I think it's universally agreed upon that, unless you're living in the witness protection program after ratting out a mob boss, a package on your doorstep is a very happy sight indeed. Last night I came home to three. THREE!!! Okay, so one of them was for Katie, but you get it right? I could totally justify caps and exclamation points for just two. I was expecting them (sort of) and knew what they were so it wasn't really a surprise but that does not in any way take away from the absolute joy of seeing them there, crowding my welcome mat. I was even excited for Katie to open hers. Packages = Love.
The first was my order from Barnes and Noble. People know how much I love gift cards to book stores so I always get them for Christmas and my birthday. (Note: if you're looking for something for Rachel Appreciation Day - held on the first Thursday after the Second Wednesday of every month - you would not go wrong with a gift card to Borders. Except the Writers Guild of America. You know what they can give me? New episodes of the Office!! I'm DYING without them.) Because my birthday happened while I was house-sitting at the Dukes I ended up putting all those wonderful cards into a gift bag after my party and putting it in my closet before heading back to dust more Surfing Santa figurines. I found them when I was moving...around Christmas time. And suddenly I found myself rolling in plastic money. Hooray! I bought my weight in books in the stores but I still had some money left over. So it was time for CDs. I haven't purchased a CD in months but I had been wanting the new Rilo Kiley since I heard a full review on NPR and Amazon had been recommending this Robert Plant/Allison Krauss CD for a while now and that seemed like kind of a weird and magical pairing so I got that too (see exactly how much I loved this CD here. I feel bad for Rilo Kiley because I may never get to theirs.)
The next package needs some explaining. Picture Young Adorable Impressionable Rachel. It's her 7th birthday. She just opened a package from Uncle Kim & Aunt Vicki. It was 3 books from the Trixie Belden series. Who's Trixie Belden you ask? She's Nancy Drew, only so much better. Nancy was just too perfect. With her lawyer father and powder blue convertible. I couldn't stomach her. And she played that old trick that all Alpha Girls play, she surrounded herself with seemingly inferior people. In Nancy's case her dopey boyfriend Ned, and her two best friends, Bess, who was "pleasantly plump" (read: fat) and George, the tom-boy (read: future member of the wrestling team). Nope, Nancy Drew was not for me. But Trixie was awesome. She had cool older brothers and great friends and they had a secret club with matching jackets and they helped the poor and underprivileged out, and still managed to find mysteries and get into scrapes. Because that's what young teenage sleuths do, they get into scrapes. My dad would read a chapter a night to me out of two of the books and I read the third on my own. Fast forward 25 years and talk to Laura, who had the not so enviable task of organizing my book collection, and you can see exactly what Trixie lead to.
I still have all of my Trixie Belden books, except that the collection isn't complete. I grew out of her before getting all of them and it's been a little bit of a heartbreak to me. Enter Joan. What can we say about Joan, except wow, and maybe can I take a nap now. Because Joan is a wee little pixie spit-fire who loves tag sales. Joan is Amanda's mom and during those golden days of being roommates (with Amanda, not Joan) she learned about my incomplete Trixie Belden collection and vowed to find the rest of the books for me. And she has stuck to her promise. About every few months I will get a package from Joan containing old copies of Trixie books (And sometimes clothes. The woman can not stop herself from a getting a good deal.) It is always really thrilling to open the package and see which ones she's found. They're usually books that I have already except usually from a different printing of them, which is just as exciting. They've actually started reprinting these books and I could certainly go on line and find dozens of copies of the ones that I'm missing but that would mean that I'd have to tell Joan to stop looking. And I believe, and I'm sure that Amanda would agree, that the hunt is what really gets Joan going. I couldn't deprive her of that. And that means that I still will get surprise packages. Win-win.