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very good things


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what a wonderful thing to come home to; a package. a package with a handwritten address label. a package from a friend.
long day over, i came from my parent's house from celebrating my dad's birthday and arrived home to find a brown kraft paper-wrapped box on my front steps under my mailbox. i'm expecting a photo shipment, but this was the wrong shape for photos altogether; this was a narrow rectangular box. the address label on the box was hand-written, and very familiar. this label was written by my friend sara, and the box came from new york city.
sara wrote me last week that i "should be expecting a little something in the mail" this week; i was expecting something card-shaped. this was a box. this was a birthday gift!
i wanted to desperately to just tear the brown paper wrapping off the box in grand savage style, but thought it over as i was letting my dogs outside, and decided to sit down and open it like a grown-up-person. i'm glad i did because i was able to enjoy the opening even moreso.
removing the brown paper from the box yeilded another layer of paper, lime greem tissue paper. hehe. double wrapped. like pepperidge farm bread. that was, i supposed the actual wrapping paper on the gift. the brown paper was the overcoat. smart. i removed the green tissue paper to find a converse shoe box! jack purcell low tops! in a SIZE 9! HEY! that's MY SIZE! WOOOO!
then i found a note handwritten on business letterhead: "I DID NOT BUY YOU SHOES." this made me laugh outloud; so loudly in fact that i sort of freaked my self out a little.
the box was taped with clear packing tape. it was taped well. it was taped so well that there was no way i was getting into this box without some sort of blade. i broke the seals sara had made (wow - i mean, REALLY good taping job, sayra.) and very carefully opened the box...
it dawned on me as i was so carefully opening the box that if anyone had been watching, i must have looked a bit like an orphan child opening their one and only christmas gift. when i got the box open, the aroma hit me; i couldn't quite make out one specific scent, as there were so many beautiful scents mingling together. the first thing i saw was a card.
i opened up the card to find a lovely hand-painted "happiness" in chinese characters on red rice cloth with a chop-stamp and some gold leaf glitters on it. lovely! the inside was hilarious as sara had scratched out the words "the holiday season" and written "your birthday", then explained how she'd missed that when she bought the card, and this was definitely not a recycled christmas card! hahahaha!!
then, i saw all the candy...
about a billion tiny boxes of japanese meiji candies! coffee flavored, chocolate, strawberry, grape, these little strawberry-flavored chocolates, and some other candies that are undescernable yet highly delicious! honestly, that would have been enough to tickle me pink, but there was more.
there were four little boxes wrapped up in decorative paper. the first one i opened was a wonderul box containing an aluminum tube of dr. hunters rosewater & glycerine hand creme. an elegant preparation for softening of the skin. indeed! it smells absolutely sublime, and sara can now claim the title of "enabler" as this will quickly become a part of my hand cream addiction.
the second little package i opened was immediately recognizable as some sort of soap. i can sniff out a good soap from 10 paces, and this... this was definitely a good soap. fig. actually, figue. so i shouldn't say it's soap, but savon. the scent is absolutely heavenly, and secretly i want to eat it. i won't, because i've made that mistake before. but still, fig + soap = my kind of savon.
the third was a heavy, nearly square rectangular box which didn't take but one rip of the paper before i was hit with the most incredible fragrance; something slightly citrusy with something round and warm as a top note. as i removed the paper enough to see the label, it was a votivo candle - as sara knows, one of my favorites, and the fragrance was vanilla grapefruit. it is instantly my new favorite, and as i write this, it's burning next to me, filling all corners of my bedroom with the most lovely, brilliantly calming scent.
by the fourth and final wrapped box, i had recognized a pattern. it took me this long because i'm a little slow on the uptake after a good day, and this day had been longer than most. i digress.
opening the fourth box, i have to admit, i wished that it was something very specific that sara and i had discussed, and as i got the paper off of the box, i realized my wish had come true. how often does that happen?
it was toothpaste! i know that might sound weird to anybody but me or sara, but it wasn't just any toothpaste, this was the most wonderful toothpaste - marvis toothpaste. marvis makes the most unbelievable toothpaste flavors - and this was my favorite, jasmine mint. don't knock it until you've tried it; it'll put you off of colgate forever. and the other best part about marvis toothpaste is that it comes in the most gorgeous, chichi shiny aluminum squeeze tube, accented with colors specific to it's flavor - and mine, jasmine mint matches my bathroom perfectly! it goes with my toothbrush, which is lilac, which goes with the wall, which is lilac... silver, white and lilac all on one fabulous tube of toothpaste? shut up! it's perfect. perfect.

i can't wait to brush my teeth before i go to bed tonight with my beautiful new marvis toothpaste! but i can't just yet - i still have more japanese candy to eat...
and that was the best way to come home after a long, hard day at work. thank you, sara. that was the most special thing.
and now, i have to go get the dead rat off of my deck. apparently the bait blocks are working.


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  • I'm melissa mcgee
  • From Temple, Texas, United States
  • photographer. singer. soapcrafter. herbalist. dogmom. godmother. fantastic cook. i kiss better than i cook. [all photographs on this blog copyright melissa mcgee unless otherwise noted.]
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