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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Friday, July 21, 2023

You should be getting a package today.

My mother texted me this morning. Those are some of my favorite words to hear, along with “here is some salted caramel cashew ice cream” and “you look so skinny in that dress.”

But packages are really the best. Packages mean fun things.

Phone calls don’t always mean fun things. Sometimes they mean news. And news isn’t always good.

Mail doesn’t always mean fun things. Sometimes it means bills and letters from the IRS about things they got wrong but will hold you responsible for anyway.

Packages, though, are always good. Nobody sends bad news in a package. Nobody sends late notices in a package.

Packages from my mother are even better. Packages from my father are pretty good, but his usually come with a Hello Kitty and by the time they arrive she has already eaten all the cookies and chocolate that may have been in there.

When my mother texts me that a package is imminent I get very excited. And smiley. And I check my watch every five minutes to see if it’s time for it to be here yet.

I try to guess what it is but I’m never right, because she always thinks of something different and fun. Could it be earrings? Or a new honey? Maybe some cookies that will arrive intact?

When I got the notification that the package had arrived in the mailroom, I actually put on clothes and shoes and went down to get it.

I should pause here to tell you that whenever a package is delivered to the mailroom, it gets put into a parcel box with a super secret code, and you have three days to pick it up before they start charging you for your use of the box.

So I’m incentivized to pick packages up by the end of the third day, which usually means I pick up packages at the end of the third day. I mean… the mail room is all the way down the stairs and around the corner in the other building. It takes me a full minute and a half to get there. Then I have to walk all the way back up the stairs, carrying a package no less!

But when I know it’s from my mother or father, I zing down there and trot back up in 45 seconds flat.

Today I waited about ten minutes because I was in the middle of doing something, then realized whatever it was paled in importance to what awaited me, and went down.

I was not disappointed.

I got some bags of plantain chips, a pouch of bourbon barrel tea, which is a thing I never knew existed, and a cute t-shirt.

Only one of the bags of plantain chips was empty. Maybe a crumb left.

The note that came with it, though, was the icing. It was an apology, for traumatizing me by making me stuff a pillow with old stockings. And she hoped a few treats would bring peace back to the universe. I laughed, then licked some salt from the bottom of the plantain bag.

Today was a day of not much happening. After a week of conferences and dinners and cocktails and entertaining, we took the day off to chill and unwind. There was no ice cream. We didn’t even make mojitos.

But I got a package. And that made me smile, which is really the best thing you can do in a day.

Photo: some goodies from my mother, who always knows how to make me smile.