I was wrapping up a (belated) holiday box to send to my in-laws last week. I piled all the stuff inside the box and pulled out a couple of rolls of wrapping tape (one tan, one clear) to tape it all up.
I realized as I was wrapping, that for me wrapping tape has really ruined parcel post. I long for the days when packages were all wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string. And I think the string is what made it really satisfying.
That magical string–that was knotted in places and could double as a handle when a package was to bulky to carry otherwise. I really miss it.
In my 19th-century fantasy life (the one I live when I’ve leapt headfirst into some primary source documents), everything is tied with string. When I go to the local store to stock up on essentials the shopkeeper ties string around my paper parcel of tea, my carefully chosen spices, and the newly-milled packet of whole wheat flour. Even the length of calico that I buy E’s new dress is tied up with string. Of course I carefully untie the string from my parcels and add it to the ball that I keep in the back of my bureau drawer.