There were less interesting ones that came as well...those that peddled knick knacks, personalized address labels adorned with flowers and cheesy tween clothing. And then there were those that were just hilarious, and the funniest one of the bunch was the Vermont Country Store catalogue.
Printed on a material resembling newspaper, the catalogue looked like something out of the 19th century. The items available included flannel nightgowns, girdles, multiple implements that would allow one to perform personal grooming tasks without having to bend over, orthopedic shoes, and Blackjack chewing gum. How did my mother get on this mailing list? Two reasons. One, the Vermont Country Store carried the nightgowns that my grandma liked (no one else had manufactured them since 1959) and which my mom bought for her, and two, they carried Carmichael's Cuticle Cream.
Carmichael's is essentially a small pot of beeswax. In theory it is meant to soften raggedy, hardened cuticles, which is does brilliantly, but I use it for just about everything. Lip balm, eyebrow grooming, chapped hands, to soothe a dry nose during a cold, even as eye cream in a pinch. Why this product isn't on every beauty essentials list I'll never know.
For nearly as long as I can remember, or perhaps just since I left home, my parents have put one of these little pots in my Christmas stocking. One pot will last you far longer than a year, so I never ever ran out, and as a result took it for granted. But for some reason there has been no Carmichael's in my last few Christmas stockings, and I have tragically just exhausted my last little pot.
I am at sea without it. No reliable nighttime lip moisturizer, my cuticles are a mess, and my eyebrows are looking a bit too wild for polite company. Hence this post. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and in this case absence has made the heart grow desperate. A trip uptown to Caswell Massey to purchase a multi-year supply is imminent!