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.
“These are just few of my favorite things…” :^)
I like the modern day equivalent, such as when the clerk pulls the drawstring on the transluscent bag carrying my iPod. :)
I also like colorful bags from art museums and understated yet elegant packaging from French tea shops and Belgian chocolatiers.
But I’m happy as a thoroughly modern Milford, I guess.
Hey J, did you notice how the Chinese packaged things while you were in China? One of the things I really enjoyed about my mission in Taiwan was the ingenuity with which they made things portable. If you bought passion fruit juice “to go,” it would be presented to you in a small plastic bag, into which a straw had been inserted, then held in place by a string tied around it–with a loop so you could dangle the whole contraption from your wrist or from the handlebars of your bike. Very cool!
p.s. Are you guys fans of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”? That’s one of my very favorite movies!
p.p.s. The word verification code I had to provide to leave this comment was “faascuk.” I find it disturbingly close to an obscenity.