While my parents did manage to instill a number of values in me, namely, a love of all things Jam Band related as well as a supreme taste for tofu (you cannot begin to tell me that tofu is not an acquired taste/texture), they neglected to teach me how to select a greeting card. I’m not sure that my parents ever, in all of my life, sent anyone a card.
It’s not necessarily a BAD thing to not have been taught at a young age where and when and why and how to send a card, really, it’s not, but it leaves me completely without a frame of reference as to the proper etiquette for such things. Do I send a Christmas Card to everyone in my address book, or just those who will send one back to me? Do I bother sending birthday cards to people who don’t send me one?
I’m simply not sure.
I suppose that part of the problem is that I really hate to shell out $4-$8 on cards that will undoubtedly be thrown out with the wrapping paper and bows, knowing that if I were in the same situation, I’d rather have a magazine or two rather than a card.
And an even bigger piece of my Problem Pie is that I’ve yet to find a line of cards that really SAYS what I mean. Sure, birthday wishes are generic, I know, but I want a card like those somecards E-Cards. I want something that says, “Happy Birthday, Your Balls Have Excess Skin,” or “Happy Birthday, Be Glad You Don’t Have Herpes” or something else.
Problem is, most people I’d send this to might be horrified by it. I’d laugh my lack of balls off if *I* got this as a card, but I’m fairly certain that I might be in some minority.
Sympathy cards present an even bigger challenge to me. I went out this morning with toddler in tow to pick out a card to send to Steph’s parents, and like most things in my life, I was only half able to concentrate on what I was doing. Motherhood has definitely honed my ability to do 4,000 things at once, but not without sacrificing quality here and there.
In picking through the myriad of sympathy card hell, I was struck again by how much I fucking hate sympathy cards.
I now present to you Aunt Becky’s reasons That She Hates Sympathy Cards, Bullet Form:
*Many of them are deeply religious, and while I know that enough people do derive comfort in Biblical Verses, not everyone does. And even if people ARE religious, I can’t be sure of which way they lean, and who wants to offend someone dealing with a death in the family? Besides, I’m not uber-religious myself, so I’d feel a little wonky sending something like that.
*99% of the cards are covered with misty pastel watercolor flowers. Which is so unlike who I am and what I represent, that I couldn’t send it in good faith. Besides, it often makes the card look cheap, which I can assure you by checking the backs of the cards is not the case.
*The fonts are annoyingly cloying. It’s like the You’re Dead, So You Now Have The Taste Of A 90 Year Old Cat Lady. Sadly, most of the sympathy cards that I’ve bought are NOT for older people, so the schwoopsy-poo font is just irritating.
*The cards never, EVER say what I really want them to say. I can get by with the canned “Happy Birthday!!!!” greetings found on birthday cards without wanting to go homicidal, but the sympathy cards make me insane. Certifiable, even. They’re all “deepest condolences” and “deepest sympathy” and my favorite “only memories remain.”
And I think that’s bullshit. It doesn’t BEGIN to say how I feel about the loss of this person. Here’s a sample of what it SHOULD say, if I wrote it:
“FUCK. I’m so damn sorry for your loss. I puked when I heard the news. Shit. Fuck. I’m so fucking sorry. I want to beat someone up with the unfairness of it all. Fuck.”
Mildly inappropriate doesn’t begin to cover it, now does it? But death in general is at the very least, mildly inappropriate, and I don’t think that any misty pastel flower scene with ties-up-loose-ends Biblical verse really begins to cover that.
Until I get off my lazy butt and make my own damn inappropriate cards, I suppose I’m just going to be stuck scouring the shelves for cards that don’t begin to say what I mean and trying to make do with them.
Or maybe I just need to find somewhere else to buy better cards.
What do you, fair Internet Reader, hate about greeting cards? What would you say in one that you designed yourself?