Who decides what greeting cards grace the racks of the large Super Center where I do most of my shopping?
I pose this question from time to time when I’m looking for a specific card – say a birthday greeting for my boss. A card that will do for a man, but one that is neither sexy nor sentimental. One that doesn’t refer to body functions he and I do not discuss in normal conversation. A card that doesn’t tease about how old he is, because given his age and mine, that would be ludicrous.
In December, my grandchild graduated from college. Of the five grands who have received a degree, three walked in December. Yet, I could find no card for that occasion anywhere. I had to settle for a generic, non-specific sort of congratulatory message.
Last weekend, I attended a reception for my BFF, retiring after many years of serving the church. When I shopped for a card, I ran into this familiar problem. No retirement wishes to be found. There were two long rows of Valentines as well as the usual get well, sympathy and anniversary cards. Also happy birthday to every relative you can think of, no matter how vague or far removed the relationship. There were cards for bar mizvah, blessings on new pastor, (as well as “we know it’s hard to be a pastor”), welcome new baby, happy about your pregnancy (congrats the stick turned blue?), thank you, I’m sorry, and encouragement as you enter treatment. (I kid you not.) But nothing that said, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” or anything like it.
The good news is that I went to another store and found something appropriate. But the question remains: Who decides to put Valentines out on December 26, or Christmas cards in October? And with so many personalized messages, why can I never find the card that says just what I want?