“The whole thing is a scam. Birthdays were invented by Hallmark to sell cards.”
Going back to Valentine’s Day when I was kid, I can remember ripping those cards open like a raccoon rooting through rancid garbage in the middle of the night, looking for Sweet Tarts. FYI: Smarties were immediately discarded and the provider of said candy would be reprimanded for being thoughtless. These empty, arbitrary Valentine’s Day wishes weren’t evenSKIMMED, let alone read. Birthday and Christmas cards were more of the same – useless housing units for precious gift cards.
No one ever quotes the last card they received OR gave. Cards are the empty calories of celebrations, that 4th Krispy Kreme donut you really don’t need. There was a time when I’d purchase condolence and Father’s Day cards on clearance and send them to people for their birthdays and Christmas. One Christmas, I printed pornography and lined it inside holiday cards, wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday. I didn’t even get ONE thanks for my efforts! Making special holiday pornography cards took time and wasn’t easy! You’re welcome, you fucking ingrates!
Chase, a coworker at my company, had a birthday recently. Tracy, the only coworker at my job that I actually like and respect, was making her rounds collecting everyone’s birthday wishes via a heartfelt card. So when asked if I would sign the card, I quickly replied to Tracy, “I don’t give a fuck about Chase’s birthday. Not signing that card.” A brief, awkward hush fell over the office. It became clear to me that my voice projected much further than the walls of my unacceptably small cubicle. The silence was quickly squashed as laughter followed. But it wasn’t just Tracy’s. Laughter from surrounding cubes joined in. “David, you crazy!” Tracy said. For a moment there, I thought I had said something offensive!
Now, don’t get me wrong; Chase isn’t a bad guy. But he’s not an exemplary worker by any means either. He spends more time socializing and, most likely, prioritizes tracking his steps over doing actual work. Basically, he’s getting paid to do nothing, butagain, he’s not bad guy. I once saw him actually doing SOME work. He became frustrated and aggressively ran his fingers through his hair, taking the famous “surrender cobra” pose. Let’s just say i found it more satisfying than the ending to Avengers!So fuck him and fuck his birthday.
Katie, on the other hand, buys a card for every occasion. Your dog is a new grandfather? Katie will find a card and send it. I don’t get it, but who am I to crush cards enthusiasts’ passion for trivial, poorly written puns regarding special occasions? Hey, you want to send a card congratulating your cousin’s boss’ niece’s first communion, be my guest…well, not my guest. But this is one reason (of many) that I love this woman. She’s selfless. Unlike her egotistical, self-absorbed, borderlinenarcissistic partner, she always thinks of others…AND, if that wasn’t enough, she understands my perspective and doesn’t expect cards on her birthday! The relationship works!! I like to tell her that her path to sainthood is complete and no further action is necessary.
Adjusting my facial expression to fake my appreciation of a birthday card is easily one of the hardest things to do in life. That and small talk about the weather. These two things tie for first place in the “shit I don’t give a fuck about” category. So when I get a card, I go with the old, “Ah, you shouldn’t have” followed by, “No, seriously, go get your money back and return with booze.” I’m certain that Hell is me filling out cards (free of pornography, mind you!) congratulating dim people on the delightful weather they’re having in wherever the fuck they’re from AND getting thank you cards in exchange! But it changes nothing. I will always be a mangy, selfish animal looking for those Sweet Tarts and gift cards! The only exception would be if Hallmark started making pornographic cards.