I was shopping for greeting cards this week and every time I do, I am reminded of my sister Fame Throwa’s brilliant idea for a line of greeting cards that are polite and respectful but not emotional. There is a real need for this product, I think, as there are occasions when you are required to send a card but you don’t actually know the person very well and so most of the Hallmark-style stuff out there just isn’t appropriate.
Like, say you have a distant grandparent that you have only met a few times, and your mother expects you to send them a birthday card, and it’s no trouble really to get such a card and sign it. But every card is either TOTES HILARIOUS – age jokes! Pictures of men in butt-less chaps! Chimpanzees wearing sunglasses! – and that’s not appropriate given that you hardly know the woman, or they are super gushing (“Grandmother – So often we don’t take the time to share how we really feel…thank you for all the sacrifices you have made…you influence my life on a daily basis.”). NO. When you open a card and there’s a “poem” on the left hand side as well as a “heartfelt message” in scripty pink writing on the right, you know you’re in trouble.
What I want is a nice line of cards that say, “Have a great birthday” or a generic “Hope you have a very nice father’s day” or “Sending you fond Christmas wishes” that aren’t addressed to any specific person (like “Mother” or “Pop-pop” or “To my only brother, from his little sister”). A pretty picture, maybe some sparkle, a clean, unsentimental, non-jokey message inside.
Is that too much to ask? SHEESH.
In other awkward social interaction news, I was out shopping for an item this week at the Bulk Barn, and a very nice lady warned me that I could get said item at the Giant Tiger for less. This item was only $12 at the Bulk Barn, so we’re not taking hundreds of dollars of savings here, and the Giant Tiger is clear across town, and I wasn’t going anywhere near that in the near future. So I definitely wanted to just get the thing at the Bulk Barn, but she was really warming to her topic, about how things are so much cheaper elsewhere and she doesn’t understand how they can charge so much and she has it all figured out, and I should take my business elsewhere. So then I felt really weird about just going and buying the thing anyway, like I was going to look like a total idiot for deliberately paying a higher price.
So I ended up not buying it, and doing some other errands, and then going back and getting it later on.
I think this is a clear example of how my desire to please and/or fear of confrontation and/or over concern about being polite has gotten out of control. I just can never find the quick-wit to breezily say, “Oh, I’m in a rush today, but I’ll keep it in mind for next time!” and then be on my merry way. WOULD THAT BE SO HARD, brain?