Cards and Conversations

Observations about life, people and relationships from the card department.

The Funny Card

In the card department the other day, I saw an elderly woman who looked familiar. I remembered her short snow-white hair with a cute pixie cut, sparkling blue eyes and welcoming smile. Shopping for a funny birthday card, I remembered she was in the same section the day before, only this time she was alone. I asked if she was looking for something in particular.

“Oh yes, I remember you,” she said. “I was here with my five-year-old grandson yesterday, He picked up this card and couldn’t stop laughing. He said it looked like Humpty Dumpty was talking.”

“Oh,” I said. “Why are you back?”

“I decided to buy the card and save it for when he’s older,” she said, “because he won’t understand it until then.”

It was a cartoon drawing of a person showing their—ahem—bottom–which suggested a sentiment for getting old. I looked at it and if I used my imagination, I guessed it could resemble a talking egg, especially one that’s about to fall off a wall. What I thought was funny, though, was that this woman was going to buy and save this card for her grandson fifteen years later. I wonder if he’ll think it’s still funny then.

I’ve noticed the most popular funny birthday cards deal with one of three subjects: animals, old age or drinking. There’s usually a dog, an old lady or a woman-with-wine or man-with-beer suggesting these things are necessary to enjoy another birthday.

I always wonder if the recipients think the cards are as funny as those giving them the cards. I don’t remember receiving many funny cards recently, but I have to admit my son is enjoying the fact that I don’t care for glittery cards. Now all his cards to me have as much glitter as he can find. Yup, that’s funny.

What makes the funny cards so funny? When they are personal to the giver and the receiver of the card. I think this is why so many people will take the time to look for the perfect card—sometimes as long at twenty minutes or more. It reminds me relationships are important and worth the time in this high-speed world of texting.

Whether it’s the giver or the receiver of the funny card, at least someone is laughing.

Can you remember a favorite funny card you received?

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The Mother’s Day Card

In the card department the other day, I frantically set the final batch of mother’s day cards to keep up with the gargantuan demand for all-things-mom.

There are cards for mom, mother, mother-in-law, grandma, nana, grandmother, sister, aunt, like-a-mom, friend, daughter, daughter-from-your-mother, mother-from-your-daughter-, mother-from-your-son, stepmom, and of course, mom-from-your-dog. Guess you never thought of all those options, huh? A large majority of the cards are sweet and sentimental but my favorite are the funny cards. These had customers laughing out loud and I laughed along with them.

In its simplest form, I believe mother’s day is the busiest greeting card holiday of the year because it represents unconditional, unlimited, beautiful love. Who wouldn’t want that?

Ah, a beautiful thought, but when shopping for mother’s day cards the day before the holiday, the message of love can get lost in the shuffle. Tenacious and focused, I continued to put the cards out despite the tension in the air.

I heard my favorite conversation which went something like this:

Little girl: “Daddy.”

Pause.

“Daddy.”

Pause.

“Daddy.”

Pause.

“Daddy!”

Then, finally, the dad: “What?”

Little girl: “There’s a lot of daddies here!”

I looked around and laughed out loud. A row of men ten across and three deep were looking for mother’s day cards.

That little girl is going to be a card merchandiser one day.

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