So this is a total departure and I promise to be back to normality soon. But we are in the USA and reality has to some degree been suspended - temporarily. And the anticipation of a small package arriving has been enormous.
Some weeks ago, my younger daughter, who lives in the USA, signed up for a small package. A fix. But not of the kind you might be thinkingI mean. This is a parcel of dreams, specially selected, beautifully wrapped in tissue, chosen with you in mind - after you have filled in your styles and your preferences and your selected sections. I was signed up by this same daughter, filled in my size (6; you have to love USA sizing, that sounds so small!) selected my style (classic casual) and my favorite (we are in America, remember) color - blues and navies. And sat back and waited.
She and I skayjuled simultaneous deliveries. We checked online yesterday and discovered that our little parcels had left San Francisco. Could they, would they, arrive in Virginia today?
They could and did. My happiness levels soared. A little box, a true STITCH FIX, of 5 articles I might like. A box for her and a box for me.
I could hardly contain my excitement.
Wearing a very inexpensive supermarket teeshirt, (thank you, Sainsburys! My summer clothes are all in store in London) I opened up to beautifully wrapped and folded white tissue paper. Giggles from excitement and anticipation - what would I find inside?
There were to be five items, each specially selected by my stylist - Joyce, according to the note inside.
Joyce, you are amazing. How did you know? I suspect you are really a computer but even so, I am astounded at what I unpack.
First, a glimpse of navy and white stripes. One of my favorite combinations. Enthusiastically I pull it out and hold it up to me. Is it a dress? A tunic top? Beach wear? I love the red buttons on the shoulder - a nice detail. (Pronounced de-TAYLE)
Next, a shirt. Just a shirt. Blue, turquoise-y blue, with orange flecks. I would not ever have given it a second glance on a rail in a store.
My daughter pounces on it and tries it on. She looks stunning as usual.
What else? More navy.
A stunning little jacket, with pretty lace trim where there might have been pockets, and a sweet white-with-pink-spots lining.
And a necklace.
Each of the clothes has a useful tag, showing a range of clothes (which you probably already possess) that create outfits with this particular item. The turquoise shirt is shown with white trousers (sorry, pants, we are in the USA) and with a denim skirt.
Time to try things for size and style. I start with the stripes. And am horrified by the shortness of length and the sack-like fit. I hear my grandmother's derisory voice whisper in my ear - "Mutton dressed like lamb."
Leggings underneath? I suggest to the family. No way is what I think they mean in their laughter.
I opt for the shirt next. And team it with the jeans. The family all exclaim with delight. YES!
The navy jacket is tried with white underneath, as suggested on its style tag. It's good. But I have a very similar one already, and can't justify another. But Joyce got this right too.
So that leaves the necklace. It's not me at all. And I realise that jewellery is just too personal for me to want a stranger to choose it for me; and I have much-loved things already, usually given to me by my husband, celebrating and commemorating. I don't even try this on. Leather and mock gold? Definitely not me.
Of the five items sent
- One I would not ever have given a second look in a shop but is highly rated by onlookers (shirt)
- One I love but I have its cousin already (jacket)
- One is just right and exactly what I need (jeans - my own much loved pair have worn out and have a hole!)
- One is totally not me (necklace)
- One is wrong size in that it is too short for my age and not fitted enough for my preference (tunic/dress)
Will I keep anything? I've paid a $20 stylist fee which I lose if I don't put it towards anything. Nothing is more than $90, so well within my specified price range. And the family love the shirt and the jeans.
I have three days to decide.
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My happiness levels were dangerously high in anticipation of the small box arriving. There is a two week waiting list if you sign up (here if you live in the USA) which cleverly adds to the anticipation. There was enormous fun in daughter and me having boxes arrive together, trying things on, laughing and photographing, entertaining our husbands with our looks and comments. And return postage is free.
Such a simple idea. So easily achieved.
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Tomorrow morning a small "package" awaits me, as it does every morning.
God's Word, His gift to me. It's lifegiving and it's life enhancing and it's life transforming.