One day at the coffee shop…

Shawna and Erika were enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee and doughnuts outside their favorite cafe. It was midday and the warm spring sun was accompanied by a soft, cool breeze. Nestled in their little corner, they talked about girly things and giggled at nothing in particular. Inevitably, the conversation turned to men and relationships….. 

Erika: So, have you met anyone interesting lately? 

Shawna: Hmm….well, kinda. I met someone. He seems really nice and interesting. And he’s a lot of fun…but he’s not... (she stumbled slightly over the words, not sure whether they would make her look shallow or fickle)…he’s not really good-looking and he’s a bit shorter than I would like.

 Erika: Oh…well, you have a packaging problem.

 There’s a slight pause while Shawna tries to take this in. She’s slightly confused…

 Shawna: A packaging problem? What’s that??

 Erika: That’s when you get a present, but you’re not crazy about the way it’s wrapped or boxed.

 Shawna nods slowly like she gets it, but the blank look on her face must have given her away.

 Erika: Okay…picture this: Someone goes to Tiffany’s and buys you an expensive piece of jewelry. It’s wrapped up nicely in a box with ‘Tiffany’s’ stamped boldly on its side. You get this present and you’re all excited, right? ‘Cos you can see right away that it’s something from Tiffany’s and when you open it, you’re not disappointed, right?

Shawna: Hmmm…right…

Erika: Now, imagine that you get the exact same piece of jewelry, but it doesn’t come in a fancy box all ribbonned-up and everything…it comes in a plain, brown…even ugly…box. You get this present and at first sight, you’re not excited…you’re disappointed, and you almost don’t bother to open it. But, you figure you might as well get it over with, and you open it…Imagine your delight when you see the beautiful jewelry inside the box…

At this point, Shawna begins to get where Erika’s coming from. She nods…

Shawna: Yes…and you forget how turned-off you were with that plain, brown box…

Erika: Yep…on the other hand, you could get a Tiffany’s box, with all the fancy ribbons and so on…but when you open the box, the diamonds are not real...

The analogy is not lost on either of them…they sit in silence and think about how many times they had made snap judgments because they hadn’t taken the time to look deeper. Erika thinks about the new man in her life…she figures it’s worth giving him a shot. Who knows, he might turn out to be a diamond-in-the-rough…a Tiffany diamond in a plain, brown box…. While she thinks about this, something else strikes her…scares her…

Erika: What if you get the biggest, fanciest box you ever saw…delivered to your door with roses and chocolates…you excitedly open the box…gasping in anticipation of the incredible present inside…your anticipation turns to disappointment….then shock…and finally fear, because you just promised to exchange your most prized possession for something you thought was priceless…but…the box is empty…

Erika and Shawna sit quietly in the midday sun…the cool breeze running through their hair, just as the thoughts run through their minds….


O. Odunze