Have you been in SL recently? If you have, then you know what I’m about to blather on about for the next ten minutes or so in this post. If you don’t, you can get more information about the Luxe Box here. You have probably already formulated your own opinion, but hear me out. I’m not a crazy person. I’m just an addict with a love of subscription boxes telling her version of SL silliness that has no real bearing on anything important (let’s be open here). #firstworldproblems
This is the point at which I stand up in the borrowed room in the back of a church with a circle of cheap folding chairs. The smell of burnt coffee weighs heavily in the air and one gentleman in particular is stirring his incessantly. I can’t stop watching the tiny black cyclone he is creating with the white stirrer. Tiny droplets of the bad brew dripping down the sides, leaving little trails which depict their journey. I clear my throat nervously, my voice is meek and embarrassed and I remove my gaze from the black hole of the man’s coffee to my feet. “Hello, my name is Muse, and I have a subscription addiction.”
I love subscription boxes in real life. I have purchased the Loot Crate in the past. I now get the Birch Box. I have purchased the Nerd Block and the Baker’s Box for other people.
When one of these boxes is on the way, I receive an email. For a few days, I have something to look forward to. It isn’t much. It is a bit silly, I know. But it is a little surprise for myself. A box of things picked for me by someone else (the entity unknown). It is a bit romantic and silly. Practically, I know they aren’t chosen for me specifically. I’m okay with telling myself a silly narrative to bring a smile to my face.
Then the day arrives. The box is at my door. I get to open the package, and this is the best part. It is full of small gifts. They are little sample packs. Tiny toys. Maybe a baby tee. I can lay out the beauty products. Decide if they are something I can use (if it is a product for curly hair, for instance, it won’t be for me). I can try a new perfume. See if this lotion leaves behind an oily residue or not. I can try to discover what game or comic this little figure it from. Spend time researching it and learn about something in geek culture. The tee isn’t a color I would choose, but after pondering it I realize I have a sweater I can wear with it to make it super cute.
For at least an hour of my life, I get to try new products that I would have never gone to a store and chosen for myself. I get to learn new things. I get to experiment with color or product types that I would have never thought to try before. It is like experiencing the taste of someone very different than yourself. They have excellent taste, but it just isn’t something that is a part of you. The beauty in this, is that there is this chance, this beautiful chance, that it may become a part of you. Expanding your horizons, changing how you see yourself, what you know, what you’ve experienced, how you define yourself by the color of a tee or the smell of a perfume. These are tiny, insignificant things. However, it is often the accumulation of these small things which make up our sense of identity. Besides, they make me smile.
So, the Luxe Box for the low, low price of 1000L (a cup of coffee) made me smile. I’m not sure that the incessant complaining in groups comes from people who appreciate the experience of a subscription box. They don’t seem to understand that a subscription box isn’t intended to be a box of items you would have walked into a store and picked out for yourself. If that is what you want to do, go to a store and pick things out for yourself. It isn’t intended to be a full product line. They are tiny samples, little glimpses of a life you didn’t choose for yourself. A strange but very well textured color of hair that you now can try to work into a look, try to be a little different, try to expand the narrow definition by which you defined yourself. Maybe it is spring colored dress, but your soul is as dark as burnt coffee. But in this moment, when you’re unpacking a subscription box, you get to be a little lighter, a little freer. Or perhaps, it is a whimsical bed, that doesn’t match your industrial loft but you surprise yourself by liking it. Now, you want to change your whole build. Or maybe it is a pair of shoes that you decide you hate and will never incorporate into your style. This is all part of the experience for which you paid. This is the joy and the folly of a subscription box. It isn’t about getting what you want at the store. It is about getting what someone else wants for you. It is about experiencing that moment when we can redefine ourselves, see ourselves as a little different than we previously envisioned.
Self-identity is a very strange thing. In SL we can be anything we wish to be (aesthetically speaking) and, yet, we continue to define ourselves so narrowly. The definition becomes so strict that we can’t imagine wearing a different color hair or dress. Maybe you need a subscription box to help you out? Help you change things a little. Maybe you don’t, but please don’t ruin your experience. Don’t ruin that moment of self-exploration because you didn’t get a fatpack of everything in the box; that was never the intention. Don’t ruin your experience because everything in the box isn’t something you would have purchased if you went to a store to pick them out. If you want that, go to a store and pick things out. You don’t need a subscription box for that.
Inside this particular box were twelve items from twelve different designers for 1000L. That is less than a hundred linden per item, which is an amazing deal. Everything was of the quality indicative of the creators which we knew in advance were going to be involved. So, maybe subscription boxes aren’t for you. That is okay to admit. But, as any addict would say, I’m ready for my next hit. One month seems so far away.
Want to know more about May’s Luxe Box? See Strawberry Singh’s post which includes a really cute video of her opening her new goodies. <here>
Clickety-click for the deetz: