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ranting about greeting cards

November 27, 2007

My brother’s birthday is this week. He has one of those unfortunate December birthdays that frequently get lost in the hustle and bustle of Christmas. This year I just barely remembered it soon enough to get a card to him on time, so last night I found myself browsing the greeting card aisle at Kroger.

I really hate greeting cards. In all fairness to the people who write them, I can imagine it is difficult to come up with new and creative ways for millions of people to say the same thing to each other year after year. Mothers and wives seem to inspire the most creativity, as there are more decent cards in those categories than any other. Husbands and fathers are reasonably stocked. But when it comes to brothers, sisters, and heaven forbid nephews or nieces, the choices are really limited. I usually try to send a funny card because I can almost feel the persons eyes rolling at the over-the-top sappiness in the sentimental ones. Not that I don’t honestly feel most of those things, but what can I say, we just aren’t a sentimental family. The majority of humorous cards are divided into two groups – cards about sex and cards about getting older. Does anyone really think those cards are funny? The rest of the cards are either about golf or about the fabulous gift that I wanted to send, but I couldn’t because…

Card after card I read, rejecting them one by one, usually without even reading the inside. Occasionally I stumble across one that is worthy of opening, only to be disappointed by the punchline. After I’ve eliminated all of the cliche cards, one or two cards remain. Compared to the others these are worthy of at least a chuckle. But something sadly familiar about the card reminds me that I sent the same one last year.

So, this year my brother is getting an over-the-top sappy sentimental card, that he probably won’t even read to the end. Oh well, it is the thought that counts, right?

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