Here's a statistic for you: 90% of greeting cards are useless.
That's according to the field research I did last Friday. How many different ways can you say "Wishing you a day filled with happiness and love?" Evidently, at least eighty-seven. If my local Hallmark is any indication. Who's writing these cards? And how much are they getting paid? Whatever it is, it's too much. They all say the same thing! I would like to apply for that job.
There are basically three kinds of cards (since I can no longer seem to find any stores that carry Ziggy). First are those generic say-the-same-thing cards I just mentioned. The majority of the cards in the store seem to be of this persuasion. That leaves only the ever-shrinking humor section. And the deep, two-page-long mushy cards.
I was reading one of the latter Friday. The first page seemed OK. I was thinking this might be the card I go with. But then on the second page was a line that said something about giving you the praise and honor you deserve." To which I remarked louder than I intended, "Praise and honor? She's not the Lord."
Another part of the problem is that they are now having to make cards for every possible relationship and family situation. So instead of many from son, from daughter, and for wife cards to choose from, there are more categories now. Such as blended family, just-like-family, soon-to-be-family.
I even saw a placeholder that read "For Ex-Daughter-In-Law." Had to think about that one for a moment. As a man, I will never be able experience the closeness a woman feels with her son's ex-wife. What's next? For Ex-Son-In-Law's New Wife? For Tramp Son Slept With One Drunken Night? From One Of Your Baby's Possible Daddies?
The need for all these tremendously cuts down on the number of cards in each section, including my favorite section, the From Son-dash-Humor category. Which has all but been eradicated. The few cards that are left often seem to be lacking on the humor side.
For example, I picked up one so-called "humorous" card. There was a picture of a puppy inside and his tail was raised from the rest of the card so that it would "wag" when you opened it. Written beneath the puppy were the words "Happy happy happy happy happy happy Mothers Day." That's funny? Really? To who, the dog? What makes it funny? The tail or the six happy's? That's about as funny as (choose your own analogy: a catheter/a Jimmy Kimmel monologue/CSPAN).
And as long as we're on the subject, I cannot believe they're still making the card that doesn't open and has some stupid little message printed on the back. Even more than that I can't believe
In closing, I know we face many issues and questions in these most uncertain of times. Illegal aliens, polygamy cults, Deal Or No Deal, how in the world Elliot is still on Idol. But first and foremost, we must attend to the greeting card problem in this country. It's urgent. Father's Day is June 18th.
"Daylight licked me into shape. I must have been asleep for days. Moving lips to breathe her name, I opened up my eyes..."