What DON’T We Want Sent to Us Monthly in a Box?
Once you have a baby, you have a lot more dinner parties, or at least more nights spent in mismatched chairs around your kitchen table drinking leftover white wine and sake and eating take out with your friends. On one of these recent nights at my place, a friend brought up the now inescapable trend of Monthly Boxes o’ Stuff, like Birchbox and Ipsy (cosmetics), NatureBox (snacks), BarkBox (cosmetics AND snacks — for dogs!), and so on.
Wouldn’t it be great, I wondered, tipsy on half a glass of Riesling, to have a Period Box? Once a month, it would show up, much like your period itself, only helpfully, with rom coms, tearjerker books, dark chocolate, and the occasional pad / tampon / Diva cup / whatever? My friends cheered the idea, told me I should go ahead and make my fortune. But when I took the zillion dollar plan to social media, other friends dealt my dream a boot to the face. Apparently HelloFlo and Le Parcel have already cornered the menstrual market. (Though both services are awfully pastel; would anyone pay for a more punk rock version? Just asking.)
What is this about? Do we secretly yearn for a reprieve from the limitless decisions that make up our days, Paradox of Choice–style? Do the rigorous demands of democracy make us desperate to put smaller, quotidian choices in someone else’s hands? Is it more a sense of nostalgia for the care packages of our childhoods, assuming we had care packages, or childhoods?
Regardless, our penchant for getting things in the mail is good news for the struggling United States Postal Service. We now gladly pay to receive scheduled deliveries of fancy clothes (Trunk Club, Stitch Fix) the same way we used to receive covert deliveries of pornography. Wine? Bien sur. Cheese? But of course! BBQ sauce? Duh. Coffee! Jerky! Ice cream! Check, check, double check. OK, forget food. What about detergent samples and other free crap? Yup, that too. We will even give some stranger on Long Island $10 and say “Surprise me!”
What, I ask you, is left? What will we first-world human beings NOT sign up to have shipped to us regularly for the sheer joy of opening up brown boxes? From what I can tell:
• Nazi memorabilia
• Ventriloquist dummies
• The decapitated heads of movie stars
Sez Mike, “One thing I would not liked shipped in a box is a phone, and when you turn on the phone there is a live recording of you opening the box and then you turn around and …”