Daily: Self care in the mail.


Literary Shadow Puppet


I was literally hundreds of words deep into a blog post on, of all things, patience when I lost it all: every, blessed word. I’d saved it, and was going to read it through one last time in preview mode – my last step before publishing – when it went *poof!*

How does that even happen? I SAVED THE DAMN THING!

Don’t even ask am I sure. I’ve been blogging since 2006. I am sure. Yes, I’ve tried going to the All Posts drafts. It’s gone, baby. This is why they say don’t fall in love with your own words, and, if you do, cut them out and start over again.

Thanks for the lesson, Karma.


Remember how I told you I’m such a cheapskate? I succumbed to a clothing subscription service . I hate shopping like Trump does ethnic minorities; I dress like the bag lady all the other bag ladies make fun of. Since I scrimp and save most other places, I thought maybe I could throw a little money into improving my wardrobe.

How it works is you give them your sizes and a few preferences, like colors and trends you like or don’t, and how formally or informally you dress (or intend to, in my case), and they pick out some pieces and ship them to you at the frequency you specify. I’m going with every two months, to try it out.

You keep what you like, if anything, ship back what you don’t, for no additional charge. One key thing is not forgetting to ship back what I don’t want. That’s how places like this “get you,” as they say. People are lazy or busy and forget, and the last thing you want is to get stuck with stuff you’re not going to wear. I can’t see how I can lose. If I don’t like the stuff, or it’s too expensive, I just stop the subscription – done. If I do like it, no more shopping stress.

I can’t mess up my wardrobe more than it is, that’s for dang sure.



Lately I’ve let myself slide a couple steps above homeless. You can get away with that “just rolled out of bed” look at twenty or even thirty, but once you pass 40 (and, ahem, beyond) it’s just sad. Not putting in effort is like owning high quality stuff you don’t use, saving it for a special occasion. What if that special occasion never comes?

In this case, I’m the high quality stuff.


It’s like I woke up and suddenly wanted to dress like a human. Can you believe other women take this kind of stuff for granted? They get manis and pedis, wear makeup and take showers.

Does this mean I’m one of them?


The most delightful loofa…


Singles Swag  started my whole subscription mania. It’s a monthly service for people who never indulge themselves. Aimed specifically at dried up old spinsters who sit home Saturday nights, I get all sorts of lotions and loofas, jewelry and hair stuff, even coloring books with pencils. It’s fun, all the items useful in their own way, and it’s been a blast.

I loved it so much, for my daughter’s birthday I bought her a knitting subscription. Once a month she gets yarn and knitting gadgets, patterns, and I honestly don’t know what, because I’m still waiting for her to send me a picture of it.



I think subscriptions are pretty brilliant. It’s fun getting things in the mail, especially if it’s chosen for you by someone with good taste. It’s a present you know is coming, but it’s still a surprise: a very cool business model. I’d sign up for one of those pre-planned, healthy food delivery services, but that’s an expense I can’t justify – not for just one person. Remember, I’ve set my grocery threshold at $ 30 – $ 40 a week – the latter only if I need something pricey like cleaning supplies or dog food.

What’s a little surprising is I don’t belong to any mail order book clubs. Through my life, I’ve belonged to several. I started with the Literary Guild when I was a teenager, back when new memberships got you five free books. Soon, I learned you can join for the free books, buy their minimum required number, then quit and start all over again.

My lack of shame goes back a long, long way.


From there I moved on to Book of the Month Club, which I’m surprised to say still exists. Then Quality Paperback Book Club, which has been absorbed by the Literary Guild. The now-defunct Waterstone’s Signed First Editions from the UK came later, then the Square Books Signed First Edition Club. The Oxford, Mississippi bookstore is a magnet for the finest writers in the U.S., especially southerners. It’s one reason Oxford’s still on my short-list of places I may move one day.

Does it surprise you I’d move to be in proximity to an awesome bookstore?


The iconic Square Books, Oxford, MS


In non-mail subscriptions, I joined a gym back in December (a cheap one!). What with my cracked rib immediately followed by a broken toe, I haven’t been able to make use of it once this year. The lengths I’ll go to avoid exercising, I swear.

Finally, my toe’s healed enough to allow me to wear shoes that aren’t big, clompy snow boots – another attractive look. I’m going back over the weekend, after I pick up a bigger pair of gym shoes. I don’t want to push it just yet.


Now you know what I do when I’m not reading: I join mail order clubs. It may sound indulgent; really, it’s about priorities. Mine have shifted from a warm house and expensive groceries to me-centered things.

Much more slowly, I’m trying to tuck away a little money for traveling. I will get back to the UK, mark my words. Now that you’ve seen what I’m capable of, something tells me you believe it.


So, the post on patience didn’t happen. Ah, well. Maybe next time I go off on a personal tangent you’ll find out what I had to say. The Fates had another topic in mind.

Patience can wait.


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