The Art of Pretense

The Art of Pretense

Today I stopped pretending.

I stopped pretending I was the kind of person that would iron crumpled tissue paper in order to re-use it someday.

Briefly I thought about how it might be re-purposed. I remembered the stained glass vase I made in grade four with torn bits of coloured tissue paper and Modge Podge. Yeah, I didn’t bother to pretend I would make one of those.

I could have pretended that tissue paper was recyclable and tossed it in the blue bin. That way, if ever informed otherwise, I could exclaim, “Well, I didn’t know!”

But today I stopped pretending.

I checked online and found tissue paper (and wrapping paper) are NOT recyclable. Sure, you can throw it in the bin and the garbage collectors might dump it in the truck. But, at the end of the day, at the other end of the line, it will not be recycled.

While tissue paper is biodegradable, we can’t pretend it happens efficiently when mixed with trash that isn’t.

Tissue paper is compostable, but I can’t pretend I want the coloured dyes on my vegetable garden.

And those gift boxes? The ones with layers of Christmas tags, one year’s tag covering last year’s and the five years before that, boxes with the corners slightly squashed from storage and small tears in the sides…I stopped pretending I was ever going to re-use those either.

I stopped pretending the mess in my wrapping storage didn’t bother me. So I sorted the bins—one for Christmas, one for other occasions. I stopped pretending flattened bows would ever adorn a present, that the gawd-awful gift bag—Who gave that to me?—would be re-gifted in this lifetime.

I sorted the bins, stacked gift bags neatly by size and occasion, gathered all the fluffy bows in one bag and discarded the flat ones, and arranged rolls of tape, side by side, with the pens and gift tags. All that remained was a pile of wrapping cloths. My furoshiki phase.

Furoshiki is the Japanese art of gift wrapping using fabric squares or oblongs in plain, bright colours or perhaps imprinted with pink cherry blossoms, an image of Mt. Fuji, or sakura waves. Bunnies, cats, sumo wrestlers. And tied with fancy knots around the gift. The wrapping techniques are used for square objects as well as those that are long, flat, slender. There’s a wrap for a wine bottle, another for two bottles together, or various sling wraps for carrying heavier items. Furoshiki is eco-friendly. Perhaps this year I would create some Christmas wrapping squares?

I carefully folded the cloths and placed them in my bin as a reminder.

Sometimes I still pretend.

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