Today made me realize that there’s a whole new market for greeting cards that is yet underserved: ambivalent greetings.
Okay, so I was shopping for a Father’s Day card for my dad, and, to be completely honest, I really didn’t feel in the mood to sing his praises or be all lovey-dovey. Suffice to say, a lot has happened. I could say it’s all water under the bridge, but that would imply that you could still see the bridge. Right now, the water’s under the bridge, over the bridge, and damn near washing the bridge away. It’s not a pretty bridge.
So, I really wanted a cheap card that just said, “Happy Father’s Day.” Plain, simple, and not actually compromising my ethics of trying not to lie about my feelings. Man, did I ever pick the wrong holiday to try last-minute card buying. The racks of cards were nearly bare, except for those horribly over priced record-your-own-sound cards. Finally, I found one that looked promising – water birds in a tri-fold card. Then I looked at the price. Nearly five bucks? You gotta be kidding me. That, and it went into how much the giver loves the recipient.
Now, okay, I love my dad and all. It’s just maybe that *this* particular week of *this* particular year is not the best for our relationship. And really, more than $2.50 was pushing it this week. And a card that said how much I admired him was just plain not hitting the mark.
So, after honest-to-goodness fifteen minutes of searching, including playing with the idea of getting him a bar mitzvah card (not that he’s Jewish, but you get the idea), I finally found a card I could stomach buying. It basically said, “Happy Father’s Day. I have some advice, and I don’t want to have to tell you twice: sit back and relax and eat some snacks…”
But what I really wanted was a card I could sink my teeth into: “Happy Father’s Day, BUT…”
On the other hand, it’s probably just as well that they don’t make those cards. It may not be a pretty bridge, but at least it’s still standing – even in a flood.