This weekend saw a lot of traffic via post. In between having a cold, being thankful that I came down with a cold over a long weekend, and eating a lot, I sent my beloved Frye Boots off to the Frye Refurbishing Center. Leather boots in a paper bag beside fallen leaves

They are inanimate objects, and cannot truly make my life complete in the same way as a person or a pet, but I miss them. Two or three years ago (in the blurry space between finishing undergrad and starting grad), I bought them from Nordstrom’s for what seemed like an utterly extravagant price. They became my absolutely fabulous boots, which made me feel like Lilly from Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. I took them off reluctantly in spring, when the weather got hot, and then put them back on again as soon as it hinted at cool, I wore them to London and Seattle and New York.

Then they started to show it. I had an encouraging phone conversation with a Frye Customer Care representative, filled out a repair form, then bagged, boxed, insured and confirmation-receipted my beloved boots.

I might have been rawther distraught, thinking about all the awful things that might happen to my boots en route to New York, how I could buy another pair but they would just never be the same as the first pair, had it not been for another package that arrived in the mail.

Last week I made the dangerous connection between my love of Art Deco jewelry and Etsy’s numerous vintage jewelry listings, and arrived at Franziska Vintage Jewels. Most of her pieces are Art Deco, and photographed so beautifully, I was slavering over half the shop in an instant. One little ring in particular kept calling to me. I gazed. I dithered. (Tarn is the only thing I can spend without conscience on, and only a few times a year). I gazed some more. I stepped away. I came back. Finally, I caved.

Small box wrapped in floral paper and tied with a bow

Franziska kindly gave me the tracking code so I could stalk my package across the West Coast, agonizing over its halt in a Phoenix sorting plant over Thanksgiving. A day later, Stella went mad as the postman came up to the house.

Small black box with gold decoration on lid

The tiny niggling worries I had about buying a piece, sight unseen, from a complete stranger dissipated when I tore open the manilla envelope and found this box inside. Joelle Hoverson stresses how very important it is to package gifts well. She is absolutely right, and the same holds for mail-order purchases.

Inside the wonderful wrapping was a box, and not just any box. A box to hold a box.

Outer black box opened to reveal the hinged box inside


(The whole process, drawn out by pauses to photograph each layer, was rawther suspenseful)

Art Deco ring inside hinged black box

Finally, inside the box-within-a-box, the ring. I was thrilled to see it looked as it had in the pictures: finely made but not too delicate, with a teeny little diamond at its center. The size on the listing was accurate, the condition just as described, and it looked every bit as elegant on my hand as the hand it was modeled on. But now, it’s even better than it was in the listing, because now, it is my ring.

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