Wednesday, December 17, 2008

30 Minutes in Hallmark

This evening, I went to the local Hallmark to get Christmas cards for a couple notable loved ones.

Remember in the old days when greeting card stores were quiet, when all you heard was some piped-in easy listening music. Tonight, all I heard were people opening those stupid greeting cards that talk and sing when you open them (someone opened a Simpsons one and chuckled when they heard Marge dispense some motherly wisdom).

I checked both my pockets, but no ear plugs could be found. So I made the best of it and proceeded to find what I needed. When looking for cards for the most important people in my life, I like to look at all the store has to offer. Some may look at only 5 Christmas cards designated "Mother". I looked at dozens to find the perfect one for the one who birthed me. What makes this even more difficult is that she frequently mentions how I always seem to get her the perfect card.

I never buy cards that don't express exactly how I feel about a person. Some cards will say, "I know I don't say I love you as often as I should..." Well, I do, so that type of card is totally inappropriate. What is with you people who don't say "I love you" to those dearest to your heart? If it weren't for your attitude, I wouldn't have to see half the cards I look over give some variation on this. I'm telling you right now, if you don't say I love you to them every day, you're gonna be mighty regretful when they pass. Food for thought as we all look forward to stuffing ourselves next week.

Imagine my disgust, then, when I couldn't find one card that was as good as what I'd given her in previous years. I had to settle on one that was substandard, in my opinion. It only cost 2.99, which posed a bit of a problem. I almost wished that it cost more so that if she happened to look at the back of it, she would, "Ah, yes. He spent 5.99 for this card. He really loves his mama".

Lastly, can someone tell me why 80% of greeting cards have that sparkly shit on it? After perusing several dozen cards, my hands looked like they'd been spread with fairy dust. I coulda passed for Minneapolis bathroom boy Larry Craig.


Anonymous said...

Totally unrelated...but everytime I see the new Arby's commercial-I can't help but think of you. Have you seen it?

Thomas said...

Are you referring to the one where the guy is laying in bed and it's his birthday?

Dämmerung Anblick said...

I'm like you. I have to look at loads of cards before picking one. They all seem so personalized nowadays. Once or twice, I've had to go to a second store to find something appropriate. Other times, I've given up and gotten a generic one at the dollar store and then wrote my own personalized note on it.

Do you really tell your mom that you love her every day? That's cool. I have to do that more. You've motivated me...

Rocketstar said...

I admire the dedication you show... Like all of my shopping, it is in and out as fast as I can.

I usually buy one with a picture only and just jot down the little quip right for that person.

houstonmacbro said...

The glitter is to make them look ... expensive? I hate it too!

But I hate just about anything with glitter, so it's not hard.

Mags said...

I hate those stupid talking/singing cards. My mother got one last year and she STILL insists on showing it to me every time I go over. I want to burn it.

Thomas said...

Dammerung, I was tempted last night to go to a second store, but it's much too cold these days for such madness.

I don't tell my mom I love her every day; only on the days in which I actually talk to her (typically once every ten days or so). Well, lookee there. I used a semi-colon.

Rocket, great idea to get a blank one in which you can add your own personal sentiments. I might be tempted to do that myself if my writing didn't make me come off as such a smart-ass.

Houston, that's a very sensible theory.

Mags, that's exactly what I'm talking about.

disestablishingpuritanism said...

Great post and I'm glad to see a very nice picture of you and I'm assuming that's your wife. Robin has me go in there every year with her. I always dread it, but I get a good laugh at some of the humerous cards like the one you heard with Marge's voice. Love "A Christmas Story" and I believe there was a good one with his dad, played by the late Darren McGavin on it.

You're also right about all those sentimental crappy cards and great observation by paraphrasing when you said, "You should already remind that special someone you love him or her." Some of the ornaments are pretty cool as well. I got a David Ortiz one last year. This year, I just need to take the tree down before March. That's the laziness kicking in again.

Brian said...

I hate that sparkly stuff too. Actually, I hate looking for cards in general, but I always have to get the right one, so it looks as if I put forth more effort than I prefer to.

I really dislike Christmas shopping. I just purchased 7 Gift Cards for the fam back home. It was so easy and painless. I did it from my laptop. Some may say it's impersonal, but it's better than getting them something they didn't want in the first place.

Eric Curtis said...

I'll join the choir about that sparkly crap. It always looked cheap to me for some reason.

I don't mind the ones that make noise, but I only get them for friends. I got a buddy one that was Star Trek(ed) themed. Every time you opened it, it would make the transporter sound. He still mentions it even though the battery died eons ago.

Picking out cards for my Mom, Dad, and Grandmother usually are not too big of a problem for me, but I don't spend nearly as much time choosing them as I should.

The ones for my Step-Sister and Half-sister are always the tricky ones. They're half my age, and because I live so far away, I don't know them too well. After looking though a ton of cards, I always just go the safe generic route. Kind of sad really.

Great post.

Thomas said...

PJ, you are a stitch! That's actually my mother. She's almost exactly 20 years older than me. I also like "A Christmas Story" and was fortunate enough to see it when it was originally released in the Christmas of 1983 (most people have only seen it on TV). Keeping the tree up until March? Damn...

Brian, thankfully, there's only two people in my life that I need to give Christmas cards to. Hard to disappoint by giving loved ones gift cards, unless you plan to get Obama one for a hunting store. :P

Eric, the transporter sound is one of the coolest sounds ever invented. I can't wait to hear it in next summer's "Trek" update. I also have half-sisters who are about half my age. I bought them page-a-day calendars.

Brian said...

That's cool, it's the same with me. My wife and mother.