The Rock in a Box

My family is a connoisseur of tough love.

For example, my little brother and I’s favorite new trick has been appropriately deemed “The Rock in a Box.”

It’s existence came about one day while birthday gift shopping for Sierra, our very loving, and yet extremely particular sister.

Sierra is the type of person that would register at Dillard’s for her birthday gifts if she could. But since she can’t, she gives us very detailed lists of exactly what to buy prioritized by greatest want. I’m assuming one day we’ll just get barcodes to match.

Regardless, Evy and I were sent on a very specific mission to get a very specific perfume that came in a very specific box inside a very specific Sephora bag that happened to be priority number one on the birthday list.

Why Evy and I in particular, with our combined attention span of 20 minutes were assigned this mission, I have no idea, because one does not simply mess up birthday list priority number one.

At some point during the wrapping process, the tough love genetics kicked in, and we decided that perhaps Sierra needed at least a little unpredictability in her gift pile. And such, we removed the perfume, hid it, found a nicely shaped and similarly weighted rock outside, placed it in the very specific box, and then in the very specific bag, and WA-LA! Rock in a Box was born.

Upon opening gifts, Sierra saved the Sephora bag for last, and then slowly pulled out the tissue paper, knowingly savoring the moment of what was sure to be her fragrance come true.

And let me just tell you, the look on her face after pulling a rock out of the perfume box was PRICELESS.

I was laughing so hard, I nearly forgot to give her the hidden box of real perfume.

Evy and I of course were punished duly with the evil eye and cold shoulder, but eventually the entire family came around to truly appreciate the brilliance of the Rock in a Box.

I digress.

I picture my life as a comedy of errors. The laundry list of unfortunate events makes the die hard Portland recyclists cringe at the use of paper. And I think at this point in the list, it would be socially acceptable to just fall apart and lose it completely. But the thing is, with each addition, I can only laugh harder at the obscene statistical improbability that such a list even exists.

And so, I’ve come to terms with the fact that life gives you rocks and lemons. And sometimes they’re wrapped in pretty boxes with glittering bows on top and the promise of something more, something better. And no matter how hard we try to control their contents, be it bar coded birthday lists or wedding registries, there’s still a good chance we won’t like what we find inside. But like the hidden gift of real perfume, we also cannot predict when something good is just around the corner. I believe the saying is, “When life closes a door, it opens a window.”

So the moral of the blog?

When life hands you a lemon and closes the door on you, stick that bitch in a box, toss it out the newly opened window, and breathe the fresh air, because you never know when the next package delivered is going to be the real deal.


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