Day 28

I am not surly today, just tired. Angus and Matt and I went over to my mom and dad's and ate Chinese food with them. I tried to go do my information picketing thing this afternoon but there was nobody there and then there was an email with more precise times and this is all kind of a clusterfuck and now we're doing a withdrawal of services next Wednesday which is one of only two days I work, which kind of sucks, but I support the teachers and fuck Doug Ford. I know I said that already, it bears repeating.

I feel like everybody has probably seen this already, but if you haven't, it is the purest thing. Angus and I have been playing it repeatedly and giggling like fools all day. There's already a shirt.

I've got nothing else. I've been trying to get through one book for the last week and a half because I keep staying up too late and then falling asleep when I try to read, so I'm going to try to go to bed early. I'll let you know how that went tomorrow.

Oh wait, I thought of something I was going to talk about. Subscription boxes. How do we feel about subscription boxes? My opinion is very Jekyll/Hyde. On the one hand: who doesn't love getting mail, and a box of surprise cool stuff showing up every month or so is THE BEST. On the other: What a gigantic steaming pile of crap rip-off bullshit, why don't I just go buy myself something I actually want instead of overpaying for a box that is probably going to contain one or two cool things and three or four things that seem like they came from someone's grandmother's basement?

The ones we have tried so far (and by "we" I mean "me", although a couple I ordered for the kids):

The Ipsy Bag: Five personalized beauty products a month. I got it for myself for a bit, stopped, and then got it for Eve for Christmas. There was a big range here, and the stuff we liked we really liked - discovered a couple of great brands and colours of lipstick, eyeshadow and highlighter etc. The fails were that they would round out the bag with a one or two skin care products, which annoys me because generally people have a skin care routine already, and it's unlikely that they are going to add some random tiny tube of moisturizer to it. Also, trying to paint your nails with polish from a tiny bottle is stupid. Then there was the problem of the adorable bags that the products come in. Every month. There are only so many things you can do with these slightly-smaller-than-pencil-case adorable bags, but you can't throw them out because, pay attention, ADORABLE, and before you know it you're in a Tribble situation (well, less exponential, I guess) and it's untenable. We cancelled it after about a year.

Quirky Crate: "The subscription box for the not-so-basic girl". Well there's my mistake, I must not have seen this before ordering it for Eve - we are as basic as they come. I got it for Christmas, again (I just like the idea of giving her something that isn't huge up front but gives her a little surprise every month or so for the year). This was mostly a fail - junky accessories and stuff pitched too young. She got a cool pair of socks out of it and I think that's about the only thing she actually liked. We cancelled after two boxes.

MeUndies: Underwear, "soft, sustainable and designed for pure comfort". This was an unqualified success, especially because I've been a bit lax in the past about making sure Eve has properly-fitting underwear. I started out by ordering her the Pride print because they were making a donation to some LGBTQ organization, and then I got her a subscription for Christmas. The prints are all amazing - she would regularly flash me her unicorn or shark undies while wearing a sundress. We went with the cheeky brief and she said they're amazingly comfortable. We only cancelled because her underwear drawer was overflowing.

Munchpak: "New and popular snacks from around the world delivered to your door". I got this for Angus for Christmas last year because he's at college and playing baseball and always hungry. He loved it. He said some stuff is a little weird but he doesn't care. We cancelled it when he came home for the summer. I will probably do it for Christmas again.

CauseBox; "Exclusive, ethically made products, $200+ value for $49.95, delivered four times a year". It was my first Christmas where I was actually making some money of my own, and the heady thrill of it led me to spend that money many times over. This sounded so cool - ethically made! Great value! Exclusive! (okay, I don't give a single crap about exclusive - if someone likes something I have, my impulse is to buy them one and be delighted that we match.) It wasn't bad, exactly. I got a couple of really nice things - a necklace I love, a...actually the necklace is the only thing I can think of that I wear consistently. A couple of things were really nice for gifts. It's curated really nicely and the packaging is gorgeous. That is.... not enough to justify the cost. I don't really know what to do with a jade face roller. I don't need multiple pink scarves. There was a gorgeous set of makeup brushes that would be useless to me if I didn't have a sixteen-year-old daughter who actually wears makeup that requires brushes.

I'm still considering getting Eve this one for Christmas - the ones that you can cancel at any time are usually worth a try, in my opinion. But generally the ones that don't offer specific products are probably not really good value, especially when you factor in that they're in American dollars - I'm better off going out and just, you know, buying my own shit. My memory is basically crap at this point, so if I really want to be surprised I can just stick it in a box and wrap it and hide it - at some point I'll find it and be pleasantly surprised. 

Comments

the queen said…
You should start a box service with all the stuff you don’t like from the boxes you get. One man’s trash.
Elizabeth said…
I am so tempted by the subscription boxes, but I have the same reservations. But the idea of getting a "gift" in the mail every month, even if it's from myself, sounds so lovely. As for the information pickets, well, I got mine over with yesterday in the biting wind. I went to a high school where I didn't know anyone, though, so it was a bit strange walking by myself in the middle of a stream of chatting teachers. I'm not sure they knew what to do with the random library technician in their midst!
Swistle said…
I have a similar mix of feelings about subscription boxes. My most consistent favorite is the Target one, which you can't actually subscribe to, but it's a different box each month and it has free shipping. It's $7 and it's an assortment of samples, and I usually enjoy them.

I tried a beauty box subscription, but I thought it was more like moisturizers and it was instead mostly bold make-up.

I love my Mrs. Grossman's sticker subscription. I tried a stationery subscription (Papergang) and it's been fun but I'm canceling after the third month: it's a good example of the kind of thing where it would be a better value just to go ahead and buy any cute stationery I see when I'm out shopping.
Ernie said…
I have never tried a subscription box. I am super budgety so the thought of paying for stuff thst I do not pick out or that I think I can find cheaper or that I will NEVER use will undo me. I do love your aversion to exclusive. Hilarious! I buy my own Christmas stuff and have it wrapped so the kids THINK Coach cares enough to shop. I have forgotten some of the contents of the boxes before. Wanna know why he cannot shop for me? Try to find the post I wrote about the book he bought me: I was a miserable desperate housewife. I changed and so can you!' Yep. THAT kinda bad. The worst 'gift' ever. He is barred from thinking about purchasing a gift for me.
Lynn said…
I've never tried one, although they always look so very, very pretty online. But like you I know I'd end up with a bunch of stuff I won't use/need, so why not just buy myself something I actually *DO* want every month, right? And yet - the joy of getting a surprise in the mail is such a temptation. I will look into the undies one for sure.

The only one I am very much considering right now, which I think you would love, is Sweet Reads: https://sweetreadsbox.com/

It's Canadian and every month you get their pick of a book, plus accessories that go with the title - things that link to the story somehow. This is charming and appealing and I know I would love it, but I already have about 100 books in this house that I have not read, so I know I would basically drink the tea and enjoy the fun stuff and never read the books, so this one is going to have to wait until I retire. But as I said, it might be a fun fit for you!

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