I just unwrapped a box from my mother. It was a Halls box, wrapped in Halls paper with a Halls bow.

If you’re unfamiliar with Halls (because this blog is undoubtedly going to attract national attention), it’s a fancy local department store, kind of like Saks. My mother has worked there since I was eight.

The problem, of course, with your mother working at Halls is that you might get something in a Halls box that is:

1. Something that was once $450 that has been marked down to 90% off and then purchased with her discount, which made it $4.50. This is usually wrapped with the price tag still on so you can appreciate the discount.

2. Something that is actually a gift but from QuikTrip or someplace else decidedly un-Halls.

3. Something that is not really a gift, but you needed it, and she has wrapped it in a Halls box because we have a million of them. So when you think you’re going to be getting a Chanel compact, it’s actually a box of Fiber One bars that she thought would be “more fun if you can unwrap it.”

All of these are wonderful, actually. I’m not looking in the mouths of any gift horses (what does that even mean?).  But this time I got some mascara I’d been coveting. (I’m not even sure I told my mom I wanted it, but she knew anyway. How do moms do that?)