An Open Letter* To Greeting Card Manufacturers22 June, 2010
Dear Card Manufacturers,
Seriously. What are you playing at? I don’t understand. Surely the way to sell things is to make your product appeal to a wide audience, and to remove barriers to potential sales? What, then, is going on with these wretched cards?
I can but attempt to reverse-engineer the world of card designers from the end results: All men shall like football and golf, all women shall diet and hate men, all girls shall like handbags and shoes, and all boys shall like trainers and racecars. The existence of people outside these categories is thoughtcrime.
But perhaps you found a slightly unusual card, that might be appreciated by your intended recipient? Too bad: it says “To My Wonderful Uncle On His Wedding Anniversary“. Keep looking. This card is suitable for married uncles only. You cannot be trusted to select correctly stereotyped cards by yourself, much less write an appropriate message inside.
Card Manufacturers, this will not do. The people I want to send cards to don’t fit into your boxes. They like bizarre injokes, obscure technology, niche memes and weird food, and you will have a state explosion on your hands if you try to cater for even a small subset of this for every permutation of For My Delightful Sister On Her 21st Birthday. Why do you persist in labelling everything? Had you not done so, I could consider all the cards on the rack instead of the only three that apply, and in this wider selection maybe I’d find something I wanted to send.
I assure you, the card recipient usually understands why they are suddenly receiving all these cards. I sincerely doubt that anyone relies on the To My Incredible Cousin On His Graduation lettering to figure out who has sent this card and why, and on the offchance that they might, I accept full responsibility for including this information in a note on the inside.
Unhappy Card Hunter from Dublin
Actually, I am going to make a New Tuesday Resolution**. I am going to start making cards again. It is much more personal, much more fun, and much easier on the soul than dragging jaded eyeballs over rows and rows of dressed-up gorillas, cartoon dogs and tired jokes about women drivers. I have been spoiled by the LSU Shop‘s selection of cards with awesome photographs and no writing; such things are the exception, not the rule.
And to those of you to whom I have sent a Standard Card, or neglected to send a card at all, I am sorry, and I will do better.
Right then. Where did I put my craft knife?
* rant. Let’s be honest here. It always is.
** the best traditions can always be improved upon