When I was a teenager, I had a horrible habit of getting way too caught up in Facebook games.
There was one in particular, Pet Society, that was the bane of my existence. Well, kind of. I loved it, but it really knew how to steal me from the real world. I’d spend hours playing with my little pet, a green bear thing named Carlos, and saving up currency so I could buy mystery boxes.
They were magical, beautiful, ribbon-wrapped gifts I could get for myself, and they would either have something really cool, really average, or really lame inside.
I got hooked hoping for the really cool things.
I’d buy them in batches of 10, opening them all up one by one to find things I could sell for more money than I’d spent in the first place. I actually made a lot of money that way, and I put it all toward more boxes, and it became such a cycle.
That game eventually disappeared off of Facebook; I don’t think it actually exists anymore.
I spent a while being sad about it. Then I forgot completely.
I didn’t even think of it until about a year ago, when I discovered that mystery boxes are a thing in real life too.
Picking my first mystery box
When I started using Instagram more regularly, it didn’t take me long to find several different companies that made mystery boxes for subscribers. I immediately remembered the mild addiction I’d had for them in Pet Society, so I kept myself very carefully away from such temptations.
I deliberated for a few days, trying to logic myself into a decision without feeling bad about spending money. It’s not easy being frugal.
Obviously, I decided to get it.
I ordered it about a month ahead of time, and then within a week had promptly forgotten all about it. Until the day I was working from home, not a care in the world, and a delivery guy happened to drop it off for me.
That day was suddenly a whole lot more exciting.
Opening my first mystery box
At first, I told myself I should hold off on opening it, because I wanted to do an unboxing video or something. That’s what people do when they get an exciting new thing, right?
Turns out I’m way too much like a kid, and I couldn’t wait.
I wasn’t at all sure what to expect, because I’d never ordered anything like this before. The description had said there’d be a signed book (although it didn’t say which one), an on-theme candle from Flick the Wick (the other vendor I was seriously considering getting a box from), and an assortment of bookish goodies.
As I dug through the box, finding each of those goodies, I kept getting more excited. Here was an amazing-smelling candle, based on Caraval, the one book series in the theme I wasn’t familiar with; now I’d found my new favourite pair of socks, covered in mockingjays and arrows.
And now, right before the book? A beautiful, hand-painted jigsaw puzzle of the Triwizard Maze from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I was immediately in love.
And the pièce de résistance
Of course, what would a monthly book box be without a book?
I’m horrible at buying books blindly, because I always like to know that I’ll get hooked on it. That’s why I was a little unsure about the book included; The Bird and the Blade.
It wasn’t anything I’d heard of.
That’s also why I was so bad at doing my reading in school, but that’s a story for another day!
Anyway, it took me a bit to find the time to start reading, but once I did, I was captivated. Now, just a day and a half later (including work and sleep time), I’m almost halfway through—and I can’t wait to see how it ends.
All in all, I loved my geeky, bookish crate. And although it wasn’t nearly as addictive as the many, many mystery boxes Carlos and I opened, I’d say that’s probably a good thing!