Greeting cards are a pointless waste of money and paper, and I’m done buying them.
I’m glad the holidays are finally over. Having to Christmas shop for everyone is bad enough (the two most popular gifts seem to be “I don’t know” and “I’ll get back to you”), but being expected to buy and send/give out Christmas cards is even worse.
I’ve hated greeting cards in general ever since I was a kid and had to send “Thank You” cards to all the various relatives who sent me Christmas cards. I never understood why a simple phone call wasn’t enough thanks. I just talked to my uncle yesterday and thanked him for the check and card he sent me, now I have to send him a fucking card too? What kind of shit is that? My mom could never give me a good answer beyond “It’s the right thing to do”. I didn’t feel like sitting there writing little notes in cards, I wanted to go play Mario 64 on my brand new N64 that Santa brought me. Thankfully (pun intended), the “Thank You” card has all but died out and is usually only reserved for old people and the world’s biggest ass-kissers.
Unfortunately, people still expect cards for other occasions, like birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and God knows what the fuck else. Getting them a gift isn’t enough, they also require a piece of cardboard with pretty pictures and words written by someone else on it to know I’m serious about my appreciation. And greeting card companies are always sure to put the price directly on the card itself, so your friends and relatives will know if you cheaped out. You went to Dollar Tree for this card? You cheap bastard! Proper etiquette dictates that you must give nothing less than a genuine authentic Hallmark™©® greeting card!
It wouldn’t even be so bad if cards didn’t cost so damn much. Nowadays a basic Christmas card will run you between $5 and $8. Valentine’s Day cards are even worse. The last time I bought my girlfriend a card for Valentine’s Day, it cost me $10. And that was before COVID, and it was one of the cheaper cards the store carried. I was also going to buy her flowers, but the store wanted $20 for those. Chocolates were similarly priced. Fuck that. Instead I bought some chicken breast and made that bitch some chicken parm for Valentine’s Day dinner. She thanked me with a blowjob. Those flowers would have died in like a week, and I’d have had to hear about how the chocolate was making her fat. Conversely, I’m here writing about the chicken parm and blowjob like seven years later. I don’t even remember what the card said, but I sure remember the fat nut I busted in my girl’s mouth.
Cards are so expensive that I end up feeling self-conscious about throwing them out. Does anyone actually know the proper etiquette for old greeting cards? How long am I supposed to hold on to these things? Do I throw them away, or stuff them in some giant storage bin somewhere in my closet? I have no idea, but I know that it’s a colossal waste of money dropping $5 or more on something that I’m going to read for a second then put on a table somewhere and forget about until a few months later when I’m bored and drunk and go “Hey, wasn’t my birthday like three months ago?”. Then I have to deal with the mild shame of throwing someone’s expensive heartfelt card into the trash, where it’ll spend the next few years getting pissed and shat on by the rats at the landfill.
It’s amazing how we’ve become so concerned with the environment, but apparently not concerned enough to do away with mass-producing greeting cards. Imagine how many trees are cut down every year to produce the paper used to make these things. Doesn’t deforestation contribute to global warming? Maybe instead of trying to force me to buy an expensive electric car and do away with my gas stove we could try telling people to buy less disposable junk made of paper, like greeting cards.
Every time I tell people “Don’t get me a card, they’re a waste of money”, they always look at me like I’m some kind of batshit insane madman. Society has become so conditioned to spending exorbitant amounts of money on mass-produced pieces of cardboard with generic crap written on it that it’s become unthinkable to not take part in this bullshit ritual. Everyone adamantly refuses to respect my wishes on this for some reason, and every birthday or holiday I’m left inundated with overpriced useless cardboard pieces of crap. People are so hellbent on giving companies like Hallmark or American Greetings their money, and I can’t figure out why. It’s basically cult-like at this point. When I try to explain to people why I would rather not receive a birthday or Christmas card I feel like I’m telling a member of Jonestown not to drink the Kool-Aid, and it seems just as futile.
Instead of buying someone a card, put the extra money you’d have spent on the card towards their gift instead. Don’t put that $25 Amazon gift card into a $5 greeting card, give the person a $30 Amazon gift card. If you really have something you want to say to the person, then write them a short letter. I know I’d rather receive a personal letter from someone than some impersonal mass-produced card that a million other people also received. Over the years people have given me handwritten letters and I’ve saved most if not all of them, while most greeting cards usually end up in the trash or recycling bin.
It’s time to move on from this antiquated tradition and I’m not taking part in it any longer, my social standing be damned. Stop wasting your money on these things, stop creating more trash, start learning how to express yourself with your own words. Cards are for tards.