Give The Gift Of Experience

As wonderful as it would be to come home from work and find flowers or a chilled bottle of Champagne or some other just-because gift, I'd be even more charmed to find a note like the one above. A little note, instructing me to do something I wouldn't have thought of, like a tiny treasure hunt just for me…

Have you ever found a note like this, either from your partner or kids or roommates? Have you ever left one? I haven't, but I like to do something similar in care packages: smell this while listening to this, try this handwritten recipe with this obscure ingredient I tracked down for you, drink this on the first truly hot day of the year. You get the idea: I'm bossy. But beyond the obvious joys of bossiness, creating an experience for someone can be such a personal and luxurious gift, and it can easily be free. Leave I Capture the Castle out for your roommate, along with a cluster of candles to (attempt to) read by, out of solidarity with the candle-poor heroine. Line up your girlfriend's morning coffee, orange juice, smoothie, and vitamins in fancy wine glasses. Load up the Newsie/Bad Romance mash-up on your roommate's laptop and leave a note that she is to press "play" first thing in the morning, before doing absolutely anything else, and that her day will be infinitely better if she follows your instructions to the letter.

I don't know the story of the sweet note shown above. The photo was taken by Klea McKenna for In The Make's feature on artist Annie Vought. Annie makes incredibly intricate paper-cut pieces based on "fragments of written correspondence — from handwritten letters to text messages — that she has found, received, or written" and then "enlarges and reworks the text on large paper, and then meticulously goes about removing the negative spaces with an X-acto knife". Perhaps this note drifted into her life and is destined to become part of her lovely work, or perhaps it was left for her on the floor that day.

(Image by Klea McKenna for In The Make)