Birthday cards are so over rated! Just look around and compare. These little cards filled with someone else’s wit, and a hurried signature placed at the bottom. Stuffed into an envelope, licked to seal, placing a stamp onto the envelope as well writing the addresses in the appropriate places, return, and destination. Looking it over just to make sure. Placing it into the mailbox. No sooner than it slips from your fingers, and drops into the mail drop box, terror strikes your mind. Did I send the right card to the right person?
Things like this always seem to happen to me at least. But that’s after my trip to the card shop. A card store who will remain nameless for now. Just to save them some embarrassment. Because they know just who they are anyway. After yesterday they will have a mug shot of me, from their security system, marked as.. here comes trouble! As the reminder of the rumors, urban legends about the birthday cards.
Have you ever noticed that birthday cards are marketed to people by age of birthdays? That’s right! Cards are placed into displays like this.. First birthday, second birthday, third birthday…. all the way up to the cards for the 21 years olds. What is wrong with this picture?
Baby’s who just turning one, don’t know how to read yet. Nor do they know what the hell people are saying to them, even if someone would be reading to them. Their comprehension isn’t fully there. It is a world of motion and funny sounds to them. Oh they know some sounds in place of words. But like cats they ignore everything other than their own minds impulses. Since baby’s brains aren’t full developed yet, and need at least 5 years of time to pass by, just to develop to a point. The point of starting their education, a gathering of a life times worth of knowledge. These little sponges have yet to recognize the importance of the birthday card. Listening only to their own minds impulse, is the full-time job of a one year old. Totally self-centered, and the rest be damned.
Can’t blame these baby’s for the kind of attitudes they display. They have to learn somehow? And learning what works and what doesn’t. At times it is a tough job. Take those birth-day cards. Placing them into their mouths and sucking on the corners often leads to ripping them to pieces. I’m sure this is the one-year old’s display of dissatisfaction of taste? Not so much what any person had written in the card.
Five year olds have the knowledge that birthday cards often have money in them. So the card is eagerly opened. Like the prize in the cracker-jack box. The card is just unnecessary wrapping with writing from someone they should know, but defiantly seem to know them better. The real interest is the money. All though these days it could also have the plastic gift card type of modern money in it. Have you ever noticed the look on the faces of kids getting a gift card? Because they don’t know how much the card is worth in money terms. They look somewhat puzzled. They may recognize the gift cards, or what store they can use it in. But they don’t see the value as of yet. With money, they know just how many candy bars the money will buy, regardless what store they get dragged off to with their parents on a shopping day. Yes the birthday card is still little to be desired by 5 year olds. I suppose one could write some wit on some money and the 5-year-old would then take some time to read it. Unlike the birthday card.
10 year olds tend to read these cards with some interest. After all the card is recognized as being all about them. The star of the show. On this day the world will bow at their feet. The lime light will be soaked up like a black hole in outer space. So it is then, a day after all, where lime-light will out shine the sun-light. At 10 the over inflated self-esteem isn’t looked upon as a negative just yet. Besides reading has its appeal to it. Like short stories. Except these stories are about the 10-year-old. A win, win!
11 to 15 year olds move through these kinds of emotions as well. But the birthday cards are read with more of a hurry to get to the punch line….. Who sent it? Can I open my presents yet? Offering a hurried thank you. While entertaining themself’s as to where they must now go to spend the gift cards / money that came with the card. As for the witty saying or words written within them, they have less of a degree of importance, more of a necessary step in having to read them as a price to pay to get to the prize. A practice of garbage in and garbage out. Can we go shopping now? Oh Ya! Thank you who ever.
Sweet 16 birthdays are all about the presents, and less so for the cards, unless these cards come from out-of-town relatives and or friends. As for the right of passage with the sweet 16 birthday, it is all about the gift, unless the card contains big money. So they are opened like someone watching the screen at the one-armed bandit in the casino. Looking for the winner! Huge money! Huge money! Come on huge money. Damn! Just movie tickets, some gift card to a store, that isn’t around here, and what? 20 dollars! At this point facial expressions point to a need of some acting lessens. The look on the face is all about, their disappointment! But that life, you as the parent calmly explains. Reasonable expectations, you know? But at 16 reasonable, resembles that of the baby that is sucking on their birthday cards. Expectations are off the charts!
