She asked what it was before she unwrapped it.
Do you ever wonder why people ask that about gifts?
It’s as if we should never have wrapped them to begin with.
Where’s the surprise as the ribbon’s undone, the pretty paper torn away?
I said nothing, only smiled, said she should open it to find out.
Do you ever wonder why people say you should
unwrap the present so you can discover what it is?
If they aren’t going to tell the you what it is before you unwrap it,
shouldn’t the course of action be clear?
No, really, she said, tell me what it is.
If the giver of the gift, when asked what it is before it’s unwrapped,
instantly tells the person what the mystery gift is,
then does that person even need to open the gift at all?
I said I really couldn’t tell her because it was a surprise.
Well, yes, it’s supposed to be a surprise, hence the wrapping.
Can you imagine opening someone’s closet and finding a clutter of still wrapped gifts,
their bows wilted, their once colorful wrapping faded,
never opened and never to be opened, simply because
the giftee had been told what the gift was before it had been unwrapped?
She opened it, and much to her surprise . . .
The money we could save, just think, if we gave people brightly wrapped empty boxes,
told them immediately, whether they asked or not, what the gifts were
so they need never open them, need never discover that we’d given them nothing at all.