I Hate Greeting Cards

I Hate Greeting Cards

My family has learned to expect the bitter disappointment of not receiving a greeting card from me at every holiday/ birthday/ major life event. But they know it’s against the fiber of my most basic beliefs Here’s why:

1. Their name doesn’t even make sense.

I wanted to say “I hate cards,” but cards is a general word. It can include credit cards, business cards and other varieties of flat things that have some meaning in human exchange. To specify, I have to say “greeting cards,” but that’s even more confusing. They’re not just there to greet. They are supposed to congratulate, console, and even more importantly, heckle people about aging using canned jokes and pictures of old ladies in bikinis.

2. They are ridiculously expensive.

There are certain days when I worry about affording the Lean Cuisine I will eat for dinner while watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I don’t want to spend my limited amount of expendable income buying $4.50 cards that are detestable for several other reasons.

3. They are one of those annoying “etiquette” things that females are supposed to do.

As a woman, I am supposed to enjoy stationary, scrap booking and other contrived objects that allow us to emotionally commemorate experiences and keep up housewifely social graces. I resent this.

4. People don’t know what to do with them when they get them.

I feel bad throwing away greeting cards, especially because my mom gets so excited about the ones she picks out, so I usually leave them in a junk drawer for about ~6 years until I finally throw them away. This sense of keeping things for too long via guilt makes me nervous.

5. They are inauthentic.

Greeting cards are supposed to express our true sentiment toward people or things in our lives yet ironically they do so in a totally impersonal way. “Some bored copywriter somewhere wrote a cute poem about having a wonderful husband who inspires them every day. I guess … this is you … even though I you don’t inspire me every day and sometimes I picture your face on my punching bag during my 6:30 cardio class.”

Don’t get me wrong. Hand-made cards or cards that have a real function (they turn into an origami cow or something?) can be not sucky, and sometimes even neat and funny in a way that you want to keep in your junk drawer for 6 years. Let’s just make our own until Hallmark goes out of business.

Becky Lang