I’m not one to mail a lot of paper cards in snail mail to friends, family and acquaintances. Yes, I do commemorate birthdays, Christmas, and Mother’s and Father’s Day with the help of Hallmark, but other than that, I find the cards, as nice as they are, to become rather expensive to purchase for every occasion. (In most situations, I’d rather buy my friend a celebratory cup of coffee and call it a day, than to invest the cash in one of the most disposable formats of expressing sentiment. And if she lives far, a gift card might give her more gratification–just sayin’.)
Most cards that I actually like, cost between three and four dollars each. That adds up; especially when you consider that I send people like grandparents one card from me, and then a separate one from my daughter, when it’s a birthday. You know the drill. My grandmother may be grandma to me, but it’s great-grandma to my child, and I haven’t found a single card yet that encompasses both naming situations adequately–so I separate the two.
Just when you think Hallmark, Carlton Cards, and other card companies have come up with a card for every occasion, they outdo themselves and come up with more. I have to wonder if they aspire to create cards for all of the unusual, lesser-known reasons to celebrate, every single day of the year. They are coming close to it. I have seen Happy Arbor Day cards for sale, after all.
I was searching the shelves the other day for the perfect brotherly birthday card, and couldn’t help but notice that there had been some new card categories created since I had last shopped for pre-written sentiment. The one which caught my attention first was “Birthday - Beer.” That was an entire category unto itself. I was impressed. Beer has now earned its own classification alongside of Mother Birthday, Birthday from All, and Milestone Birthday. Wow. For the beer lovers out there, this is for you, “Happy “Beer”thday!” You’ve earned your place in Hallmark history.
Then there were other card categories that puzzled me a bit. I guess we all lack the right words on certain occasions, but sometimes I think there are moments when maybe words just aren’t the right thing.
“Chemo Support”? This was one of the marked greeting card spaces on the shelf that surprised me. I’m not so sure if I knew someone that had the terrible misfortune to be diagnosed with cancer that I’d select a card from this category for him. Maybe a hug and a making a home cooked meal might be more appropriate? But if card companies are serious about approaching the card for every illness marketing venue, then I think they should come up with the “Broken Toe” and “Sorry You Had a Car Accident” shelf slots too. Hey, we all have our ailments.
“Divorce” – well, it’s a fact of life for some people. But do we need a card to accentuate the separation? Perhaps buying my friend a drink or inviting her out for a day of shopping might take the edge off the change to her single status just a bit more. But if this kind of card interests you, then I’d like to suggest that they start “Separation,” “Recently Broken Up,” and “It’s Complicated” groupings, too. Why discriminate when it comes to relationship reflection?
I guess there is a market for these types of cards, or manufacturers wouldn’t keep making them. Sure, some make us laugh at ourselves and infiltrate us with humor. At the very least they have inspired me to write this blog and give them some recognition for their ability to stand out from the crowd.
Happy Ordinary Weekday, to you!