I hate greeting cards. As a boy I considered them merely speed bumps to the present. I never cared what Aunt Eunice had to say and could barely read her loopy cursive anyway. But mom made me read them, or at least look at them long enough to give the impression that I was reading when I was actually planning my assault on the wrapping paper. I know this won’t be popular at the Hallmark store but I think store-bought greeting cards are contributing to the death of the American family as much as Snapchat, emojis, and TV at dinnertime. No matter what the pre-printed writing actually says, what it really means is, “I didn’t have time to think about you so I spent $3.99 instead.”
I hate greeting cards. Oh sure, I’ve been touched by the sentimental commercials. Maybe I shed a tear, maybe not. But they didn’t inspire to me buy a card or like them.
The only cards that resonate with me are blank cards. In this day and age, if someone takes the time to write their own thoughts out and mail it – that is a treasure.
What greeting cards really say in their flourishing font is: “I’m lazy!”
Write this in your card: “I was too lazy to set a few minutes aside to put my own thoughts into words, so here are some prepackaged, canned, inauthentic thoughts that a wanna-be romance writer who hasn’t shaved in weeks and smokes big cigars in Spokane thought were relevant just for you, my sweetest. Please say ‘Awwwww’ and kiss me.”
Frankly, greeting cards are disingenuous at best.
When I was a kid, they were just speed bumps to the present. Oh sure, I would pretend to read them on my way to disemboweling the wrapping paper that stood between me and the gift. I liked the ones Aunt Eunice would underline so I could skip most of the words – kind of a cliff notes version. Later in life, she began underlining every word, including the price and printing information – which made it less helpful. Of course, by then she was wrapping up ten year-old toasters and place mats for presents, so haste was less of a concern.
Just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you
Greeting cards and I have a turbulent history. Since I am negatively disposed against them, they do their best to shame me at every turn. Instead of bowing to their convenience and paying the price, I try to take the time to write personal notes, especially to my lovely wife. But there are instances when I run out of time and am forced to rush into the store and get one. When this happens, I treat it like a commando raid – rush in, select the victim, and get out before anyone gets hurt. I choose based on color and frill, often neglecting to check the sentiment inside – time is what I lack, anyway. With that method, it is pretty easy to stay away from sympathy and get-well cards, but sometimes (okay, most of the time), the sentiment of my selection doesn’t match the occasion or is age inappropriate. That is where The Hallmark Conspiracy comes in.
Take this week. This week marked her birthday. I had a great present in advance, but completely forgot the stupid card until the day of. So I put on my camo, blacked my eyes and descended upon the grocery store. Although every fiber of my cheap being steered me to the 99¢ rack, I’ve been warned about those and went all out – $3.99! I found the birthday section, saw one with a cute little boy and girl on it and dashed out of the store.
Here is what I got:
Mis-shelved! The card was mis-shelved! I swear I was in the birthday section!
Swine greeting cards!!!!!!
Someday society will truly be paperless and I won’t have to deal with these verbose phonies. Until then, I’ll shred a few in effigy and steer clear of the aisle altogether.