Spending my lunch hour at Target staring down the aisles upon aisles of greeting cards reminds me of how much I loathe buying cards. I always dread the oncoming summers due to the one reason that Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and both of my parents’ birthdays are on the horizon.
Today alone I bought two graduation, one birthday and one Mother’s Day card. Damn you, Hallmark. For some reason my parents cannot get enough of greeting cards. They read them, reread them, place them on the mantle, hang them on the wall, all to my bewilderment.
So of course I have to send out congrats to my various cousins graduating from their respective schools. My choices were paradoxically endless (from every occasion from every relation like the Best Wishes from your Elder Cousin in Texas who you see every two years) to very very narrow (as in my only options, the pink flowery card or the cartoon poodle with diploma in paw).
Seriously, have you seen what the general public has to choose from? You can either pick: a.) the inspirational definition/message only given out by 40 year old English teachers; b.) weird pseudo-sexual allusions only given out by that creepy guy in the office; c.) flowery photo-illustrations with the gushy poem that your mom loves but leaves you feeling less than manly; or d.) the (not so) humorous message, indicating that you are so unoriginal and not funny that you had to rely on a complete stranger to write your card.
Of course there’s always the blank card, which while I appreciate the card company’s confidence to let me write my own message, I can almost hear that same company laughing off in the distance while they take my money in exchange for virtually nothing.
Eh, why is there so much effort into trying to show someone that I care? It’s not that I don’t care, but the sheer weight of trying to prove it makes me want to care so much less. And the act of not buying a card is the most extreme slap in the face you can give. "Well mom, I’m really happy that it’s your 50th birthday but I just didn’t feel like getting you a card." Who wants to bring upon themself that atomic bomb?
On a completely unrelated note, my birthday is coming up next week and I expect cards and presents from every one of my friends!