The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

January 26, 2007

Cards Never Sent

OK, I admit it.

Just like some people go and stock up on chicken breasts, ground beef and other various and sundry grocery items at their local buy-in-bulk store, I buy greeting cards en masse.

There are, probably, several reasons for this.

I don't often go to buy cards.

But when I do -- whether it's for a woman I have a romantic interest in, for my kids, for my family, for a friend's anniversary -- I always search for the funny ones.

The ones that say as much about me and my sense of crooked humour as about them.

Rarely will I buy a mushy, serious card. Although sometimes I have to and when I realize I must, I do, and can do a more than adequate job at that.

It's just that while people I love and who love me know I am actually mushy and serious about my feelings for them, they also know I'm not likely to play that up...

Because I'm a tease at heart...and I like to have fun.

In some circumstances, though, fun isn't the No. 1 thing. So I often find myself buying a serious card, plus a funny card, then I'll find another funny card, then another serious card.

And I like them all. And all would be appropriate.

And then I get it in my tiny male brain: "Hey, I'll just buy them all so I don't have to do this again next year!"

So this is what ends up happening:

I present someone with two or three different cards, plus whatever gift or gifts I've bought for them, and I write in each card the message appropriate for that card.

But inevitably, I end up with left-over cards that I shove into my kitchen drawer or somewhere else...and then I promptly forget about them. For a long time.

And then I go out and buy more cards. And more cards.

This week, I found two of those cards that I bought quite a while ago, figuring to give them to different people in my life at that time.

Those people are no longer in my life, at least not in the same way.

So what do I do with these cards now?

And another...

So I guess I'm wondering:

Am I the only person on the planet who does this and who has reams of unsigned, ungiven cards sitting in some packed-away box or hiding underneath all my water utility bills in a far-flung drawer?

Cards intended for a love long gone, or a 16th birthday missed, or a 10th anniversary forgotten about, or a get well card that couldn't be sent because the person got well...or died?

And another issue is, should a card originally bought for someone else ever be presented to another person?

Finally, am I nuts?


  1. Anonymous3:06 a.m.

    Oh you're exhibiting totally normal behavior.

    I've got a collection of birthday, anniversary, valentines day and christmas cards. Somewhere. I used to have a stash of cards I bought when I was single and had no boyfriend, thinking these were cards I was gonna use WHEN he came into my life.

    Last Christmas, my husband got his card late because I left the ones I bought last October in my office drawer. His birthday is coming up in April and I know I've got the perfect card for him already. If I can find it around the house somewhere.

  2. Anonymous3:11 a.m.

    No, you are not the only one. I used to do it. I repeat, I USED to do it. Now I stopped. More so becos of the internet. I used to send cards and I received e-cards. You go out of your way and choose a card with so much feeling, affection and love and the other person just does not care enough. I once saw one of my cards unopened and thrown away. I agree, it was only a stray incident but I really felt bad about it. That too from a person with whom I was so very close.You don't expect this from your girl pals.

    All I can say is throw those old cards and be selective in buying new ones.

    Sorry for ranting here at your post.

    PS: I still got those B'Day cards sent to me from all those years.

  3. Anonymous5:32 a.m.

    I often buy cards for friends Birthdays,and then either forget to send them,or forget I have already bought one and buy another one!
    I tend to buy cards for friends as,and when I see something suitable,so if their Birthday is not imminent,the card can sit around for a while,and get forgotten.
    I often feel a little strange about sending cards to people that I had actually intended to send to someone else(this is with Birthday cards!). Its a shame to waste a card though,so inevitably I will end up sending it to someone else at some point.
    And yes,you are totally nuts! But hey,its Friday,so why not?!


  4. Yeah, you're nuts.

    What were the other questions?

  5. You are a cad..
    I mean a Card,
    and you should be 'dealt' with.

  6. Menchie:

    Hey! I don't know if I want to be normal! But it sounds like you have more of a card stash than I do!!

    And you were buying cards for someone who, to that point, you didn't know. Interesting.

    Good luck finding hubby's lost card...


    I've used those email card thingies too, they work and can certainly bridge a gap with someone far away...

    I agree it can be a huge letdown to put so much effort into buying someone a card and then find out it didn't mean much to them, or they don't reciprocate.

    Throw those old cards away, you say? No way, Jose! Gotta keep 'em around for an emergency!


