getting carded

this past weekend in a cheesy card store in the middle of nowhere (meaning not san francisco)-

card store woman: hi! welcome to [insert generic card store name here].
becca: hello.
woman: can i help you with anything?
becca: um. i'm looking for a father's day card.
woman: oh! great. that's coming up quick[ly- why don't people use adverbs anymore???]! here's our huge selection.
becca (perusing non-huge selection of about 35 cards centering around golf, ties, hand holding, god, bbq, and fart jokes): i'm looking for a more... basic card. no hobbies or pictures of naked babies on the front. do you have any cards that... say less?
woman: but it's father's day. the card should speak to all the wonderful moments you've had!
becca: oh, i totally agree. but my moments are... more appropriate to a blank canvas.
woman: hmphf. here.

and with that, i found the perfect card. a 4"x4" blank card with a generic image on the front. enough for me to write a quick note and pop it in the mailbox. this got me thinking, though, about why we send cards anyway. is it to show that we remembered a birthday or anniversary? my grandparents lined up their birthday cards earlier this year on the mantle, and there sure were a bunch. i'm also sure they could easily size up who didn't send them a card. on the flip side, my mom always insisted that my sister and i write thank you notes within a week of receiving a gift. birthday, hanukkah, arbor day, you name it, i thanked people for their appropriate (and sometimes not-so-appropriate gits). even when some guy gave me a liter of musky body oil at my 12th birthday party, i thanked him. my sister was always better thank you card writing. "let's get together soon!" she'd write. or "you always made the best rabbit-shaped pancakes. maybe you'll teach me next time?"

overall, it's more the pressure of cards that worry me from time to time. like being judged on what i wrote in the span of a minute or so and if my handwriting was good enough for them to get the gist of what i was trying to say. todd once told me i didn't write enough, and now when i give him a card, he reads the text out loud. luckily, the only person to hear my embarrassing limericks is alphie, and i've got one up on the furball. i've got thumbs.

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