There are a lot of printed materials that the internet has put an end to. Many of them I will miss when they’re gone, like books, magazines, or bar posters featuring beer girls.
But I won’t be sad to see the greeting card industry take a dive. A greeting card is nothing but a piece of dead tree with a trite sentiment written by an aspiring novelist with the crush of student loans hanging over his head, and distributed by a corporation that probably has line items on their profit and loss statements named for each emotion they’re trying to cash in on.
“Love is way up this year, but sympathy has taken a dive. Jones, you need to get out there and make sad people buy cards!”
For some holidays there’s a tradition of cards… Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day. And then there’s cards for holidays that have no reason for a card. Halloween, Thanksgiving. I’m quite sure they’re thinking up ways to monetize every other holiday as well.
“For you on a special Veterans Day. PTSD also means ‘Pretty Things Seem Delightful’!”
“Thinking of you on Veterans Day… And also thinking of somebody you might know way back in your family that maybe did something military-ish and… anyway, enjoy your day off!”
“I got you this Veterans Day card…. Because if I didn’t, some jackass would claim the terrorists have won.”
Here’s the thing. There are “you” holidays and “me” holidays. A “you” holiday is one that makes you think about someone else. On Valentine’s Day it’s your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/significant other/life partner/concubine/favorite stripper. On Christmas it’s all the people you know who aren’t Jewish.
Cards are sent on these holidays to people that you really should be communicating with in person but are trying to avoid. And if you’re sending them to people that you’re communicating with anyway, you’ve just wasted $3 and a stamp. Make up your own trite saying and say it to their face. I dare you.
Then there’s the “me” holidays. Thanksgiving: “What am I thankful for?” Halloween: “How big of an ass can I make of myself at the party and still show my face the next day?” These are days that don’t need cards at all. When you say “Happy Thanksgiving”, you’re really saying, “Holy hell, we are both going to pig out until we have to undo the top button of our pants. Then we’re going to regret it the next day.”
Trust me… It’s more fun to just say that.
I think I’m going to head off to Occupy Hallmark now….