I celebrated my birthday last month and as usual, made a point of buying myself some presents, or at least planning to buy myself some presents.
Traditionally, I buy myself presents like getting the car detailed. Normally I'm not very motivated to spend money on that, but between my birthday and Christmas, at least it gets done twice a year. It's the Phyllis Diller approach, applied to the car: "You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again."
Anyway, purely as an impulse buy, I signed up for Merchbox, which has been described as a "music subscription for physical objects," hoping to salve my recent lack of musical awareness. Without any indie radio around here, I have been relying on Spotify for music, but that doesn't help when I'm driving.
Merchbox came to my attention at the perfect time, combining the ideas of musical upgrade and birthday present. I was also charmed by the idea of getting a tangible, surprising present in the mail every month, chosen (more or less) especially for me by someone who knows what they're doing. That I have to pay a few bucks for it doesn't matter too much.
My impulsive decision was confirmed by the e-mail exchange I had with the proprietor when I signed up. Asked to give my age and my three favorite bands, I expressed some dismay at being solidly over 50 and liking Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Counting Crows and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I described myself as desperately needing a musical update.
Merchbox Mike approved of my choices and kindly and cleverly told me that "53 is the new 25, FYI."
That's when I knew I'd made the right decision.
Yesterday the goodies arrived. Today, thanks to two CDs, a koozie from a band nobody I know has ever heard of (yet), and a matchbox packet of lemony soap papers from the You Smell soap company, I'll be ready for my annual Fourth of July beer, and I'll sound and smell 25.