucking PRINCESS JASMINE ALL OVER IT. It says Happy Birthday!” I squeaked out, as my blood pressure pounded in my ears.
“It covers presents, doesn’t it? I think it will work.”
With that, I realized my own folly.
I had neglected to tell him to buy CHRISTMAS wrapping paper.
I ASSUMED that this would be obvious.
Apparently it was not.
Or, maybe it doesn’t matter to dudes, since it’s about function rather than aesthetics?
All that I know is that I now have an acre of florist wrap, and more Princess Jasmine paper than any one person should rightfully have. I had to go back out to the store later to buy what I had expected to get the first time: basic, boring green, gold and red with a repeating motif of stylized trees and cardinalesque birds.