Am I the only one who thinks that the stuff we buy continues to get harder and harder to open? It seems everything is wrapped up, tight as the paper on the wall, and nearly impossible to access.

The products instruct us to “Hold here and pull.” “Pinch there.” “Press down and twist.” “Lift ‘n Peel.”

I’ve come to believe that those directions are the stuff of contemporary myth. The product designers seduce us into thinking we can actually do those things. And with our bare hands, no less.

I know I’ll be grabbing the scissors and knives to get the job done. Perhaps resorting to a wrench or a screwdriver. I might be wising up, but I’m still losing the battle.

On a trip to the grocery store recently, I purchased some new blush in the cosmetics aisle – a little treat for myself amongst the (hard to open) canned goods and kitty litter.

A few days later, a birthday party invitation arrived. “Aha,” one said to oneself. “What better time for one’s cheek bones to look sparkly and fresh. And we have a new product. Let’s use it! What fun this will be.”

But first, one needed to open it.

I’m not going to take the time here to tell you how poorly that went. I will only tell you that when it was time to go to the party, I was not sparkly, I forgot the birthday card, and the blush … well, the blush is no longer useable.

Neither are my favorite scissors, whose sharp little pointy ends are gone. Worn to a nubbin in endless attempts to open the hermetically sealed package.

Not to get on a soapbox here, but the damage we’re doing to our environment with all that wrapping and packaging is incalculable. I am assuming that it’s the product maker’s intention to protect us from tampering, disease, contamination. Those are noble goals, but surely there’s a better way.

Sallie Collins enjoys living on the banks of the May River and writes about it in her blog,, from which this article is taken.