At the card store these cards are displayed in order 1 through 16. At least the store I went to. One year after the other. 17 to 20 seem to have less of a degree of importance, mostly humors sayings, or a count down to the amazing age of 21. That’s when you realize that life doesn’t always goes as planed. But now you have the ability to drink alcohol, and wash all of those troubles down the drain. Of course, no card ever explains the day after the celebrations. They just paint a life of fun, good times, and because it’s you’re birthday. The focal point, of free drinks supplied by friends is magnified within many cards. Because your still a kid of sorts untill age 30. A 21-year-old is nothing more than a kid in an adult body. The knowledge of just what is your limit is missing. No knowledgeable wit within a card to prepare the 21-year-old, for a night of drinking. No real interest of following any advice given in a birthday card, if they will not listen to parents already. No relief, for the morning after. No pictures of hugging the porcelain god, were all of your troubles are truly washed down the drain. Just half-witted, no guts no glory, sayings leading you down the pathway of foggy memories, of how you ended up at alcoholism door.
Note to any new 21-year-olds who spent, or planing to spend a night out on the town. Cell phones can, and often do, take video, these videos then make their way onto YouTube, and often are then sent to your parents and your ex’s. Of course, You as the 21-year-old, still half-baked. Never seems to see this coming, untill the shock of receiving the text message ” Check this out! Real funny LOL! ” It was a text from your mom.
Because the card display’s after the age of 21, now jumps to the birthday of 30-year-olds. What does this say about the importance of the 22 to 29-year-olds? They have a need of some birthday wit too? The display keeps on jumping to 40, 50, 60, happy retirement / 65, 70. Then without warning 80. What gives? Expecting 80 okay but what about.. no.. 75’s? The display then goes in increments of 5 years. Is this do to life expectancy? 75? Is that at the end!? Or a start of realizing, that every 5 years is more of a mile stone? Isn’t every year after important? What happens after 95? The last year of jumping by 5’s. Yes the display goes by ones. 95, 96, 97, 98, 99… What? A count down to truly being a dinosaur? The wit seems to be really dry to boot at this point in these cards, like a spoon full of dust. I know, what kind of life do I lead, if I’m reading these birthday cards? Or even noticing the display of them? The fact is, with birthday cards we see a snap shot of society celebrations. What is a mile stone to society anyway? The representation within the birthday card is obvious. For what it is worth, or what seem to be the real worth, of what is to be celebrated… ect? This also proves what is important to the stores standards set by the stores display placement. I mean this store is in the business of selling cards. Why not a continues wall of 1 through 100, one year after the other, birthday cards of plenty? Think of it! Truly then, we could say the birthday has the same importance, one year after the other. But then prehaps, those who write the witty cards have some limitations to their imaginations of what to write? Or maybe writers block after year 75? More dry jokes? Or is it we heard it all, so what the hell, just call out any number? Its funny, isn’t it?
It must be like those old guys who numbered their jokes. They would tell each other jokes by calling out the numbers. Why were you numbering jokes anyway was asked of them. The response that was given. ” It was a time saver. We have heard them all anyway! So why not tell one, by calling out a number? We save time and breath. Besides we can tell more jokes per hour that way. ” Can we celebrate birthdays like that? Is that what a birthday card really is after all? Calling out your number?
You know the best cards are the ones I have gotten from people, ( okay little people ) who spent the time to make their own cards. They used their own words of wisdom. Some times these were challenged indeed, but it is the thought that counts. It is these treasures of birthday’s passed that finds that special place, where no birthday card ever dies, an untimely death.
What do you write in a birthday card when you have to send one out? Some wit? Or some useless knowledge? Or even have you ever been tempted to re-use, ( Re-gifted ) the birthday card that is just generically written to you. As a money and a time saver? Some food for thought. You know just who you are….?
All the best.
Ps. The card shop didn’t lie, about the fact that I was reading all the cards. They asked, if they could help me so many times. That I snapped at them. Of course while watching me read the older cards and then seeing me purchase cards for an 11-year-old, and 52-year-old. I got the look! You know the look, where they can’t believe this guy took the time to read all of those cards! Instead of going to the year you needed!
For the 52-year-old I used a pre printed 55-year-old card and wrote something like…. Because this stupid card shop only had increments of 5 years. This card is on time for your 52 birthday. Happy birthday! As for the rest of those wonderful years till you get to be 55-years-young, happy 53, and 54, as well 55. Now if Alzheimer’s strikes. I have you covered for the next 3 years, no fault of my own. It’s the card manufactures….. ? Now try to re-gift that sucker!
All the best. Some things just had to be said. If it is your birthday?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! And many more.