I have no problem celebrating Birthdays, Holidays, Anniversaries, Graduations, Engagements, Weddings, and Births. And with the sheer volume of cake we’re consuming at each party, we should probably throw Funerals into the mix as well. But I really must insist that we do away with the tradition of greeting cards.
It is very thoughtful of you to spend time and money selecting the right card for the moment, but I think we’d be doing ourselves a big favor if we simply dropped the charade. These things are greeting nobody, and card companies apparently do not grasp the concept. I don’t walk into work wearing cat ears and say “I thought of the purrrrfect word for your special day,” in spite of how much easier that would be, especially on a Monday morning. Card writers think everything must involve a picture of some sad chipmunk in a party hat, accompanied by the world’s lamest pun. “To the world’s nuttiest nephew.”
Lately, more and more cards have been including a special sound chip. The card will make a farting sound effect, or trumpet out Ride of the Valkyries, or likely both at once. They are especially deceptive about this, usually waiting until a nun walks by you in the card aisle, looking for a special message for her nephew. Most greeting cards have fewer words than a haiku anyway, so when we start creating audio book versions, I think we have reached the height of human laziness.
And don’t sign your name. I can usually tell from the return address who it comes from. The only time I might not know is if I receive a big bundle of cards at a party. And do you really want me knowing this was the best you could do? A picture of Yoda with a beer can? The only reason to sign a card is if it accompanies a gift. I think a fun prank would be to enclose a few bucks with your card. The receiver will be obligated to send you a Thank You card in return, which possibly costs more than what you gave them.
I’m sure it’s in bad taste to immediately toss the cards in the trash, but what’s the statue of limitations on these things? By the end of every birthday, my refrigerator has started to look like a dating site for one-liners, and I am out of magnets. Note for Idea File: Start Greeting Card company where the card is itself a magnet. There’s a fortune in there somewhere.
For those of you that simply must give me a piece of paper in honor of me not dying for a whole year, I ask that you please take a look at the back of the card where it lists the price, count off an equivalent number of $1 bills, and hand them over. Feel free to also tell me “Hello” or “Happy Birthday” at the same time. I will be much more appreciative, and much more likely to reciprocate when your birthday rolls around.