The premise was very simple. Sign Up. Write a short note about yourself to your prospective Perfect Stranger. Get paired with a fellow Oh Comely Magazine lover, someone from near or far. Swap details. Swap parcels. Spread the love.
TO be honest, this project embodies Oh Comely perfectly. Its inspiring pages packed with quirky experiments, playlists, recipes, stories, interviews with creatives and editorial about the unsung heroes are everything I wished a magazine would be. The hopeless grey mist that sinks over my world when my eyes skim over the Heat, Now! and OK clad shelves is melted away when I am reminded that not everyone thinks these things are what we should believe important.
The idea was so gloriously simple it almost seemed to good to be true. But it wasn’t. I spent an afternoon shopping for my Perfect Stranger (a graphic designer from Brazil), searching for something that I thought she would like. I only had a tiny paragraph about her but still discarded so many things that afternoon because they weren’t ‘quite right’. This connection to someone I’d never met, a whole world away, filled me with a sense of joy that you only truly get when you do something nice for someone with no real expectation of what will happen in return.
I took part last year and in fact never received a return parcel. Although it was initially disappointing, I realised that it could not overshadow the happy feeling of choosing a present for someone for no real reason. So I signed up again this year. I loved seeking out the perfect things, carefully wrapping them and writing a little letter inside. It was a feel-good project – a perfect reminder that we must do something nice things for people, even when we are expecting nothing in return.