With the onset of online shopping, I have fallen victim to the ease of Holiday ordering right from my computer. I confess I have become the “Queen of Free Shipping” and the “Master of Promo Codes”. The UPS man and I have formed a coffee klatch.
This is not the lazy way to shop; it’s the only way to shop! Why get aggravated fighting rude holiday crowds? You can avoid the embarrassment of suffering from “Harleyshock” (trying to pull into the last remaining parking spot only to discover a motorcycle), waiting in line and finding the item you desire is out of stock, and dealing with “Expressholes” (people who sneak extra items into the express checkout).
Unfortunately, with this convenience comes an inevitable influx of shipping boxes and a cornucopia of useless packing materials. This year I even had packages arrive blanketed by what looked like shredded grocery bags glued together. The contents were reminiscent of mummies, wrapped with various materials, forcing you to work your way layer by layer, akin to unearthing a valuable archeological artifact. I’m not sure which was more satisfying, popping the bubble wrap or finally viewing my new treasure.
I can finally admit I am a “Bubblict” (one who is addicted to the systematic popping of bubbles in packing material) as a way of dealing with stress. At my family’s request, I recently began a “Twelve Step” program to deal with this condition.
I’d like to personally thank who ever created “Spagmumps” (those irritating Styrofoam wads that accompany mail-order items)… for I now suffer from “Spagamaphobia”. I cringe upon the opening of a shipping box for fear those little buggers will jump out and attack me. My therapist is helping me to work through this.
Emptying these boxes is indeed a true art form. Trapping those suckers in a garbage bag before they multiply like Gremlins, is like trying to catch a group of five-year-olds at Chucky Cheese after too much soda and birthday cake. Quickly close the bag or they will inevitably escape and ride the wind like confetti at a ticker tape parade.
I ventured into the garage to rid the house of these Christmas pests. I immediately tripped over the mogul of lazily tossed trash bags and slipped on the boxes my husband neglected to recycle. I catapulted into the air, and performed a “triple klutz” as I skated across the remaining cardboard. I landed in the mountains of boxes and snow piles of Spagmumps. I picked myself off the floor and realized if I had broken my neck, my family might not have found me until the spring thaw. With any luck, the absence of homemade Christmas cookies and wrapped gifts, would have initiated a search party.
Intending to compose myself and hide my uncoordinated ballet move, I furiously picked the Styrofoam peanuts out of my hair. I inadvertently stepped on and punctured several of those connected, air filled tubes, and discovered they pack quite the punch. For a moment, I felt like Marilyn Monroe in her famed windy sidewalk scene.
I then removed the bubble wrap hanging like an Anaconda around my neck. Unconsciously, I began popping it, and was filled with euphoria. Without realizing it, I had fallen off the wagon. What was my sponsor’s number?
Limping into the house, I now understanding how “scrooge” came to be. I found myself humming “It’s beginning to look a lot like I’ll be in the Looney Bin for Christmas”. If Frosty the Snowman suddenly appeared at my door, I’d nail him with my hair dryer.
Accepting that I will continue to deal with a bounty of packing material, I have taken the offensive and compiled a list of creative uses. I made a wreath by gluing spagmumps around a ring formed with the shredded grocery bag packing material. Cushioning my daughters ski pants with Styrofoam wads prevents rear-end damage. Covering Fido’s feet with bubble wrap, warded off frost bite. I even padded my bra with bubble wrap for extra holiday cleavage and generated quite a few second looks.
I am now a member of a Spagamaphobics support group. The UPS man hopes I will learn to stop screaming … “there better not be any Styrofoam peanuts in that package.”
I hope to be cured by next Christmas.