Not Your Hallmark Family
Shopping for greeting cards... is it as difficult for you as it sometimes is for me? I come from a family that sends cards for all occasions, and while Mom and Dad were alive it was anticipated and pretty much expected that you'd send a card. Ok, I don't have a problem with that, although I do feel that some of those "events" are contrived to pad the pockets of card companies. You've got to admit that it is fun to find a greeting card in your real mail box, one that you can hold in your hands and touch words that were actually written by someone you care about. Cards are fun.
However, card shopping is not so fun when you just can't find the right verse for the occasion. Sometimes it can get downright depressing, as in the case of shopping for family members. You see, despite outward appearances, we weren't exactly The Cleaver's... maybe nobody's family really was. I search thru the card racks, rejecting card after card as excessively sentimental, saying things that just don't reflect the nature of our relationship, or are downright ridiculous. And then I start to get depressed because I wish I would have had that kind of experience as a child, those kind of relationships. I'm not saying that I didn't love my parents, or that I don't love my sisters, I'm just saying that it wasn't all hearts and flowers and sharing secrets of the heart. No, it wasn't at all like that. There were a lot of darker undercurrents, hurtful things said, meant, and allowed. No point in belaboring that here. Suffice it to say that most of those cards don't fit me any better than would Cinderella's slipper!
What to do? I usually ended up opting for something simple - the shorter the sentiment the less likely the recipient would shake their head or laugh at the overdone outpouring of affection. Sometimes I got really creative and opted for the blank cards where you write in your own verse, but that was also sometimes met with disdain. My writing has never won awards in my family... "too many words", "too many big words", "you go on and on". Yes, I know, always too many words. Perhaps I was born with a supply of many, many words that I must use up during my lifetime! I LOVE WORDS, and I love stringing them together! I saw the term "word welding" on someone's blog recently, and I really like that - constructing thoughts (much like constructing a jungle-gym in my case)! :-)
Now days it's gotten a little easier, some greeting card companies have began offering alternative card lines that say things simpler, and more in line with real life experiences and relationships, some of them are so right on target they are downright funny.
If card shopping has always been a little difficult for you, of if you find extremely sentimental verses a little over the top, take heart, you're not alone. The rest of us are still waiting for our Hallmark moments too! None the less, surprise someone you care about someday, pick up a "just because" card and send it to them via snail mail for no reason at all. I guarantee it will be a real day brightener! If your intended recipient lives with you, tuck it in their lunch box, or under their pillow, or in their sock drawer... those kinds of surprises are winners too. Everyone wants to feel special and loved, and it's little things like this that mean the most!