It began with a bet between three girlfriends, to see who could do it better. You see, Carole's technique was lacking a bit of finesse. It was fine, it did the job, but it just wasn't getting the results she wanted.
Mandy and I decided we could teach her a thing or two.
Mandy went first. She did better than Carole, but suffered from performance anxiety, and took far longer than she usually would.
I went next, over-confident as usual. I rushed it, showing off, and the next thing you know, I had left behind several unsightly bubbles.
Then Adam wandered over to check things out.
"You girls know nothing," he told us, with a touch of the expert's arrogance. "Move over and let me show you how it's done."
He sat down with us and grabbed some tools. And let me tell you, this man knew his stuff. Within minutes, we were sighing over his fingers, overwhelmed by his spectacular touch.
"Firm, and yet tender," Carole marvelled.
"Incredible," I breathed. "His wife is so lucky."
"Great ruler work," noted Mandy. "He's really getting the bubbles out."
Adam smoothed out the final crease, and raised his book with a triumphant flourish.
"And that," he announced, "is how a book should be covered."
It was magnificent. I was awed. And inspired. I rushed home to finish covering the 15 (yes, FIFTEEN) books required by my school aged kids. I knew that, after Adam's masterclass, I would produce perfect results.
Oh...... but I was wrong.
Out of the 11 books remaining on my desk, only two left my hands perfectly creaseless (using 'perfectly' in the sense of 'well, creaseless compared to my other books, but still hopeless in comparison to Adam's').
One book I actually covered in the wrong coloured paper, risking humiliation and insult to my eight year old daughter. Several books I covered in coloured paper that I'd managed to glue to the table first, resulting in an attractive 'cloudy' effect where the colour had come away (though, unsurprisingly, my kids failed to buy this metaphor). And two books ended up with stray bits of scrap paper under the contact, for which I couldn't come up with a metaphor at all.
So I concede defeat. I am the Worst Contacter In The World. Not only am I worse than Adam, but I am worse than Mandy, Carole, and pretty much any other parent to ever grace the halls of any school.
Still, it's not like I really care. It's covering books, for godsake, not rocket science. It's not like it's going to affect my kids' futures.
But if we were talking about the perfectly tied school tie, well..... that would be another story.