Twelve Little Black Boxes: An Unprompted Love Letter To Enclosed
About a year ago, a cube-shaped package addressed to my husband, found its way onto our doorsill. Naturally, I assumed that it was another nearly necessary, likely unjustifiable purchase of his, and placed it aside. The fact that this parcel arrived when it did had not even occurred to me. It was during that period of time which includes both of our birthdays, and our Engagement and Wedding Anniversaries, and being a family of just two, we’ve decided to celebrate what and how we deem most fitting.
An Anniversary To Last A Year
So last year, for our fourth anniversary, Hubby deemed it fitting to have cube-shaped packages delivered to our front door. Once a month. For an entire year. Intended solely for me. Courtesy of an aptly named coterie known as “The Knicker Ladies,” synonymous with the darling lingerie company, [ENCLOSED], my impression of boxes has wholly changed.
Truthfully, my impression of my very self, has as well.
Somewhere between the appealing advertisements eagerly seeking attention on our desktop computer’s screen, and what I can only surmise were chunks of chance conversations most likely overheard on Girls’ Night, Hubby became familiarized with the name, [ENCLOSED]. Luckily for me, I married a man who is attentive, thoughtful, and possesses a keen knack for grand, romantic gestures.
Lucky, lucky me.
Frequently miscomprehended, is the archaic notion that my husband purchases me lingerie, strictly to satiate his own whim. Indeed. Apparently, men are simple-minded, purely sexual beings who only wish to create and stimulate the oppressed nubile in us all.
The truth is, I LOVE lingerie. It’s one of those things that are, in my opinion, quintessentially feminine. I tend to look to such effeminate, superficial things for succor; and I have grown steadily reliant on the significance, the meaning and the effects of what such things represent. Ever since being diagnosed with Breast Cancer at age twenty.
Over two decades later, still affected by this disease, I would be negligent and understating matters if I didn’t acknowledge that acquiring tangible things is not part of my process to get better. I reckon it’s why the term, “Retail Therapy” exists actually. Of course, faith, hope, good fortune, emotional support and copious amounts of medical treatment are all unmistakably instrumental in my healing.
However, they heal the illness.
A Weapon Of Self-Esteem
There exists no remediation for diminished self-esteem; there’s no pill for that nameless awful that stunts my self-confidence and threatens my prettiness. Not counting breast implants, rarely does anyone ever really address or advertise a cure for female, cancer-related cosmetic insecurities. So you arm yourself with your superficial weapons of lipstick, wigs and high-heeled shoes, and pray for a compliment that makes you feel a little more than just a little attractive.
Nowadays – precisely the past year or so – [ENCLOSED] became what I would arm myself with, in order to feel prettier. I like to think of it as the cure for the common lingerie.
That day, when that cube-shaped package arrived, it contained my first, sleek, little, black box. Ensconced in countless, fragrant, freeze-dried rose petals, was the most exquisite, golden beige, satin and lace Bluebella camiknicker. Clad in that teddy, I remember feeling desirable and delicate; a feeling I will never forget. Somewhere, from the sheer delight of opening that box, to Hubby’s wanton gaze, to the image in the mirror staring at me… I felt absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Flawlessly so.
I will probably be undergoing some form of chemoprevention therapy for the rest of my life, and that’s okay because it is part of my normal. Just as sure as I will continue to depend on whatever superficial antidotes I can, in order to preserve my psyche and sustain my ego. For, each month for the past year, as each black box was delivered, as each special surprise was unveiled, I felt a little part of my self-esteem was regained. It was a certainty. Be it a sheer Naked Princess piece, an Arianne lace wonder or a cheeky Maison Close choker, I didn’t just unwrap a sexy, little surprise, it was something more…
The Secret To Feeling Beautiful
Along with these sweet somethings arriving monthly from [ENCLOSED], came more than just boxes of petals, chiffon, satin and lace. They came with that indescribable, indefinable allure that today, makes my stride more emboldened and makes me smile more confidently. I daresay, that feeling reminds me that despite my biggest insecurities, sometimes the secret to simply feeling beautiful, can be found in the smallest packages.
About the author, Jan-Marie Albert
Jan-Marie Albert is a Creative Writer, Author at All The Write Things, and (dare I say) one of the warmest, most genuine people I have ever met. Upon reading this piece, originally published in June of 2020 on LinkedIn, I was moved to silent tears. Tears of thanks, as stories of inspiration, female empowerment and connection between couples are literally why I started [ENCLOSED].
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