Tuesday, January 12, 2010

UPS Sticker = My Cheap Thrill

Receiving packages in the mail might be on my list of Top Five Favorite Things Ever. There’s nothing like tearing open a cardboard box without knowing what’s inside, my mind racing with images of clothing and artwork and concert tickets and home goods. What could it be? The sensation of uncertainty and excitement that comes in the form of a UPS sticker is better than a warm cup of jo on a cool day, better than a blind date that doesn’t end in disaster – better than retail therapy.

And yesterday? When I arrived home? Not one but two – two! – brown packages were waiting for me. They rested against my metal mailbox that sits in the center of a whole row of mailboxes, which I never want to open because it screams bills! junk! jury duty!. (You know how they say big things come in small packages? Well, the only big things I’ve ever received in small packages are bills – for my Jeep, my credit cards, and my highway-robbery college education. And those don’t count. So I stick with the more appropriate saying, Big things come in gigantic packages.)

I (read: Darren) towed my one gigantic package and one medium-sized box back to the condo, where I made a mess by dumping the little Styrofoam nuggets (what are those things called?) across the concrete floor. My arms grew weak while shredding the outer tape and burrowing through the white and aqua-colored nuggets, hunting for my prize.

What could it be? WHAT COULD IT BE, DAMNIT?!

I became anxious, jumpy, my own version of the Energizer Bunny. Just a moment before, I’d been lounging on the couch in a hideous pair of sweats, contemplating whether or not I had enough strength to get up and make dinner for myself. I’d even thought to suck down some water, go to sleep, and wait to eat until my Starbucks breakfast (read: coffee) the next morning. (Yes, sometimes I’m that lazy.) But all of a sudden I was wound-up and famished.

The box was much too large to house a gift certificate; it stood taller than I did! And it was far too light to hold a piece of furniture, except for maybe a couch cushion or a set of bath towels. (But who would send those?) I tore my way through the bubble wrap and at last caught sight of a pattern of black and white stripes. Confused, I yanked the contraption from the casing and – hurrah! – found my answer.

My uncle had sent me a keyboard – a musical one, not one for my computer – from North Carolina. He now owns a newer, nicer keyboard, but he has been talking about sending me this thing for months, maybe even years. How could I have forgotten? I plugged it in and set it on my desk, on my computer-work-station-cum-music-studio. It looked brilliant.

Now I just need to learn to play.

Oh! Package number two, the smaller one, was a photo-adorned coffee mug from Christyn. Thanks, C!

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