How I Stopped Wasting Money on Greeting Cards

How I Stopped Wasting Money on Greeting Cards

Everyone has those little things in life that take no energy to complete, but are still an annoyance.  For me, I simply hate buying Greeting Cards.  To begin with, they are way too expensive for their purpose, which is to convey a thought (I Love You) or be a vessel for gift cards and money.  And the puns are horrible.

‘Have a Purr-fect Day (picture of cat)’

‘Tree Puns Sure are Sappy’ (Really?  Why?  What occasion would this fall under, except Arbor Day, and I don’t see a big market for that)

‘Bad Puns are How Eye Roll’ (eye roll)

Besides, does anyone care about the card?  How many times have we seen envelopes torn asunder, then turned upside down to see what cash falls to the ground?

One Valentine’s Day, the second year in the last place we would ever live together, I handed Arlene (future ex-wife) a card.  We stood together in the kitchen, before going out for breakfast at IHOP (how romantic).

“Happy Valentine’s Day”, I said.  She took the envelope from my hand.

“Oh, thank you,” she cooed.

Arlene opened the card, and read whatever sentiment the fine people of Hallmark wanted me to convey to my wife at this moment of our lives.

Arlene smiled, then without even having to move her feet, she pivoted at the waist, and flipped the card into the kitchen garbage can.

I was dumbfounded.  When she saw the look on my face, she raised her hands, then said, “What?  I read it.”

My futility with greeting cards was born.

A few weeks ago, I saw a couple of greeting cards that my sister, Diane, created.  From blank greeting cards and water color pens.  Thought it was a great idea, so decided to do the same. 

Take that, Hallmark.

Armed with my own set of blank cards and water color pens, I waited for the next family event.

An invitation arrived for an ex-nephew’s high school graduation.  Perfect.  I knew exactly what I would draw; he had just competed in the baseball state championship, so a baseball uniform under a graduation gown.  Baseball glove in one hand, diploma in the other.

It turned out great.

Well, it would have, if I drew it.

Back to the store to buy a card; well played, Hallmark – well played.

But, soon after that, another event came around.  My niece had a baby girl.  A few days after they came home, I was going over to visit.  Gift card in hand, carried by my first, homemade, greeting card.

Isabella.  Beautiful name.  But not the first choice.

Apparently, that is something new in the family.  Expected parents decide on a name, tell the family the name, a consensus is formed; name changed.

Isabella was to be named Cecilia.

Sam (son of my niece, Mia) was to be named Jonas.

Not sure when this practice started, consensus on a child’s name, but I wish it was around when I was born.  How come no one in my family went up to my parent’s and said, “Rose, Joe, you know Alfred is a horrible name for a child.  He will be ridiculed by teachers and students alike.  Call him anything else.  Name him ‘Chair’, name him ‘Bystander #2’, just don’t name him Alfred.”

But, that didn’t happen.  Thanks guys.

As for Isabella, FACEBOOK was awash of photos, so I pulled one from my sister-in-law’s page, and began to create.

It started out well enough, closed eyes, pursed lips, blanket wrapped around the shoulders (the baby, not me).  But, Isabella was born with a full head of black hair. So, when I started to fill in that hair with the black water color brush, I stopped.  I was astonished.  Apparently, my niece, had not given birth to a new baby girl.


She had given birth to the Leader of North Korea.

Well played, Hallmark, well played.

A Road Show, an Art Show, and Public Indecency

A Road Show, an Art Show, and Public Indecency

We All Want That Meet-Cute Story to Tell

We All Want That Meet-Cute Story to Tell