Monday, July 12, 2010

The Object of My Desire: A Sweet Surprise

There was a time when I could hardly wait for the mail to come. Even today, I love it when an unexpected package arrives or a friendly, handwritten note or invitation is delivered. But these days it seems it seems like most of what's put in my mailbox are stacks of bills and piles of unwanted promotional fliers.

When I was a kid, and when my sister and I were home from school, we always kept an eager vigil for the the postman's arrival. We knew he was on his way when we caught sight of his blue jeep parked down the street and started to hear the sound of barking dogs growing louder as he made his way on foot to our house.

You could see his shadow approach through the small window on the front door, and you'd always hear a clunk when he shut the box, or took out envelopes that were posted for another destination. And then there was our dog Sparky who would throw himself at the door trying to get at the man who passed by everyday at about the same time. That was a pretty good indication that the mail had come!

Once the coast was clear and we could safely open the door without our snarling pet racing out the door, we would quickly reach out and remove the contents of the mailbox, which hopefully held a letter from a faraway place, or or even better, pick up a box of something or other sitting on the steps just begging to be ripped open.

I can only imagine the excitement this package must have generated when it arrived to Independence, Missouri, from Rome, Italy, in 1971. It was rediscovered almost 40 years later when my sister pointed it out to me at a particularly good garage sale last month.
"Hey Stan, did you see this?" she asked holding up this little bundle covered in vintage stamps and postmarks that I somehow missed lying on a table heaped full of bric-a-brac.

Of course, I had to know what was inside, and as I slowly unfolded the parcel, a pair of never-worn, kid-leather gloves was revealed.
I imagine that the receiver must have found this gift so special that she couldn't dream of putting these exotic lovelies on her hands. Instead, she guarded them safe from harm in their original packaging. They might have sat in the back of a drawer until it was no longer in vogue for women to wear dainty white gloves. Or maybe they just didn't fit, and their owner just couldn't bear giving them away.

Whatever their reason for practically being given away at a garage sale decades later, I paid the 50-cent asking price and took them home. And for the time being, I'm keeping them on my desk, all wrapped up just the way I found them.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. .50 WOW! When I find things like that, I always wonder what they person was like. And by the way, I purchased your book this weekend from Borders, I had a 30% off coupon. I'll let you know what I think when I go through it completely. Looking good so far.

  2. I love thinking up stories for items like that, that's a find with character!

  3. For fun write to the addresses and see what happens.

  4. They are gorgeous. If you get tired of them send them to me....They won't be sitting on my desk! Maryanne ;)

  5. Hi Stan,

    What a wonderful post! I too have always loved getting mail. I know I can associate this love with my grandmother. She lived in NYC and I lived in Florida and then Colorado. My grandmother would always send a letter and include little drawings or comics or jokes.
    I would also get a box every so often and inside of it would contain some jewelry or little treasures she would pick up when she would go to Radio City Music Hall. I still have a "Rocket Doll" made from wax with one of the gorgeous costumes that the Rocket dancers wore.

    Wishing you a wonderful day and great things in the mail!!


    P.S. Come over to my blog I have a tribute about my Grandmother right now and one of her embroiderd pieces that is over 100 years old!!

  6. Hi,
    I somehow came upon many pairs of gloves like this and I love them. They just don't make gloves like they used to. Check out this pair I have for sale in one of my Etsy Stores: I have a few other pairs there too. Of course, the best ones, I keep for myself and they'd make a good blog post someday.
    Au Revoir,



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