Write Your Own Cards

It was nearly 10pm on a windy Saturday night as I paced dejectedly along the greeting card aisle at our local grocery store, looking for a birthday card for my wife. It was proving harder than I’d imagined to find a decent one. Some of them caught my eye with their extreme awfulness.

“I know I can be the kind of guy

who sometimes forgets to notice

how good he has it.

I don’t say ‘I love you’ often enough,

and I don’t always remember

the important things I should.”

You know, because nothing says romantic birthday wishes like some guilty self-loathing.

I would have gotten more of a chuckle out of this if it wasn’t for the fact that the rest of the cards were on par with this miserable specimen. It took me ten minutes to find one that

  1. Looked nice enough for me to want to give it to my wife on her birthday

  2. Didn’t have some vapid crap written all over it.

It’s hard not to read dread tidings of the disintegration of society into nonsense like this. Well, if you’re me, anyway.

Why do 90% of the cards already have messages written in them? How devoid of life must these people’s relationships be that they can’t dash off a couple of personalized sentences once a year. To their spouse? Instead you expect to snatch 4 lines of drivel — written by someone else in a grim Hallmark office in Missouri — off the shelf and scrape your signature below it as you pop it in the card?

If you put any thought at all into picking one of these cards you might as well have written it yourself.

I don’t know about you, but when I get one of these cards I don’t bother reading the pre-printed blurbs. I flip it open to see if there’s a check inside and then I move on. But if someone takes the time to write out a personal message? I’ll take my time reading it, and I’ll give them a heartfelt thank you once I’m done.

I don’t think every card you send has to have some turgid glob of purple prose carved inside it. But if you are trying to tell the person you love or appreciate them… do it right.