Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m seduced by pretty boxes (and shame on some of you for what you’re thinking). To some degree, we all must be, judging by the sheer amount of creativity and colorfulness we see walking down the aisle of our neighborhood grocery store. But most of us are so used to the advertising noise in these settings that we’ve tuned them out as unconsciously as we surf channels to escape commercials..

boxBut for me, and other box lovers out there, there’s just something enticing about a well designed containment unit. Be it a lovingly designed, perfectly fitted hinged affair made of daintily-thin wood, or a shiny aluminum big cousin to the Altoids tin, there’s just something about a well-crafted portable storage space that makes me happy.

For example, my last attempt at buying an appropriate gift for a friend fell into this latter format: a beautiful silver case the size of a fat ebook, hinged, with a pretty olive green sleeve lovingly describing its contents. In this “case,” it was a set of those magnetic words some of us enjoy littering the front of our refrigerators with, for randomly arranging pithy quotes, silly poems, or lurid insults to unsuspecting future appliance users.

It wasn’t until after my starry-eye-inducing purchase was safely out of sight in it’s frumpy paper bag, when I was well on my way home, that I began to realize that perhaps a set of magnetic words for creating poetry … as a present to a poet … might be like giving a teddy bear to a taxidermist: an exercise in the superfluous..

I’m often proud of myself for thinking outside of the box in most situations, but I also need to stop admiring the damn box while I’m out there*. The poet agrees: we’ll be revisiting the store to find something a little more appropriate for her.

Perhaps something in a cute little box …

[ * And lo, when I get home with an especially lovely little box, I find myself wondering what I will do with it . . . or any of the others I’ve collected to date. I don’t want to talk about it. ]