Sunday, December 10, 2006

Girls and boxes

This evening, I was busy putting away clothes from the laundry. I was folding a particular top when I suddenly wondered whether I had an accessorizing chain for it. So I immediately abandoned my laundry and went off to check (yeah, I come up with innovative ways of putting off tiresome chores).

While rummaging through my accessories collection, I came across a pendant-chain and suddenly remembered - this chain was a part of a gift-set given by my friend M after her return from her first trip to the USA when we were in undergrad.

That time, seven of us in the hostel used to be very good friends. So M had brought us all back similar gift-sets consisting of a chain and matching ear-studs in elegant paper boxes. She handed it out to us and gave the last box to R, apologizing at the same time "Sorry, they did not have any more matching sets, so yours only has a chain and no ear-studs - please don't take offense". The rest of us were silent for a moment and then all the gift-recepients (other than R) burst out at the same time "R, can I please, please exchange my gift-set with yours?"

You see, R's chain came in a small, cute metal box. And all of us wanted the cute box more than any of the other contents! M was taken aback - she had been under the impression that R was getting the raw deal! Obviously, we other girls did not think so.

I have noticed that most girls have a strange attraction towards boxes of any shape and size. The boxes in question just need to be made of somewhat durable material and be at least half-way decent looking. When I see such a box, I get busy mentally allocating a space for it in my apartment. Never mind that I already own dozens of such boxes. Just the thought of adding another "nice" box to my collection somehow makes me happy. I always rationalize that I can store something or the other in it and of course, I could always use it for gifting.

I still haven't explained to myself as to how a person can find a use for every single of her gazillion boxes (some boxes being so small that a pepper-corn would have difficulty fitting inside it) but there it is!

I know I am not alone. I remember my friend S had gone perfume shopping last year. I recommended one of my favorite fragrances, J'adore, to her. But I also added a warning, "Don't buy too much of it though, you will never be able to finish it." S sagely accepted my advice and went off shopping.

When she returned, she called me and sheepishly told me "Archu, I bought the biggest J'adore bottle they sell!" My jaw dropped and I started laughing, "What? Adi paavi, after all my advice! You are going to be smelling like J'adore for the rest of your life - hehehehehe....". S interrupted me, "I couldn't help it you know - they had this really, really, really cute box for free if I bought the biggest bottle and I simply had to have the box."

And suddenly, enlightment dawned - the perfume marketers had it right! Throw in an ultra-cute box with something and most women would never be able to resist and would simply go rushing to buy it. S never settled on any particular use for the cute box and now it has been stashed away somewhere out of sight but she is still happy when she talks about it. I know that feeling :-D!

This year, a friend C and I had decided to make handmade gifts for each other for fun. I chose an unfinished wooden-box from the arts store Michaels and also bought a bunch of decorating materials. I had a great time decorating the box. On the day of the meeting with C, I filled it with chocolate truffles.

So pleased I was with my "finished" box that I showed it off to my friend V at work - he looked at it and declared it to be very nice. Then he thoughtfully added, "But what will C do with the box once the chocolates are eaten?" I confidently said, "Oh, C will store something else in it or will simply keep it." V doubtfully agreed, "Ooooookaaaaaay - if you say so." Then I started having doubts myself about how well C would like the gift.

I needn't have worried. After all, C is a girl. She took one look at the box and went "Ooooooh, how cute! So nice, now I can store knick-knacks in it. Ohhh, the box is a wonderful idea - I think I am going to get boxes for my other girl friends and decorate them and give them as gifts" - LOL :-D!

I have never noticed this box-hoarding or box-loving tendencies in guys. Is this something which only afflicts girls?


Anonymous said...

:) I agree! I not only have boxes, but I have a bigger fetish for plastic covers and bags. I have some 12 hand bags bought by me, a few gifted ones, and believe it or not a ton of plastic covers. I in fact moved some of the plastic covers during my last move! If someone asks me to part with plastic covers/paper bags I get a tad depressed.

smiley said...

gizmos for the boys and boxes for the girls ...:)not a bad idea. first time to your site, very interesting :)

iamvisheshur said...

the box is choooo cute..who wouldnt want it??
but ya i find girls r more attracted to boxes...
whereas i luv ripping them so that i can make sumthin else..
pretty mean but maybe i shld put all the boxes my sis has collected...atleast they i dont need to bother to search for a pencin box.....

iamvisheshur said...

by the way can i add u to my blog roll??

Saranya Kishore said...

