By Ellen Rothberg
It’s almost Valentine’s Day and stores are packed with items designed to illicit the loveliest of lovers’ romantic dreams. I wonder, though, why I haven’t seen more greeting cards filling the shelves of my local grocery store (where I purchase most of my cards, trying desperately to keep them from getting stuck to the milk). Is the greeting card dead? It’s not to me, but I wonder if I am in the minority now. And if so, how will the demise affect my ability to express myself to my loved ones?
When my husband and I were dating a long, long time ago, he bought me a card one Valentine’s Day that was clearly meant to be from a girl to a guy. I do not consider the comprehension of greeting cards to be higher level, and so, felt it necessary to point out the error immediately. People are sensitive about their choices when it comes to these tokens of love and my then, maybe-to-be-husband, took it very personally. This is not a completely accurate reenactment of the what was said, but you will get my drift.
Me: It’s not a big deal. You don’t have to be so sensitive about it.
Him: I don’t really see this as a guy or girl card. It’s generic.
Me: Well, maybe I just don’t care for generic, love cards that speak to me as if I were male.
Him: Well, maybe I just won’t get you any more cards!
You can tell where this conversation was heading. Although very sad, several years passed before he bought me another Valentine’s Day card. We didn’t talk about it, and I kept buying him cards. My cards were very thoughtfully purchased. I spent a great deal of time reading the cards in the store and trying to decide which one represented my feelings for him the best. I resisted the urge to purchase cards that said the following:
Roses are red, violets are blue,
Didn’t buy me a card? Well, sc–w you!
Like the sky above our love is vast;
If you don’t buy me a card, how can our love last?
Know how much I love you? (unfold super bulky card with bear image)
Not that much because you didn’t buy me a card!
In all fairness to the guy I married almost 38 years ago, he buys great cards for other occasions. This year he nailed my January birthday with a card that I will always treasure. As I read it, amazed at how well he obviously knows me, I smiled and let him know how much I loved the card and the fact that he took so much time to pick out the perfect one for me. He looked at me and said, “Can this count for Valentine’s Day?”. He obviously will not be saddened by the demise of the greeting card.
I love greeting cards. People who know me, know that I love cards, but I love my husband more, so, I am going to cut him some slack and give him a pass for this year. I will expect a really awesome, you-know-me-so-well Valentine’s Day card next year . . . and a dozen roses wouldn’t hurt either! What is your favorite, can’t live without it, Valentine’s Day surprise?