Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Highway Robbery

It's been a little while since I last posted so it seems an appropriate time to bring out what has become the most ongoing rant of my life.

I'll just come out and say it: I hate the greeting card industry. I can't imagine a more vile waste of time and space than an industry devoted to laziness and stupidity. How many times a year does one feel obligated to spend between $.99 and five dollars on a stupid little card with some pithy remarks about "congratulations on the new lake house" or "happy valentine's day to my brother and his wife?" (Only one of those was made up.)

It seems to me that if you don't care enough to write your own thoughts down on paper, then perhaps you don't care enough to send a card at all. Culture has conditioned us to think, "my, what a nice gesture" when receiving a card, when really the person is saying, "I spent three dollars on this and I mildly agree with the cheesy words this total stranger wrote."

I vowed at a young age not to support this vile laziness with my hard-earned cash. I have come to a bit of a compromise since vowing my love and fidelity to the wife. Whenever possible, I locate and procure a greeting card with nothing written on it so as to enable me to put my own thoughts down on paper and thus give a truly sincere token of respect or care. (In the interest of full disclosure, I do search for and occasionally purchase humorous cards, but only for the comedic value, not the sentiment; it's my version of the annoying email forward from Uncle Stu, et al).

Without getting into my utter (although quite related) disgust with the evil Free Market Economy holiday that happens to fall tomorrow, I was out searching for a card this evening. I scoured a full, two-sided aisle at the local grocery story in search of the elusive (blank inside) label, which is becoming as difficult to find as a polar bear with a bright outlook on life. I was forced to settle on a plain white Thank You card in the second row from the bottom at the far end of the aisle.

As I looked down the row, at the crowded section of bewildered men hovering in front of a very red section of cards, I couldn't help but smile. Even though their labor will result in a perfectly appropriate card, mine will have a truly unique representation of my feelings and will also look decidedly better than an index card.


escapedyourworld said...

My displeasure with the greeting card industry led me to the practice of giving cards that have nothing to do with the occasion. Thus Dave Ardrey's wedding card from me was a card congratulating him on entrance into the Navy. This frees me from the nausea I experience when attempting to find a card that actually fits. It seems to be at least similar to your comedic value cards.

Jeff and Joy Scott Family said...

I totally agree. And fortunately, so does my wife!