    Sounds a lot like me, girl...but hey, if the card or shoe fits, why not let somebody else wear it?

    And thanks for letting me know I am totally nuts...


    The other questions were...oh, never mind.


    I imagine a game of Phase 10 would accomplish that...


    Ewww, I hate fruit cake...

  7. Anonymous12:04 p.m.

    WW, I absolutely love getting a greeting card that has been chosen with care. There is something so intimate about opening a card and finding that it exactly fits.

    I think I love sending them even more. I'll spend an hour finding just the right one, even longer getting the sentiment just right.

    I usually send them right away, so I don't have a big stash of orphan cards in a drawer somewhere. I do have a few that, as you said, I didn't send because the situation changed for one reason or another.

    I don't think I could ever send them to anyone other than the person they were chosen for. It would feel insincere, if that makes ANY sense at all.

    That being said, I do keep a stash of cute, but generic thank you notes that I can personalize and send out at a moments notice.

  8. Laurie:

    I absolutely agree with your sentiments. Like I said, I usually give two cards or even three.

    Usually one is funny, the other one serious. But both or all three will include little thoughts from me to express how I really feel.

    Spending an hour picking out a card? Hmmm...yeah, I guess I have and would, if needed.

    I don't usually buy cards to mail them to people I can't present them to in person, but then I don't have a lot of people I'd send cards to anyway out of town.

    For those people, I usually revert to E-cards or email.

    And I get what you mean about giving a card to someone other than it was intended for.

    I've tried to do that before, and couldn't...but it depends on the circumstance.


  9. Anonymous1:25 p.m.

    When I was quite young, I mailed a card to my mom. No particular reason, I just saw it on the rack, bought it and sent it to her.

    I was with her at the post office when she picked up the mail. She sorted through the bills and junk in the car. I'll never forget the look on her face when she opened the envelope that held my card.

    I guess that is why I often mail cards that I could just as easily hand deliver.

    Or maybe I just shy away from that kind of emotion? I hope that's not the case!

    I love that you get a mushy card and a funny card. It says a lot about you. I often get a card from me (the funny one) and a card from the cats (a mushy one). So I guess I do the same thing.

    I also send out ecards. They are great for "spur of the moment, I can't get out of the office to do a proper job of this" occasions. They are also nice when you find out someone is having a bad work day. You can send one and brighten their day in a flash.

  10. Laurie:

    What you did for your mom is what I know I should be doing for other people, but which I don't.

    Mea Culpa.

    Used to and still could, but really don't.

    The biggest gift anyone can probably give or receive is the one that's unexpected, for no reason, honouring no occasion...just because.

    I doubt you shy away from emotion or displays of it. Your posts about your son, dad and mom and everything else say you're a very loving person. get a card from you and your cats? What about HWDDD? Sorry, don't mean to pry.

  11. WW, before I go please take time to check out my Best Friend post.

    I love cards. I love sending and receiving them. My husband sent me a whole bunch of cards. I was hoping he would send me love letters but he sent funny cards instead.

  12. Anonymous5:22 p.m.

    Hmmm...anyone need a card for a two year old? It's got a big, shiny 2 on the front so it's totally useless this year when she's 3. P'raps I could wait til she's 12 and crayon a 1 in front of the 2?
    I do sometimes buy commercial cards, but prefer to draw my own, maybe with a daft limerick or a cartoon. And why wait for an anniversary?
    It's the thought that counts.
    (I have a special card you'd like,WW, but as I don't know where to direct the snail...)

  13. Anonymous6:19 p.m.

    You aren't prying.

    HWDDD and I are really just friends (without benefits) who share a house. We have the cats in common, but little else.

    I know there should be more, but there isn't. It's just the way it is for now. I don't plan to live this way forever.

  14. A man who loves cards, a man that actually takes time to choose cards, a man who has several cards in the house : you are not nuts, you are exceptional and have a highly appreciated quality. I only know one other man who pays attention to sending cards. (Gosh, maybe I just don't know the right kind of men ???) Of the people I know, cards are women business (they choose and buy them, they send them, men usually don't even bother to write their own name on it) but it is not seen as a typical female thing to do. So a man who buys cards and even sends cards ... has a very attractive quality. (in very small letters : Are these compliments good enough to get that card for my birthday ? :-)

  15. Anonymous8:44 p.m.


    "Buying cards for someone I didn't know"

    Yeah, that was kind of weird, wasn't it?? Buy hey, I was single and desperate to meet THE ONE. Can you blame me? :D

  16. Ces:

    I've read your best friend post and commented. I'm glad you have returned here.

