What Kate Buys for Herself With Christmas Money, or, Mail, Wonderful Mail

Even though I had a busy day at work with an infuriating incident with my manager (as I’m carefully tweaking the color and light settings of an old picture for a customer, he’s breathing down my neck. “You should have that printed by now, Kate. You really need to hurry, Kate. Come on, Kate…”), I was pleasantly pleased when I got home from work.

I always check the mail when I get home. Today, I did not walk up to my apartment with bills and a letter or two. I walked up with an armful of packages and a letter, all with my name on them. I opened the package from my mom first, then remembered that she told me she’d send me a red, blinking reflector, like the one Dad wears when he bikes home in the dark. She even sent an extra battery and a bunch of candy as well. The reflector made me smile as I was just wondering, on my walk home tonight, of the closeness of the cars travelling along the road and of the effectiveness of my puffy, yellow coat.

I opened the letter next. It looked conspicuously like a wedding announcement, but the only sign as to who it was from was a nameless address in Lehi. I automatically began reviewing the cousins who live there and wondering if any of them were marrying age. The inner envelope was pleasing, circles folded together and sealed with a silver circle sticker. Squeals soon followed: a childhood friend of mine, years older, has included invites to all the festivities. The ceremony, the reception, the luncheon. We really must have a chat soon, Kaelyn. I want to know all about this boy of yours.

The next was another bubble envelope. It’s got something slender and long inside, so I know exactly what it is. However, I don’t know exactly how it’s carved or what the finish is. I am pleased by both; the knob is a ball held between cupped ends, and the wood is very light, not at all red. I love both. It fits in my bright blue utensil jug perfectly as well.

The last thing left was the best. This is a box. I tore the tag across, and inside, snuggled in peanuts and red tissue paper, is another box. There is a folded printout of my invoice and an envelope beneath. I pick up the box. It’s wrapped once with a ribbon, but instead of tied at the top, the ribbon is stuck down with a large sticker with graphics proclaiming the artist’s name. The ends of the ribbon, which is fat and creme with spots up in a row, are left to wrap how they will around the box, but the ribbon is so sensible that it goes without much flourish.

I peel half the sticker off and open the box. Inside, nestled on fine cotton and inside a small plastic bag, are my rings. They are thinner than I expected, but that is just fine. My fingers are thin as well. Under these is another plastic bag, simply labelled “polishing cloth” so I don’t have to puzzle over it.

The rings fit exactly the way I want them to. A little loose to allow for future fat fingers, but one ring is slightly smaller than the others so as to hold them on while I shake my hand vigorously. The envelope underneath the box reveals a card with a handwritten note and a tiny medallion on more ribbon with another sticker. The medallion whispers, “thank you.”

I carefully put the packaging back to keep its beauty and float to the kitchen to get a drink of fruit juice. I leave the big envelope of health plan options from work unopened.


About The Original Kate

Along with artistic tendencies, Kate enjoys unusual people and is constantly striving for some sort of nonconformity. Kate offers a perspective that is thoughtful but well-written and full of images within the words. Other tidbits that might intrigue: she has very long auburn hair, and, you guessed it, her favorite color is orange.

Posted on January 26, 2008, in From Rabid-Mormon Land Known As Utah and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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