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The Upside to Feeling Down: The Bummer Basket
Like most of us, I rely on well-defined rituals to express my support when people I love are dealing with life’s ups and downs. Your great-aunt Hilda passed away? I know to send a bouquet of white lilies to the funeral home. My sister got engaged? I know to start planning the bachelorette party, tiara optional. But when my friends experience smaller – yet still significant – events, like a breakup, it's not as clear how to help.
Recently I discovered Bummer Baskets, custom-designed care packages. The titles include the "Not So Bad Breakup," the "Kind of a Bad Day," and the "Unemployed (But Hated Your Job)" baskets – and even one for the unwitting victim of a bed bug infestation.
Each package is filled with shredded green paper. The contents are decadent (fudgy brownies and an emergency candy bar to save an unemployed chocoholic from splurging on Godiva), uplifting (a “be happy” sunflower planting kit and “here’s to happy endings” wine glass to offset a bad day), mischievous (pocket-sized flask, pack of candy cigarettes, and temporary tattoo for a rebellious pal), and even witty (extra-large chopsticks for eating out of the Chinese food carton, cookies that say “lose my number,” and a “no more nightmares” sleep mask for a girls’ night in with your newly-single friend). The sender’s note is on a card that capture life's little mishaps in images, like an iPod submerged underwater, a heart flattened by tire-tracks, a Scottie inspecting his collapsed doghouse, and a man diving off a sinking ship.
Maybe reaching out to friends in their minor moments of grief will become as much a tradition as putting on a hat made of bows and ribbons at a baby shower?
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