My Art Care Package (ACP) is to my girlfriend, Sira. It’s more of a memory box than a package, but I would absolutely send this to her. My only reason for not actually sending it to her is because I am constantly adding to this.
The package is actually a box she gave me with “Free Bears” written on it, a reference to one of our favorite current cartoons We Bare Bears (she hand-sewed me plushies of the three bear brothers–she’s a keeper).
Inside the box is my ephemera. It’s mostly ticket stubs, but also some notes and drawings we drew for each other, and some things that remind me of our adventures.
Sira used to constantly make me little notes and cute drawings and put them on my wall. Here are just a few.
I also saved as many movie ticket stubs as I could. I do not have all of them, but I always kept the “important” ones: Guardians of the Galaxy (our first movie date), Batman v Superman (we both love superheroes and comics), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (we both love Star Wars but she’s a muuuuch bigger fan).
I also have our Disneyland tickets from May 2016. Sira had not been to Disneyland in years, and was unable to experience everything she wanted to do at the time. So for her birthday (and in celebration of me finally getting my driver’s license), we went to Disneyland and California Adventure for the whole weekend to ensure that we did everything we could, and stayed in a nice hotel nearby so that we could go to and from the parks as we pleased.
All of these things (and the other things not shown) are important to me. They have no monetary value, but hold a place in my heart. I can look at any single item in the package and remember where we went, how we felt, how much fun we had and how much we laughed…they all let me reflect on our past and hope that we can add more to it in the future, so I can remember everything all over again. And I know that Sira would absolutely love this if I sent this to her.
So let’s answer the questions.
- How is sending someone an ACP similar to sending someone a Snapchat?
-Both an ACP and a Snapchat capture a certain moment in time (the present or the past). Depending on your intentions, there can be a lot of meaning and care behind it, or a lot of fun and laughs, or both.
- How is sending someone an ACP different from sending them a Snapchat?
-An ACP is physically sent to the recipient, whereas a Snapchat is sending 1s and 0s over the internet. You can hold the contents of an ACP forever, but a Snapchat lasts only a few seconds.
- What do you think of ephemera? Is it precious? Or trash? Does it gain in value over time?
-Ephemera can fit the phrase “One’s man trash is another man’s treasure.” Most people throw their ticket stubs away or forget about old notes when they fall behind the desk, etc. But to me personally all of this stuff is valuable and precious. The contents let me recollect my feelings and emotions and experiences with Sira. The contents could gain value over time–I may look back on our first movie date years from now and feel even happier and in love than I if I looked at it right now, because (hopefully) we’ve been together so long that it reminds me of one of the first steps in our long time together.
- Is there a difference between art that is seen by many people, like a painting in the Museum of Modern Art, and art that is seen by few, like the ACP you send to someone?
-I suppose there is, but there are still similarities. Art is appreciated in numerous ways–everyone will feel something different, whether it’s a Van Gogh or a drawing of a potato on a piece of scratch paper. If the art is personal for someone, then yes, they will feel its impact much more intensely than someone for whom it is not personal.
- You can take a Snapchat and a friend on the other side of the globe can view it, all within seconds. To make an ACP and send it even to a nearby friend will take days. Does this time and effort difference mean something? How is fast better? How is slow better?
-Time and effort do count for something. It shows that, well, you took the time and effort to send something to them via mail, etc. Fast is better for convenience, but that does not mean fast has no meaning. I would appreciate a written email or text message or photo share of something if it was meaningful to me just as much as if it was sent to me physically. Slow is better if you want it to feel more sincere, though that is not a hard and fast rule to me. I recently received a letter from my fourth grade teacher and it was very thoughtful of him to think of and write me. I would still feel grateful if he had emailed me , but the handwritten/hand-sent just has a slightly more genuine feel.
- People sometimes say things like prepare a meal with love. Can you prepare a meal with love as fast as you can get food at a McDonald’s drive-thru? Does an ACP have the possibility of containing a sort of “love” different from a Snapchat?
– I think to prepare a meal with love means that it was prepared with care, and not slapped together without thought. I can prepare Sira a sandwich with care even if it only takes a few seconds–the love is in my thinking of her hunger and making her food. I can also prepare her a large turkey meal that took all day with love, but also without love if I somehow made it passive aggressively and didn’t measure ingredients, etc. I think an ACP has slightly “more” “love” because it takes more time and effort to gather the contents and send the package, whereas a Snapchat can still take some time in planning, but not nearly as much as a physical package.