    I'm sure you appreciate your husband's many cards. They ARE love letters, just abbreviated, animated ones.



    I think that's fantastic making your own cards (and yeah, hang on to that card for the next nine years and put the 1 in front of the 2).

    And what special card would I like that you'd tie onto the back of a snail?

    It would have to be a special snail, mind you, and even at that, I suspect he or she would take some time journeying from Australia to Canada.

    My email address is on my profile thingy...


    OK, I didn't get that about HWDDD. We're all in the situations we're in. No need not to be proud.

    I don't plan on being in this situation for the rest of my life either, but it's the way it is.

    And that's OK.


    Well, thank you, but...the men in your life aren't that out to lunch, are they?

    I think most men certainly aren't on the same plane in that way as women, but I know there are men out there who care and who have half a brain enough to show it, at least sometimes.

    Well, when is your birthday then? And you'll have to email me your address...


    No, I can't and don't blame you at all. I think it's called having your dream and doing the things you want to make it happen.


  17. Anonymous1:16 a.m.

    um, i think you're nuts!
    i sometimes have lots of christmas cards- but i don't usually buy other greeting cards without passing them to their intended recipient!

  18. ww, i liked this post. i love to buy and receive cards. i have a stash of them also--many not for special occasions but to write a note or letter inside. sometimes i buy too many and then forget about them, so i always have a few birthday or holiday cards that linger in the drawer with little hope of arriving in appreciative hands.

    i LOVE getting cards in the mail. that is one of my favorite things.
    you have accumulated extra points with me because of this thoughtful sweet part of yourself. and i like that you will send hildegarde a card. she is a very deserving person!

    and by the way, how's your life going?


  19. Are you nuts? Hmm, well maybe a little, but I kinda like you that way. ;)

    I buy my Christmas cards in massive quantities and usually in advance (they go on sale after Christmas). I tried buying several greeting cards at once (birthday, anniversary, etc) and I forgot about them - just like you did. So I only did it once and learned my lesson. Now I go out and pick out a card for each occasion as the occasion comes. I sometimes pick out blank cards if I think I can say it better than Hallmark.

  20. Angel:

    No, point was I buy extra ones while I'm there, or sometimes ones that I have bought never get sent because the situation changed...

    However, yes, it has happened that I've bought a card or cards for someone and...DOH! Forgot to send it!


    Thanks for the comment -- and for the points. Is that kind of like Airmiles? Are you about to send me to Hawaii? this card storage practice, which must date back to our time as squirrels, isn't just a guy thing.

    Wait...were we ever squirrels?


    Ah, a shopping factoid I never thought of...Christmas cards always go on sale after Christmas.

    But I avoid Boxing Day -- or anything else to do with Christmas "after the fact" -- like the plague. So that wouldn't apply.

    As far as picking out one card at a time, for every occasion...blech. I buy in bulk, baby!

    And yes, I do admit to sometimes buying a blank card, but then that would require thinking...

    It only works if the front of the card is so racy or suggestive that a quip comes immediately to mind...

  21. ***cough-cheapskate-cough-cough***** Wrapping paper is my vice, saving and reusing it:)

  22. I've forgotten everything you've written except one word. Call me "baby" again... and again... and again. ;)

  23. ariAidan:

    You ARE a cheapskate, mate. But you're a man after my own heart. And I think your avatar is the best on blogger...


    Gasp. Argh. Uh... Doh!

    Apparently we've discovered your Achilles heel...

  24. I do it, too. Or I'll get one card, adn later see another one I like better, so card #1 gets stuffed away unused. And then it never seems quite right for anyone else.

  25. Yes, you are nuts. :)

    As am I, as I do the same thing. I buy cards. I always buy cards. I love cards.

    Hello, my name is Pamela and I'm a card junkie.

  26. CSL:

    Hey, thanks for the visit! Yeah, I do that same thing...except I do it all at once and I don't put back the first 10 cards I picked out.

    I checked out your! I'll try to make it back there again and actually comment...

  27. Hello, Pamela the Card Junkie.

    I think that's at least three votes for yes, I am nuts. I'd better make an appointment with a psychologist.

  28. Nope! Can't find an email address. Take the long route and email me


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