That’s right, I did just reference Call of Duty in my post title. Why? Because I’m one heck of a BAMF, that’s why. And also because I actually did receive a care package, and I want to tell you about it. No, it’s not from either of my parents, actually: it’s from Jenny, a.k.a. Pearlswirl jewellery on Etsy (or ‘jewelry’ as she likes to spell it – silly Americans).
So I was still trying to bring my heart rate down to normal levels after my oral exam on ‘La crise moderne de la fin du XIX siècle’… when I stumbled through my door and found a small parcel sitting on my bed waiting for me. Aside from feeling weirded out by the fact that my room was different from how I’d left it (it happened again yesterday when I came home from another exam to find a smoke alarm installed on my ceiling); I was giddy with excitement too. Who doesn’t love getting mail? And when I recognised the handwriting and confirmed the sender by the return address, my heart did a little flip. This was going to be special.
Jenny had packed such a wonderful bunch of really thoughtful things into that parcel that one of my first thoughts was ‘I have to blog about this! (…Just as soon as I get my mojo back)’. So here I am! And here they are.
I was most surprised by this little block of room scent: I’ve been looking for a solution like this since I first moved in here. The room is small, and I have to keep all my food in here with me, eat at my desk etc. – and as you’ll see in next week’s Saturday Spotlight, that can often be a pongy affair. One of the bright sides of having a boyfriend in absentia is that I can eat as much garlic, pickle, and blue cheese as I please: however, I do have to inhale the consequences for days afterwards. And as I tend to be irresponsible with candles and also don’t have home insurance, a flameless solution was in order. Et voilà! I popped it into one of my old votives and it’s been gently reforming the air in here ever since :)
That’s not all though, oh no. Jenny remembered that I’d been particularly fond of a set of designer papers at my favourite little stationers’ / trinket shop, Paper Tiger, and had packed me the same set in a different colour scheme. I don’t know if she remembered my post about how I wanted to make paper cranes to hang from my ceiling, or if this was another happy coincidence, but I’m pleased to announce that I now have twelve new little avian friends ready to be hung from somewhere (maybe my new smoke alarm!) just as soon as I get around to it. Thanks Jenny!
Another Paper Tiger find was this cute paper I’ve eyed up more than once myself. I was never brave enough to take the plunge and buy it because large prints intimidate me – and Paper Tiger prices are not to be taken on lightly – but I’m so glad someone had the balls to buy it for me! With a big picture rather than a small pattern, I need to use the whole sheet in one go, so I’m saving this for the perfect-sized project, and when I find it, it’ll be perfectissimo. I love this! :D
What’s better than paper? Adhesive paper! This little book of stickers is super cute, and what a perfect excuse to adorn all sorts of little things I have lying around that could use a little sprucing up! This sort of thing makes a lovely gift because it’s a luxury I wouldn’t have indulged in for myself, but it just makes my life a little brighter: I even used some of the labels to designate sections of the recipe book I received from Joanne and Marianne as a leaving present last year.
Yes, this post does seem to be turning into a see-how-my-friends-love-me-and-shower-me-with-gifts sort of post, doesn’t it? Well, before I leave you all to stew in envy over my friends’ generosity and thoughtfulness, I couldn’t possibly omit the two items Jenny included from her jewellery shop itself: a lovely orange blossom ring and a beautiful double rainbow bracelet. I was sure I’d favourited or mentioned somehow that I liked them, but I have no online record of this, so maybe Jenny’s clairvoyant powers were at work here too. Either way, Jenny, it was so sweet of you to think of all these things, and it means tons to me that our friendship means as much to you as it does to me :)
I felt a little bad at how quickly I melted when faced with all these gifts: but I quickly realised, people tend to associate gifts and ‘stuff’ as materialistic things we should be ashamed of. The reason I was so happy to receive these things was not because of the money that went into buying them: it was because I could just picture my friend browsing the shelves of the Paper Tiger on Lothian Road, as I had so many times last year when she and I shared a nearby flat together, and picking out things here or there that she knew would move me. And they really did. The reason we remove price tags from the gifts we give is not because we’re ‘ashamed’ of how ‘little’ we spent on them*: it’s a recognition of the fact that ‘It’s the thought that counts’ is more than an overused cliché, it’s an age-old truth that reaches deep into the heart of relationships and makes a distinction between what is (relatively!) easily parted with – money – and the true measure of friendship – time. Not just the minutes or hours spent searching for, wrapping, packaging and sending the gifts, but the years spent getting to know your friends, accepting them, supporting them, and listening to them. That’s what came through when I opened my parcel, and that’s why I felt the compelling need to share this with you all.
*I’m terribly aware that inverted commas are not the appropriate grammatical tool here, but I couldn’t think of anything else that gets across my skeptical sentiments. : / I’m also aware that this may not be true for everybody and in some cases that’s ‘exactly’ (:P) why they remove the tags.
When was the last time you sent a reminder to someone you love that you’re thinking of them? When was the last time you received something in the post that made you smile?
I know the whole world is always talking about how we should send more mail, and it would be nice, but that’s not what this post is about. I’m not trying to fundamentally change anyone’s behaviour, I just wanted to share the experience and maybe get people to think about gifts and what they mean: stop viewing them as expressions of materialist greed (which they can be) and start seeing the deeper potential which they can also have if you put the thought into them.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Love and friendship :)