If greeting cards were just an American thing, I’d get it. If it was just a girl thing, I’d get it. But the whole goddamn world is into this bullshit, and it’s driving me insane. To explain this for the less intellectual of you, here is what you’re really saying when you give someone a birthday card:
CARD PURCHASER: Good day, friend. I am aware that today marks the anniversary of your birth. Here is a gift to commemorate this occasion.
CARD RECIPIENT: Thank you sincerely for your well wishes. However, I fear that a gift and verbal congratulation will not suffice, and that a third medium must be brought into play. Perhaps you could repeat your sentiments in written form on a piece of mass-produced, folded card paper?
CARD PURCHASER: Certainly! Like you, I have been manipulated by the Hallmark Corporation to subscribe to a world-view which encourages this type of behaviour. As such, notice that I have bundled with this gift a greeting card, which I have purchased for approximately five dollars. This is a small price to pay, so that you may hear these exact sentiments once again.
CARD RECIPIENT: Thank you sincerely for your well wishes. Don’t worry that your sentiments are being cheapened through the impersonal nature of this gesture, because without written confirmation, your words surely bear no meaning. However, I will no longer be needing your written sentiments, as they are now stored in my memory. Please remember though, that my brain can only store memories for 365 days, at which point I expect to be reminded again, in writing, that it is indeed, once again, my birthday and that you are indeed, once again, wishing that I will enjoy it.
CARD PURCHASER: Though you've only spent a total of five seconds appreciating my card, thus bringing the cost of this gesture to a dollar per second of value, my efforts were surely not in vain. I assure you that I obtain great pleasure from watching others pretend to be flattered by an overpriced novelty.
What boggles me even more than this is why they make cards with pre-written messages. When you buy a pre-written card, you’re saying one of two things. Either: “I am an asshole, and thus too lazy to write something myself.” Or: “I am a moron, and thus too stupid to think of anything to write.” Lose-fucking-lose. And can you believe they make cards for “death of a loved one”? I had to double-take when I saw that in the shop today. You’d have to be an asshole AND a moron to do something as idiotic as buy someone a fucking Hallmark card when a member of their family dies.
When I was a child, I made my friend a birthday card. He didn’t read it, and just threw it in the garbage, right in front of me. At the time I was offended. But at the age of 11, I had the intelligence of about the average card-buying moron. If I could go back in time, I would shake his hand. Fuck this bullshit. I can tell you personally how I feel, I don’t need to write it down for you and put it in an envelope. I’m never spending another cent on greeting cards again, and I suggest you all do the same.
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