Saturday, March 08, 2008

Secret Passions

I can't help it. Whenever I see perforated paper, I simply have to tear it. I do it slowly, making sure that it tears only along the dotted lines, savoring each little millimeter that daintily gives way, until I have two separate pieces with slightly ragged edges that match. I hate it when--due to faulty perforation or some wrong move of mine--I don't have perfectly ripped paper, when tiny chunks of paper mar the perforated edges. And folding over multiple pieces of paper so you can tear it in one go--sacrilege!

In public, I surreptitiously tear tickets. You're supposed to give in the entire piece, so I gently work the middle part, leaving the pieces of the ticket connected only by the last two perforated dot things at each side. I love those receipts generated by dot matrix printers--continuous forms are pure delight. And after I tear off the hole-y edges, I fold them into an origami chain. Each and every time. No matter where I am. Or whether I'm running late. I have to, otherwise some cosmic balance will be disturbed.

At home, I eagerly wait for my Readers Digest subscription. Not only because I read the magazine from cover to cover, but also because they are masters of perforated things and beyond.

If any of you subscribe to RD, then you'd know that they have this yearly raffle, and you have to send in some form that you tear off from their letter. Oh joy. More than that, you have to put stickers on the appropriate box to guarantee your raffle entry. Even better are the stickers that indicate your choice of BMW color, or whether you'd like to take your 15M in one go or over 5 years. Sometimes they have this rub-off portion, which reveals the secret number that will let you win an additional P250,000. Of course, most of the time they're also peddling something, like vegetable cookbooks and trivia books and the best romantic songs of the century all on one CD! And since I love reading brochures (and RD brochures are always well made), I enjoy that as well. It's nearly orgasmic.

The peddling I love best is when they send a whole catalogue, which comes with a sheet of product stickers and you have to tear off the product you choose and stick it on the order form. I tear the entire sheet and neatly lay out the stickers on the table as I contemplate which ones I'd like to order. Sometimes The Hubby helps me. If I'm feeling generous, I let him choose his own product (the order form is limited to maybe four items). Then we discuss our winning options, whether we'd like to receive the check privately or at a big party in a posh hotel (my choice--might as well get a free dinner out of it as well). Then I tear, sticker and scratch away. I put everything in the "Say Yes!" envelope, making sure all my documents are complete and I seal the envelope. Then I put it in my recycling bin.

I wonder why I never win in that RD raffle.

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