The Norman Transcript

Columns

October 25, 2012

The wrapping makes the packages

NORMAN — Wrapping packages beautifully seems to be genetic. Those who can do it like it. Others let “Mom” do it.

Mary’s family teases her for buying reams of paper and dozens of bows. “They’ll be handy the next wedding or baby shower,” she says.

Her packages are lovely. She gets them wrapped at the mall.

Most families keep miles of the wonderful plastic tape they love to hate. June bakes Halloween cookies for nieces and nephews.

“Stop eating,” she scolds kids and husband. “My mailing list seems to be in your stomachs already.”

June is one of those challenged by wrapping with the great plastic wonder. The first strip usually winds up around her arm.

“I can do this,” she mutters. “I refuse to let this tape defeat me.”

She pulls out a lengthy strip, presses around the box and grabs it on the other side. “Oh, no! it’s stuck to the table.”

She yanks the strip off and half the varnish comes off with it. She’s reached the point she talks to the tape dispenser: “I’ll make you a deal: Just let me finish wrapping these packages, and I’ll give you a refill.”

By the time June’s husband gets home, the chair, couch and end tables are taped together. There’s an odd creature staring out from rows of tape that stick arms to the body.

“June?” he calls, “Is that you in there?”

“What does it look like? All right, it’s the plastic tape monster. Do you think you could give me a hand here?’

Everyone knows the friend or relative who wraps perfect packages. Everybody resists putting packages next to those.

James is caught moving every package, large and small, looking for his own, hidden only that morning.

“Why are you rearranging all Mom’s birthday gifts?” his oldest daughter says. “I just stacked them perfectly. Now they’re in a jumble again. Now I know why they’re messed up every time I come in here.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014