18 May 2013

The Death of Greeting Cards

My younger daughter's birthday today. Such fun to shop for just the right gift but a total frustration to find a good card.

I don't like sappy greeting cards with poetry that sounds like country music. Hyper-sentimental cards offer sad pseudo-Zen platitudes emblematic of a television culture.

I prefer humor, words and images that will make her smile, but oh my - is it no wonder that this too has become an online business? Most of the cards, particularly those at a CVS or similar, where most cards are sold, are just plain awful.

I spent half an hour perusing the so-called humorous birthday cards. My simple sampling technique can be questioned, but I suspect the results are fair:

  • At least half have something to do with getting drunk or bellying up to the bar on your birthday. And for those who have dealt with alcoholism, this is so not funny.
  • Another ten percent have something to do with farts. I kid you not. 
  • Another quarter or more have to do with sex, most often gigantic boobs or stripper-like men with Popeye biceps. 
  • The balance, the few left to choose from, have to do with the nightmare of aging and some of these are funny, if you are 70!
I don't send a lot of cards. I hate to waste paper. I'm quick to issue a celebratory email and place a call to those closest to me, so I am rarely confronted with this pathetic selection and was frankly a bit shocked at the demise of the card-culture. To be fair to Hallmark, many of these cards were produced by competitors. And they have the audacity to charge $4 or $5 per card. There was a section of cards for 99 cents and they said nothing, which was almost better by comparison, but so utterly boring, why would anyone buy?

Ok, I rarely use my blog to bitch, but, seriously...? Are we really an alcohol, body smell and body parts obsessed that this is all we have to say when we want to have fun? Oh my.