One Christmas, about a dozen years ago, my brother Mark decided to give my nephew Sam, who was then just over a year old, an Abominable Snowman doll as a gift. The rest of us were quite leery about this proposed gift. With his long claws, sharp teeth, standing hair and ferocious expression, we were quite convinced that Abominable would freak Sammy out. Mark held his ground.
Come Christmas Eve — this is when my family traditionally opens gifts, after a few rounds of vodka shots — Sam is avidly watching everyone else open their gifts. When it came time for him to open his gift, we all watched with bated breath. He tore away the paper, and fairly quivered with … excitement. He LOVED that snowman! But he couldn’t get the doll out of its packaging, and soon grew frustrated with anticipation. We could barely tear the box away from him so we could snip the wire ties, untangle the twist ties, rip away the tape, and open the box. Finally, after much effort and sweat, we gave him his doll.
I know EXACTLY how Sammy felt that night. As we’ve been loading up supplies and gear on Calypso, we’ve also been struggling with packaging rage. On Sunday, I brought home 12 bags of stuff from Target; and then I threw away 4 bags of packaging. Today, a run to Publix yielded more garbage to toss away.
Cardboard packaging needs to be culled. Roaches make their homes and lay their eggs in corrugated cardboard, and they eat the adhesive.
Not only is the volume of stuff galling, but it’s the absolute impenetrability of it that drives me nuts. You need serious hardware to access some of those clamshells, and you risk injury attempting to get through the layers of security.
You need the shears to release the shears from their packaging. WTF?
I understand that some stuff requires tighter packaging to be theft resistant, but is anyone really going to make off with that “As Seen On TV” item from Walgreen’s? I try to be mindful of packaging when I buy stuff — not just because it annoys me to wage war to get at the item I just bought, but because I’m trying to be aware of my impact on the environment.
Ironically, as much as I complain about packaging, yesterday it was the item that was least protected that resulted in mishap. A newly purchased extra-large bottle of Hendrick’s gin broke in the trunk of our car, spilling all of its precious contents.
Anybody want to spill some tonic in the trunk?