The Meh of Greeting Cards. Or: Happy Mother’s Day.

It’s Mother’s Day. A booming time for the Greeting Card Association. There are somewhere around 7 billion greeting cards sent out each year, many of them on this one day. That’s a lot of cards. And a lot of big business. Designers, copy writers, and marketers all flooding the world with cardstock kitties and flowery prose.

So why can’t I find a good card?

I’ve written about this before. Last Christmas, my friend Shannon sent a card with the original sentiments crossed out and her own comments written in. Best card of the season. She was sarcastic and honest, but that is who she is. It was perfect.

I hate buying cards. The flowery ones always seem so over the top, so gushy that they make my eyes roll. Of course your very presence takes my breath away. And doesn’t everyone recognize how caring and kind, and giving and loving you are?

Reading these cards is like walking into adjective quicksand. Open the card and BOOM, you’re drowning in slant rhymes full of heart-warming and beautiful sentiments regarding my strong, graceful self and all of my gentle, generous, magnificent attributes.

Then there are the funny ones that, well, aren’t. I end up pawing through at least 20 cards in the funny blocks before I find even one the makes me crack a half-smile.

There are funny people in the world, I know it. How is it that not one has managed to become a copy writer for greeting cards? Half of the internet memes created by bored 15-year-olds are funnier than the greeting cards someone got paid to write.

So when my little  came down with a card this morning, my expectations weren’t high. He was so happy to give it to me, so proud of writing my name on the front, I hugged him tight and recognized that that part, the joy he had from giving me the card was where I got my gift.

Then I opened it to see his name, painstakingly printed on the white inset and I smiled because he has to try so hard to write clearly. He tried that hard for me, because he loves me.

Then I noticed that my husband had done a little editing.

mdaySee that right there? That’s honesty. And it’s funny. And THAT is better than any sentiments Hallmark has ever managed to produce.



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