Hey Arch,
Nice post :--)) The box you have made looks cute. :--)
This reminds me of the scene in Friends where Chandler asks Joey, showing the little box Janine had put in the living room, 'I mean its a box but it is too small to keep anything inside why is it here in the living room' :--D I guess now I know!
I guess I would prefer gizmos for boxes anyday. If it were a gift box specially made for me I would keep it safe but otherwise would chuck it.

Jeseem said...

hmm.. it would be a good to gift cute empty gift boxes, I guess. And see the expression when seeing the box and when seeing it is empty :P
i don't think many guys like boxes. I don't. a cute small gizmo, like a small flipphone is interesting, a box not that much

pratap said...

ennadhu edhu? dabba, kuchhi, pencil, eraser ... pathi ellaama blogla ezuduvaange?

The funny part is ... the dabba is not even cute or anything. edho pachha pink color paper ottina madiri irruku... cha cha.

Archana said...

Anon - :-D - that reminds me, I too try to save every single plastic bag I get. I just feel sad throwing it away. So I tell myself I am recycling :-P! But moving your plastic covers across countries konjam too much - LOL :-))!

Smiley - thank you :-)! Oooh, I love gizmos too :-D!

iamvisheshur - thank you :-D! Come to think of it, some of the boxes I hoard are for the purpose of future ripping apart to make some "decorative" stuff - I have many excuses :-P! Add to blog roll? Of course - I am honored :-)!

Saranya - thank you :-)! Lucky you - you don't have these hoarding tendencies - you must be saving a lot of space in your apartment then!

Jeseem - Hehhehe - that would be a big bulb - especially for a non-box-hoarder :-)!

Pratap - it's my blog, I can write about anything I want on it :-P! Just be happy that you did not get that dabba as a gift :-P!

spark said...

must remind you that i'm getting your old posts (dated june) on my RSS feed. did you change any setting?

Shilpa said...


Archu...I will find use for that box some day ;-)

Floridora said...

Oh! Archana! You have never met a man with a real tool room and boxes full of screws, tacks, rivets, cotter pins, tiny nails, brads, etc. I have dozens of old cigar boxes inherited from my grandfather through my father. Drawers full of the tin boxes that typewriter ribbons used to come in. Old Band Aid boxes when they were metal. Men who have work shops can always use new, old boxes. For washers, small bolts, drill bits, nuts with bolts,small chisels--- there is no end.

Archana Bahuguna said...

Hey that box is really creative. Is it the one you worked on? Yeah we have an inking for anything that looks beautiful, utility is often the last thing in my mind when I am looking for stuff :-D.

Viji said...

WOW... cute! I love boxes too!! :D
P.S: Hey, my bday is in september. ;-)

Madhu said...

Arch - this is so coincidental! You said girls and boxes and girls with no age specific. My 3 yr old yesterday wanted to take her "Ariel - mermaid" snack box which she got as a gift- more like a goody bag! She is a poor eater - so I put in a sandwich and I sent it along. I told her teacher that she is more excited with the box rather than the contents. Just as expected, she did not take a bite of the contents but flaunted the box around the other kids.
The same kind of snack box but with Spider man was given to another kid (boy). As soon as he saw the box - he performed a few stunts of spiderman and went straight to the contents! LOL

Madhu said...

Archana - just for you

Ive been unsuccessfully trying to comment, so hoping this would go through. The site wasn't letting me record.

- From Rads.

Inder said...

boxes!!? mom has the kitchen overflowing with bottles and boxes. apart from that, why would one need boxes? my stuffs go to the table, its drawers and closet. i don't think i would need extra boxes...

Archana said...

Spark - hehehehe *embarassed grin* - I am still playing around with the blogger beta settings - please adjust. BTW, which feed reader do you use? Neither bloglines nor google reader is showing up old posts as new for my blog!

Shilpa - I shall wait - lol :-P!

Floridora - Ah, but you collect boxes for with a specific purpose in mind :-)! Wow - boxes handed through two generations - wow!!!

Archana - Yup yup it is :-D! That's so true!

Viji - Thank you :-D! LOL - tell me where you live and I will send you a box :-D!

Madhu - Ahem, I shall try to overlook the fact that you just compared me to a three year old :-(! The incident is funny though and heh heh I can actually totally empathize with your daughter - LOL :-D!

Rads - ROFL :-D - thank you :-P! Oh - stupid blogger - what's up with it now X-(?

Inder - Ah, you are a guy, you won't understand :-P!